200 Free Documentaries Online

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Watch over 200 free documentaries online. The documentaries cover everything from music and cinema, to literature, religion, politics and physics. They’re thought-provoking, eye-opening, and enlightening. For more great films, please visit our complete collection, 700 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc..

  • 1959: The Year that Changed Jazz - Free - Documentary looks at the transformative albums released by Miles, Brubeck, Coleman & Mingus in 1959.
  • A To Zeppelin: The Story Of Led Zeppelin Free (US audiences only) -  Chronicles the band’s history, from their 1968 formation to their reign as 1970s hard-rock giants, with rare photographs, archival footage, and interviews. (2004)
  • A Brief History of Time Free - Errol Morris’ documentary on Stephen Hawking. He called it “one of the most beautiful films I ever shot.” (1992)
  • A Communications PrimerFree - An instructional film on the basics of communication, created by Charles and Ray Eames of Eames Office for IBM. (1953)
  • A Look Behind the Future - Free - Intriguing 1966 documentary takes you inside the making of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and the thrilling technologies then in real-life development. (1966)
  • A Message from Akira Kurosawa: For Beautiful Movies - Free - A 10-part documentary built around a series of interviews with the filmmaker where he offers thoughts on the mechanics of making beautiful movies. (2000)
  • A Night with Lou Reed - Free - An intimate visual record of Reed’s sold out performance at The Bottom Line in New York City in 1983. (1991)
  • A Poet in Cinema: Andrei Tarkovsky - Free - A rare look at Andrei Tarkovsky’s thoughts on life and filmmaking. Directed by Donatella Baglivo. (1983)
  • A Story of Healing - Free - Won Academy Award for best Documentary Short Subject. Follows a team of volunteers in Vietnam. (1997)
  • A World of Art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Free - Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is a three dimensional encyclopedia of art history. Filmed in 2004.
  • Aleister Crowley: The Wickedest Man in the World - Free -  Takes you into the life of Aleister Crowley, an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, and mountaineer, responsible for founding the religion of Thelema.
  • Andrei TarkovskyFree – A comprehensive analysis of the director’s life outside of the cinema and the struggles he endured to create lasting personal works. An Arena documentary from the British Broadcasting System. (1987)
  • Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein Free - Documentary on the two artists from 1966.
  • Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye Free - A revealing look at the “Father of American Photography.” Appeared in the PBS American Masters series. (1999)
  • Ansel Adams, Photographer - Free - Documentary reveals the artistic and technical approach of Ansel Adams, America’s finest photographer of natural landscapes. (1958)
  • Ansel Adams: The Incisive ArtFree – Explores the work of one of America’s most famous photographers, Ansel Adams as he goes beneath the surface to record nature and the quality of humanity. (1962)
  • Arduino: The Documentary - Free - Revisits a project launched in the Italian town of Ivrea back in 2005. The challenge? To develop cheap, easy-to-use electronics components for design students. (2010)
  • Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief - Free - A mini-series created by Jonathan Miller explores the history of atheism in the world. (2004)
  • Audio Ammunition - Free - A series of short documentaries on The Clash and five of their classic studio albums. Produced by Google. (2013)
  • Bed Peace Free - 70 minute documentary revisits John and Yoko’s famous 1969 Bed-Ins, which amounted to a peaceful protest against the Vietnam War. (2011)
  • Beautiful EquationsFree - Artist/writer Matt Collings takes the plunge into an alien world of equations, asking top scientists to help him understand five of the most famous equations in science. (2010)
  • Behind Jim JarmuschFree - In 2009, Jim Jarmusch released, The Limits of Control. A behind-the-scenes documentary, Behind Jim Jarmusch, was filmed over three days on the set of the film in Seville by director Léa Rinaldi. (2009)
  • Billie Holiday: The Life and Artistry of Lady DayFreeWhat makes this low-budget documentary worthwhile is the music. The film features some of the best surviving footage of Holiday performing. (2004)
  • Black CoffeeFree – A three part look at  “the world’s most widely taken legal drug,” a beverage whose intellectually intense die-hard enthusiasts give wine’s a run for their money, from historical, political, social, and economic angles. (2007)
  • Bob Marley: The Legend Live - Free - Shot at the Santa Barbara County Bowl in California on November 25, 1979, just 16 months before Marley’s untimely death at the age of 36. (2003)
  • Buckminster Fuller: Thinking Out LoudFree – Documentary on the inventor/visionary/thinker R. Buckminster Fuller, produced and directed by four time Academy Award nominees Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon. (1996)
  • Brussels Express Free - Directed by Sander Vandenbroucke, this 20 minute film explores the risks of cycling in modern Brussels, one of the most congested cities in today’s Europe. (2012)
  • Bukowski: Born Into This - Free - The definitive documentary on the hard-living poet. “Valuable because it provides a face and a voice to go with the work,” wrote Roger Ebert. (2003)
  • Bullfight at Malaga Free - Photographed by Richard Leacock, this short film records what happened when the two greatest matadors tried to outdo each other in what became known as “The Bullfight of the Century.” (2010)
  • CBGB’s: The Roots of Punk Lets You - Free - A carnival of vintage performances from New York’s seminal punk bands. The film was produced for Hilly Kristal, creator and owner of CBGBs.
