Public domain collection of film noir at


26 Responses to “Public domain collection of film noir at”

  1. Snaile says:

    I recommend: D.O.A, The Hitch-Hiker, and Scarlet Street (Fritz Lang and Edward G. Robinson!) Enjoy!

  2. mzed says:

    I just watched “Beat the Devil.” Great script (John Huston and Truman Capote), Great Cast. Not really noir, but worth watching.

  3. TenWoodbines says:

    Dick Powell in Murder My Sweet (Farewell My Lovely). I could, and have, watched countless times.

  4. ldorts says:

    Definitely DOA and Scarlett Street. The others on the list I’ve seen (Kansas City Confidential, He Walked By Night) were forgettable.

  5. mojo says:

    “The Killing” is Kubrick, so of course it’s good. “The Killers” (1946 – Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmund O’Brien) is by Hemingway, but I won’t hold that against it. Sometimes simple writing is good. And Ava is just gorgeous.

    See also: “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and my personal fave “Kiss of Death” with Richard Widmark as giggling psycopath Tommy Udo.

  6. Church says:

    Another item in the “copyright needs must be shorter” department.

  7. ppad says: also has “Lady in the death house,” which is a terrible B-noir; it’s also one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

  8. Robbo says:

    Ida Lupino’s “The Hitchhiker” is the real gem of the collection.

  9. Elvis Gump says:

    Detour is good, but I think that “Out of the Past” is the king of all noir films

    And one that I don’t see here that’s a close second is “Kiss Me Deadly” based on the Spillane novel.

    Kubrick’s “The Killing” is good, but more like a try at a genre film to break into the business which he and his then production partner James Harris were trying to do. And it worked, but it’s not really that great a noir film.

  10. The Unusual Suspect says:

    Another vote for “D.O.A.”

    And, though it’s less of what people think as film noir, “Suddenly” is a real treat, wherein we get to watch Frank Sinatra as a psychopathic killer out to assassinate the President.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Watched Detour in my Film Noir class… wow, could I sound more college?

    Anyways, I love that film so much. Thanks for linking this.

  12. Anonymous says:

    DOA is brilliant. Scarlett Street is pretty good. I personally like He Walked By Night but many don’t. Too Late for Tears is also pretty good. The rest that I’ve seen, including Beat the Devil, are junk, in my opinion, although I haven’t seen all of them so there could be some hidden gems in there.

  13. theghostoflordbeaverbrook says:

    While Detour is great, especially with the budget they had to work with, I found The Killing to be more enjoyable as the plot feels much more developed. Though both are great and if you haven’t seen them, you really should.

  14. theghostoflordbeaverbrook says:

    Also, as a recommendation, if you enjoyed Detour you’ll probably like Cat People.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Is there any way to post up either documentary:

    1) The Rules of Film Noir by Matthew Sweet
    2) The Best of Film Noir

  16. orwellian says:

    ‘Martha Ivers’ is a wonderful movie. It’s full of great actors and writing and was Kirk Douglas’ first movie, something you’ll never believe when you see him in it.

    I’ve read ‘Detour’ and thought it wonderful.

    ‘Suddenly’ is very good and you can see why Sinatra was considered a good actor.

    ‘Murder, My Sweet’ was considered by Raymond Chandler to have the best portrayal of Philip Marlowe. Yes, better than Bogart.

    Looks like I should brew some coffee. I won’t be sleeping for a few nights. :-)

  17. Anonymous says:

    here’s a really great place to find some public domain films:

  18. wanion says:

    I went to download Detour at and saw that one of the preview thumbnails that flips through on the download page was the The End title card, so it’s good to know that this movie does, in fact, end. In case you were worried.

    Also, has The Stranger with Orson Welles and Edward G Robinson, which is pretty decent.

  19. robcat2075 says:

    DOA is quite good.

    “Beat the Devil” is fantastic, although it only qualifies as “noir” because someone thought Bogart’s presence made it so.

    Entertaining none-the-less. Great characters and great situations to put them thru the wringer.

  20. Brian says:

    Detour is amazing.

    My favorite film noir is OUT OF THE PAST. Just incredible.

  21. theatrechik77 says:

    Detour is actually available at Netflix. Its title is listed as “Film Noir Collection: Detour.” Its been in my (long) queue for a bit – maybe I’ll move it to the top.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I liked a lot of the movies featured on this site
    The thing which makes it better is the extremely simple and easy navigation.

  23. dhc says:

    Just an fyi, I’ve created a longer list of the classic films that you’ll find on the Internet Archive and elsewhere. It can be sometimes hard to see what they have, so I gathered it all together here.

    Wikipedia also has a helpful list of films in the public domain:


  24. Ian Duckles says:

    DOA is quite fun in which a man discovers that he has been poisoned and must solve his own murder before he dies.

    Scarlet Street is excellent as well, directed by the great Fritz Lang and starring one of my favorite actors from the period, Edward G. Robinson.

    I also remember liking the Strange Life of Martha Ivers, but I don’t remember much about it.

    Unfortunately, Detour is the best of the bunch (one of my favorite noirs) and you have already seen that one.

  25. thoughtmecca says:

    Kansas City Confidential is one of my favorite movies ever made. It’s truly a masterful thriller and worth the watch.

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