  • Chasing SoundFree – At 90, Les Paul tells his rags-to-riches story in a documentary featuring a soundtrack of hits by B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney and others. (2007)
  • Churchill’s Island Free - WWII propaganda film chronicling the defense of Great Britain. Won the very first Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject. (1941)
  • Code Rush - Free - Documentary following the lives of Netscape engineers in Silicon Valley. 1998
  • Conversations with Myself - Free - Alan Watts walks in the mountains and talks about the limitations of technology and the problem of trying to keep track of an infinite universe with a single tracked mind. (1971)
  • Cream’s Farewell Concert Free - Tony Palmer captured Cream’s final show (starring, of course, Eric Clapton) at the Royal Albert Hall in London, November 21, 1968.
  • Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks the World - Free – Tells the story of the wah wah effect pedal, from its invention in 1966 to the present day. (2011)
  • Cry of Jazz - Free - A film by Ed Bland explores issues around African-Americans and jazz in the United States. Includes interviews with artists and intellectuals and performances by Sun Ra and John Gilmore. In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. (1959)
  • Curious About Cuba: The Great Museums of Havana - Free - This film shows a side of the island nation that we seldom hear about: her art, history, and culture. (2008)
  • CyberpunkFree – Documentary introduces the culture of Cyberpunk. Features vintage footage of William Gibson & Timothy Leary (1990).
  • Dark Side of the Moon Free - William Karel satirizes the notion that Stanley Kubrick was behind the great moon landing hoax. (2002)
  • David Bowie: The Story of Ziggy Stardust - Free - Film tells the story of how Bowie arrived at one of the most iconic creations in the history of pop music. The songs, the hairstyles, the fashion, etc. (2012)
  • David Lynch on the History of Surrealist Cinema - Free - Pretty much what the title said. (1987)
  • Day of the Fight - Free - The first film shot by Stanley Kubrick, focusing on the middleweight boxer Walter Cartier. (1950)
  • Days of Our Lives - Free - Documentary explores the life and times of the rock band Queen.
  • Death Mills - Free - Billy Wilder’s documentary in German showing what Allies found when they liberated Nazi extermination camps. (1945)
  • Derrida Free - A 2002 documentary on the abstract philosopher and the everyday man. (2002)
  • Dial H for Hitchcock - Free - Made to celebrate the centenary of Hitchcock’s birth, this documentary concentrates on his major US films. Surviving collaborators, colleagues, and directors are interviewed. (1999)
  • Dream of Life - Free - Directed by Steven Sebring, the film offers an intimate portrait of poet, painter, musician and singer Patti Smith. (2008)
  • Einstein’s Brain - Free - A strange documentary that follows Japanese scholar Kenji Sugimoto’s quest to find Einstein’s brain. (1994)
  • End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones - Free - Documentary film about highly influential New York punk rock band the Ramones. (2003)
  • Eraserhead Stories - Free - Offer as much information as you’ll find anywhere on the making of David Lynch’s first feature film. (2001)
  • Masters of Photography: Diane Arbus - Free - The documentary created soon after the photographer’s death is based on interviews with those who knew her best. (1972.)
  • Down from the Mountain - Free - Documentary/concert film about the making of the Grammy-winning soundtrack recording for the Joel and Ethan Coen film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Man Of Peace In A Time Of War Free - Documentary examining the life of MLK Jr. includes rarely seen footage.
  • Examined Life - Free - Features 8 contemporary philosophers discussing the practical application of their ideas in modern culture. Includes Cornel West, Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum, Slavoj Žižek, and Judith Butler. (2008)
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: Winter Dreams - Free - Peabody award-winning film chronicles the life of Fitzgerald, one of America’s greatest novelists, in images and ideas as lyrical and inventive as his prose. (2002)
  • Fellini: A Director’s Notebook Free - Federico Fellini introduces himself to America in experimental documentary aired on TV. (1969)
  • Fellini, I’m a Born Liar - Free - A look at Fellini’s creative process. In extensive interviews, Fellini talks about his background and then discusses how he works and how he creates. (2002)
  • Filming ‘The Trial’ - Free -  An unfinished making-of film by Orson Welles, made in 1981, which focuses on the production of his 1962 film The Trial. (1981)
  • First Orbit Free - A real time recreation of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering first orbit, shot entirely in space from on board the International Space Station. (2011)
  • Flâneur III - Free - An attempt at capturing the character of Paris by following the development of the city’s different forms throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, in the spirit of the German philosopher Walter Benjamin. (1998)
  • Flying Padre Free - The second film shot by Stanley Kubrick focuses on a priest in New Mexico who got around his vast parish in a Piper Cub airplane. (1951)
  • For Neda - Free - An HBO documentary on the life of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman gunned down during the crushing of Iran’s Green Revolution. (2010)
  • Fractals: The Colors of Infinity Free - Arthur C. Clarke brings us inside the world of fractal geometry, David Gilmour provides the soundtrack. (1995)
  • Freddie Mercury: The Untold Story - Free - Documentary retraces the singer’s journey from Zanzibar to Stardom. (2000)
  • From One Second to the Next - Free - German director Werner Herzog presents a harrowing 35 minute film on the dangers of texting while driving. (2013)
  • Future Shock - Free - A short documentary based on a book written by futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970. It’s narrated by Orson Welles. (1972)
  • Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine - Free -  About the famous match between chess legend Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue, a chess-playing computer created by IBM. (2003)
  • Gente del Po - Free - Michaelangelo Antonioni’s documentary short on the people of the Po valley. (1947)
  • George Eastman House: Picture Perfect Free - The urban estate of George Eastman, who made photographers of us all, is a treasure trove of photographs and one of the world’s premier film archives. (2003)
  • Georges Bataille: À Perte de VuesFree – Documentary on the subversive French philosopher Georges Bataille. (1997)
  • Glenn Gould – Off the Record and Glenn Gould – On the Record- Free - Wolf Koenig and Roman Kroitor made a pair of gorgeously shot documentaries about the Canadian pianist, giving viewers insight into his life and music. (1959)
  • Haruki Murakami: In Search of this Elusive Writer - Free - Alan Yentob travels through Japan, from the midnight Tokyo of After Hours to the snowed-in Hokkaido of A Wild Sheep Chase, in a quest to find artifacts of the novelist’s imaginary world.
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment - Free - 18-minute film features a selection of Cartier-Bresson’s iconic photographs, along with rare commentary by the photographer himself. (1973)
  • Henry Miller Asleep & Awake - Free - Tom Schiller’s 34 minute voyage into the world of Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn). (1975)
  • Hofmann’s Potion - Free - A balanced look at the history of LSD by Canadian filmmaker Connie Littlefield. (2002)
  • Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film Free - Epic, 13-part documentary chronicles the early history of cinema. (1980)
  • Home - Free - Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s film that will make you look at our planet in a new way. (2009)
  • Homemade American Music - Free - A history of rural southeastern traditional American music, as told and played by Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard. (1980)
  • How Long is a Piece of StringFree – Alan Davies attempts to answer the proverbial question. But it turns out to be much harder than he thought. (2009)
  • How Walt Disney Cartoons Are Made - Free - Disney’s in-house documentary walks you through the stages of Snow White‘s development. (1939)
  • Human, All Too Human - Free - A three part documentary on the life & thought of Nietzsche, Heidegger and Sartre. (1999)
  • Idem - Free - A short film by David Lynch on the art of making lithographs. Shot at the Idem studio in Paris. (2013)
  • If You Love This Planet - Free - Oscar-winning short film on the need for nuclear disarmament. (1982)
  • I’ll Find a Way - Free - Oscar-winning documentary presents Nadia, a 9-year-old girl with spina bifida. (1977)
  • Images of a Visionary World - Free - Avant-garde author Henri Michaux creates film trying to demonstrate the experience of taking hallucinogenic drugs. (1964)
  • Imaginary Landscapes Free - Rare documentary features legendary producer Brian Eno offering insights on making music. (1989)
  • In Search of Moebius - Free - Documentary about Frenchman Jean Giraud, one of the most influential comic strip illustrators and authors of all time.
  • Inside: Dr. Strangelove - Free -  Interviews with cast members, critics, editors, producers and others associated with the picture reveal how this Cold War worst-case-scenario developed into something so very… Kubrickian.
  • Jackson Pollock 51 Free – Short documentary by Hans Namuth features the abstract expressionist painter up close, painting on glass. (1951)
  • Jacques Lacan Speaks - Free - The psychoanalyst gives a packed lecture at the Catholic University of Louvain in 1972, followed by a probing interview. One of only 2 known appearances by Lacan on film. Shot by Belgian documentarian Francoise Wolff. (1972)
  • James Joyce: The Trials of Ulysses - Free - Examines the trials and tribulations of Joyce’s life in Europe, while writing Ulysses. Scroll down the page to watch the film. (2000)
  • Jammin’ the Blues - Free - Directed by Life magazine photographer Gjon Mili, the film features Lester Young and other jazz/blues legends. (1944)
  • Jazz HotFree - Django Reinhardt, violinist Stéphane Grappelli and their band the Quintette du Hot Club de France perform together in a short film designed to promote a UK tour. (1938)
  • Jeff Buckley – Everybody Here Wants You - Free - Documentary about the life of Jeff Buckley. Featuring contributions from his family, friends, band members and admirers including Brad Pitt, Elizabeth Fraser, Jimmy Page.
  • John Huston and the DublinersFree – Documentary focuses on John Huston as he directs his last film The Dead based on the story by James Joyce. (1988)
  • Johnny Cash: The Last Great American Free - Documentary profiling the life of legendary country music star, who died in 2003. (2004)
  • Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind - Free - Detailed documentary on Joni Mitchell’s life and her music, written and directed by Susan Lacy and produced for broadcast as a TV special. (2003)
  • Jorge Luis Borges: The Mirror Man - Free - Documentary on Argentina’s most famous and beloved literary figure. (2000)
  • Kerouac, The Movie - Free - Directed by John Antonelli, the film revisits the life and times of the beat icon, using interviews with his friends. (1985)
  • Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen Free  - This Canadian documentary captures Leonard Cohen just as he was poised to begin his singer-songwriter career. (1965)
  • Le dinosaure et le bébé, dialogue en huit parties entre Fritz Lang et Jean-Luc Godard - Free - A 1967 TV documentary featuring two great filmmakers (Jean-Luc Godard and Fritz Lang) in conversation. (1967)
  • Le Noise - Free -  Directed by Adam Vollick, this movie features a live performance of Neil Young’s album Le Noise. It was recorded at the studios of Daniel Lanois in LA. (2010)
  • Le silence du fleuve Free - Documentary by Agnès Denis and Mehdi Lallaoui investigates the violent repression of Algerian demonstrators in Paris on October 17, 1961 (1991)
  • Lenny Bruce in “Lenny Bruce” Free - In a “performance film,” Lenny Bruce appears at San Francisco’s Basin Street West in what was his next-to-last live appearance. (1967)
  • Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man Free (Limited to US audience) - A retrospective of Cohen’s life and work. Features tribute performances of his songs by Beth Orton, Nick Cave, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, and U2. (2005)
  • Let’s Get Lost Free - Bruce Weber’s sad film of jazz legend Chet Baker. (1988)
  • Life in a Day - Video - Film captures for future generations what it was like to be alive on the 24th of July, 2010. Executive produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.
  • Live in Rome - Free - Documentary captures the Talking Heads playing live in Rome. Features the group’s full “Afro-Funk Orchestra” lineup, plus Adrian Belew on guitar. (1980)
  • Lost in La Mancha Free - Documentary about Terry Gilliam’s failed attempt to make a film adaptation of the novel Don Quixote. (2002)
  • Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary - Free - When actor/director Kevin Smith attended Vancouver Film School, he and producer Scott Mosier attempted to create a documentary project on a transsexual entertainer. However, in the middle of production the documentary fell apart. The two director/producers had to come up with another documentary. The Crumbling of a Documentary. (1992)
  • Making the Shining - Free - Stanley Kubrick’s daughter Vivian shot a film that looks behind the scenes at the great horror film based on Stephen King’s novel. (1980)
  • Man Among Men: Alberto GiacomettiFree – Film features the sculptor shedding light on his own work. (1963)
  • Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media - Free - Explores the political and intellectual life of Noam Chomsky and expands on ideas in Chomsky’s earlier book, Manufacturing Consent. Alternative version on YouTube here. (1992)
  • Marcel Duchamp: Iconoclaste et InoxydableFree – Three- part, three-hour documentary with interviews about Marcel Duchamp, directed by Fabrice Maze. (2009)
  • Martin Scorsese Directs - Free - PBS documentary features interviews with  Scorsese, Steven Spielberg , George Lucas and Robert DeNiro among others, as well as classic scenes from Scorsese’s films and behind the scenes footage of Scorsese directing. (1990)
  • Matter of Heart Free - Documentary on the great Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Features archival footage. (1986)
  • Mel Blanc: The Man of a Thousand Voices - Free - Documentary focuses on voice artist extraordinaire Mel Blanc. (2008)
  • Meltdown: The Secret History of the Global Financial Collapse Free - A 4 part look at the 2008 financial crisis by the CBC. (2011)
  • Memory of the Camps - Free - An attempt to revive a World War II film meant to document the Holocaust. Hitchcock was involved with the original project. (1985)
  • Metamorphose: M.C. Escher, 1898-1972 Free -  Reveals the life and work of artist M.C. Escher. (1999)
  • Michel Foucault: Beyond Good and Evil - Free - Documentary explores the controversial life and work of Michel Foucault. (1993)
  • Mingus - Free - A close-up of bass player and composer Charlie Mingus as he and his five-year-old daughter await eviction by the City of New York. (1968)
  • My Dinner with Abbie - Free - An ex flower child sits down for dinner with a revolutionary icon of the 60s and 70s, Abbie Hoffman. (1990)
  • N is a Number Free - Documentary directed by George Paul Csicsery about the life of mathematician Paul Erdős.
  • No Substitute for Victory - Free - Propaganda, Pro-Vietnam documentary hosted by John Wayne. (1970)
  • No Maps for These TerritoriesFree – Brings you on a road trip and into the mind of cyberspace visionary William Gibson. (2000)
  • Creative Process: Norman McLarenFree - This feature length documentary is a journey into Norman McLaren’s process of artistic creation. (1990)
  • November 22, 1963 - Free - In a short documentary, Errol Morris asks what we can and cannot know about the Kennedy assassination. (2013)
  • Nuremberg Trials - Free - Riveting Russian documentary takes you inside the trials of the notorious German war criminals. (1947)
  • One Way Street - Free - Explores the life and work of German Jewish critic and philosopher, Walter Benjamin. (1993)
  • Operation Concrete (aka Opération béton) - Free - The first movie by Jean Luc Godard. It’s a short documentary about the building of the dam. (1955)
  • Orwell Rolls in His Grave - Free - America’s leading intellectuals discuss & examine the mix of businesses, politics & ideology that is the mainstream media. (2003)
  • Paul McCartney: Chaos & Creation at Abbey Road - Free - Sir Paul revisits the Beatles’ recording techniques and vintage instruments used by the band. (2005)
  • Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness Free - With Alain de Botton. A self-help guide which applies the teachings of philosophers to dealing with life’s everyday problems. (2000)
  • Philosophy and the Matrix: Return to the Source - Free -  Documentary looks at how The Matrix dealt with questions about religious revelation and authority, parapsychology, free will and determinism, and the nature of personal identity. (2004)
  • Pickin’ & Trimmin’ Free - Award-winning short documentary features bluegrass musicians in a down-home North Carolina barbershop. (2008)
  • Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii Free - Director’s cut. Features Pink Floyd performing six songs in the ancient Roman amphitheatre in Pompeii, Italy. (1972)
  • Portrait of an Artist: Jackson Pollock - Free - Documentary of the abstract expressionist artist narrated by Melvyn Bragg. (1987)
  • Portrait of a Bookstore as an Old Man - Free -Documentary revisits Shakespeare and Company, the most famous bookstore in Paris. (2005)
  • Portrait Werner Herzog - Free - A German production directed by Herzog himself, Portrait Werner Herzog shows the director in his homeland, in Munich. (1986)
  • Powers of Ten - Free - Famous short film depicts the relative scale of the Universe in factors of ten. Made by legendary designers Ray and Charles Eames. (1977)
  • Profile of a Writer: Jorge Luis Borges - Free - Arena documentary the life and writings of Argentina’s favorite son, Jorge Luis Borges. (1983)
  • Punk: the Early Years - Free - An early documentary on the musical movement that stormed Britain during the 1970s. Features important footage of early concerts. (1978)
  • Ray Bradbury: Story of a Writer - Free - A half-hour television documentary about Ray Bradbury. (1963)
  • Red Shirley - Free - Lou Reed’s short documentary on his fascinating 100-year-old cousin. (2010)
  • Report from the Aleutians - Free - John Huston, while a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1943, creates an Academy Award winning documentary about the Armed Forces’ effort to prevent the fall of the Aleutian Islands to Japanese troops. (1943)
  • Rock and Roll Heart - Free - American Masters documentary retraces the remarkable career of Lou Reed. (1998)
  • Room 666 Free - Wim Wenders interviews 16 directors (including Steven Spielberg, Jean-Luc Godard, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder) at the ’82 Cannes Film Festival and talks about the state of cinema. (1982)
  • Russia’s Open Book: Writing in the Age of Putin - Free - Stephen Fry hosts a documentary exploring the vital literary scene in contemporary Russia. (2014)
  • Scenes from Allen’s Last Three Days on Earth as a Spirit - Free - A kind of video diary of poet Allen Ginsberg’s last days. (1997)
  • ¿Sería Buenos Aires? - Free - An award-winning documentary looking at Argentina’s response to modern crises. (2006)
  • Soft Self Portrait of Salvador Dali - Free - French director Jean-Christophe Averty traveled to Spain in 1970 and shot a surreal biographical documentary on the artist. (1970)
  • Staircases to Nowhere: Making Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining - Free - An in-depth oral history of the production of Stanley Kubrick’s film, The Shining.
  • SuperSize Me - Free - Morgan Spurlock’s documentary on fast food in America. (2004)
  • Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story - Free - Controversial film tells the life story of Karen Carpenter with Barbie dolls. (1987)
  • Syd Barrett: Under Review - Free - features  rare live and studio performances from the early member of Pink Floyd. (2006)
  • Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life - Free – A musical short that features Duke Ellington’s early extended piece, “A Rhapsody of Negro Life.” Stars 19-year-old Billie Holiday. (1935)
  • Ten Days That Shook the World - Free - Originally called Oktyabr, Sergei Eisenstein’s film documents the Russian Revolution of 1917. A masterpiece by a pioneering filmmaker. (1928)
  • The American West of John Ford - Free - A documentary encapsulating the career and Western films of director John Ford, featuring interviews with John Wayne, James Stewart and Henry Fonda. (1971)
  • The Battle of Midway - Free - Directed by John Ford. Narrated by Henry Fonda. On June 4-6, 1942, Japanese forces attempted to capture Midway Island in the North Pacific, but were defeated by U.S. forces. On hand was a crew of naval photographers directed by John Ford. (1942)
  • The Battle of San Pietro - Free - John Huston’s war time documentary. (1945)
  • The Charles Bukowski Tapes - Free - A collection of 52 short interviews conducted by French filmmaker Barbet Schroeder, who directed the Bukowski-penned Barfly. (1987)
  • The Clash: Westway to the World - Free -  The Grammy-winning 2000 film is a fascinating look at the rise and fall of one of history’s greatest rock bands. (2000)
  • The Complete Citizen Kane - Free - (Second video on the page) Arena documentary looks at Welles’ masterpiece from every possible angle, even bringing in New Yorker critic Pauline Kael. (1991)
  • The Confessions of Robert Crumb - Free - A portrait of the artist scripted by the underground comics legend himself (1987)
  • The Fighting Lady - Free - Directed by William Wyler, this film provides a portrait of life on a World War II aircraft carrier (1944)
  • The Genius of Charles Darwin - Free - A three part series presented by Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins. (2008)
  • The God DelusionFree – Oxford evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins argues that the world would be better off without religion. The film accompanied a book by the same title. (2006)
  • The Henry Miller Odyssey - Free - Robert Snyder’s documentary, almost entirely narrated by Miller, follows the author through his early years, from his childhood in Brooklyn to his blissful exile in Paris. See more in the original review by The Harvard Crimson. (1969)
  • The History of the Typewriter Recited by Michael WinslowFree - Sound effects genius Michael Winslow performs the sounds of 32 typewriters made between 1898-1983. (2010)
  • The House I Live In - Free - A ten-minute short film starring Frank Sinatra made to oppose anti-Semitism and racial prejudice at the end of World War II. (1945)
  • The Land Where the Blues Began - Free - Alan Lomax takes you into the Mississippi Delta, into to the heart of the Blues. (1978)
  • The Last 48 Hours of Kurt CobainFree – British documentary takes a look the final days of Kurt Cobain, the Nirvana frontman who committed suicide in 1994. (2007)
  • The Last Journey of a Genius Free - Richard Feynman describes during his last days his longtime desire to travel to the remote country of Tannu Tuva. (1989)
  • The James Dean Story - Free - Documentary on the life and times of James Dean made by the great filmmaker Robert Altman — MASH, The Player, Gosford Park, etc. (1957)
  • The Making of Almost BlueFree - South Bank Show follows Elvis Costello to Nashville for the making of his album “Almost Blue.” (1981)
  • The Making of Dark Side of the MoonFree – A look inside the creation of a famous Pink Floyd album. (2003)
  • The Making of Koyaanisqatsi Free - Director Godfrey Reggio gives you the backstory behind his 1982 film, Koyaanisqatsi.
  • The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark - Free -  Directed by Phillip David Schuman, the film features candid on set scenes featuring Steven Spielberg directing and other behind the scenes footage with stars Harrison Ford and Karen Allen and producer George Lucas. (1981)
  • The March - Free - James Blues’s “visually stunning, moving, and arresting documentary of the hope, determination, and camaraderie” embodied by The Great March on Washington. (1964)
  • The Men Who Made the Movies: Hitchcock - Free - A look at Alfred Hitchcock’s films. The Master of Suspense himself, who is interviewed extensively here, shares stories about filmmaking. (1973)
  • The Miles Davis Story - Free - The definitive biography of a jazz legend. (2001)
  • The Mystery of PicassoFree - Pablo Picasso’s art emerges in front of our eyes in this remarkable film by the French master of suspense, Henri-Georges Clouzot. (1956)
  • The Nomi SongFree – Andrew Horn’s doc about the life of singer Klaus Nomi. Debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival and won a Teddy Award for “Best Documentary Film. (2004)
  • The Owl’s Legacy (L’Héritage de la chouette) - Free - Created by French director Chris Marker, this 13 episode program examines the roots of western culture in Ancient Greece. It was never broadcast. (1989)
  • The Penultimate Truth About Philip K. Dick - Free - Documentary about the mystical experiences of sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick. (2007)
  • The Photographer - Free - Reveals the philosophy, techniques & artistry of Edward Weston (1948)
  • The Pleasure of Finding Things OutFree – Features Richard Feynman, the charismatic, Nobel prize-winning physicist, talking in a very personal way about the joys of scientific discovery. (1981)
  • The Responsive Eye Free - Brian DePalma’s short film documenting the opening night of an OP ART exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1966.
  • The Seafarers - Free - It was Stanley Kubrick’s third film, and his first in color. Otherwise, not of great note. (1953)  
  • The Search for Robert Johnson - Free - UK television documentary about the legendary Delta blues musician Robert Johnson, hosted by John Hammond. (1991)
  • The Secret Life of Adolf Hitler - Free - 1950′s television documentary that includes interviews with Hitler’s sister Paula Wolf and footage from Eva Braun’s rare home movies.
  • The Space Shuttle Free - History of the US Space Shuttle program narrated by William Shatner. (2011)
  • The Spanish Earth - Free - A Spanish Civil War propaganda film written and narrated by Ernest Hemingway. (1937)
  • The Story of the Guitar - Free - A three part documentary reveals how the guitar came to “dominate the soundtrack of our lives.” (2008)
  • The Story of Wish You Were Here - Free - Takes you inside the making of Pink Floyd’s 1975 album. (2012)
  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead - Free - Narrated by Leonard Cohen and featuring the Dalai Lama, the film explores an essential teaching in the Buddhist cultures of the Himalayas. (1994)
  • The Times of Harvey Milk - Free - Rob Epstein’s Oscar winning documentary. (1984)
  • Triumph of the Will - Free - (1935) The major Nazi propaganda work by Leni Riefenstahl. With subtitles.
  • The Ten-Year Lunch - Free - Oscar-winning film about the writers who sat at the Algonquin Round Table in New York during the 1920s. (1986)
  • The True Glory - Free - War time propaganda documentary directed by Carol Reed, with General Dwight D. Eisenhower and General George S. Patton. (1945)
  • The Universal Mind of Bill Evans Free - 1966 documentary takes you inside the creative process/world of jazz pianist Bill Evans.
  • The Velvet Underground: A Symphony of Sound - Free - Produced by Andy Warhol, the film shows VU performing a 67-minute instrumental improvisation. (1966)
  • They Were There - Free - 30-minute film by Errol Morris, commissioned by IBM to celebrate the company’s centennial. Music by Philip Glass.
  • The World According to John Coltrane - Free - Produced with his widow Alice Coltrane, the documentary focuses on the later period of Coltrane’s work where he explored themes of Eastern spirituality. (1990)
  • There is No Authority But YourselfFree - Feature documentary about seminal anarcho-punk band Crass, directed by Dutch filmmaker Alexander Oey. (2006)
  • Thomas Pynchon: A Journey Into the Mind of P. - Free – A documentary, written & directed by Donatello Dubini & Fosco Dubini, on the reclusive novelist. (2008)
  • To Hear Your Banjo Play - Free - 16-minute introduction to American folk music, written & narrated by Alan Lomax and featuring rare performances by Woody Guthrie, Baldwin Hawes, Sonny Terry. (1946)
  • Tolstoy Remembered - Free -  Documentary features Tolstoy’s daughter. Directed by Michael Rabiger. (1970)
  • Tom Waits: A Day in Vienna - Free - Tom Waits sings and tells stories in film that originally aired on Austrian TV. (1979)
  • Toute la mémoire du monde (All the World’s Memories) - Free - Alain Resnais’s short documentary looks at the inner workings of the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. It’s “a meditative piece about the fragility of human memory and the ways in which we try to shore it up.” (1956)
  • TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard - Free -  Documentary based around the interpersonal triumphs and defeats of the three main figures running the file sharing web site, Pirate Bay. (2013)
  • Trapped: Andy Warhol’s Amiga ExperimentsFree – Short film documents how Carnegie Mellon experts recovered lost paintings that Andy Warhol made on the Commodore Amiga computer during the 1980s.
  • Tunisian Victory - Free - World War II documentary directed by Frank Capra and narrated by Burgess Meredith. (1944)
  • UFOs: It Has Begun Free - Documentary narrated by Rod Serling explores the existence of UFOs and extra-terrestrial beings. (1976)
  • Underground - Free - Directed by Emile de Antonio, Haskell Wexler and Mary Lampson, Underground revisits the radical activists the Weathermen. (1976)
  • Unguided Tour AKA Letter from Venice - Free - Susan Sontag adapted the Italian-language feature from her story of the same name, originally published in 1977 in the New Yorker. (1983)
  • Vietnam! Vietnam! Free - The last film produced by the legendary John Ford was a work of propaganda commissioned by the United States government in support of the Vietnam War. (1971)
  • Visit to Picasso Free - Belgian filmmaker Paul Haesaerts captures Picasso’s creative process. (1949)
  • Viva Joe Strummer - Free - A documentary look at the great frontman of The Clash. (2005)
  • Waiting for Beckett - Free - Rare feature-length documentary on the Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett. (1993)
  • Warhol’s Cinema – A Mirror for the Sixties - Free -This 64 minute documentary from 1989 examines Andy Warhol’s films from the 1960s. (You can view several of these films – EatSleep, and Kiss – here.)
    (1989)
  • WattstaxFree - Documents the “Black Woodstock” concert held 7 years after the Watts Riots. (1973)
  • Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe Free - Herzog loses a bet to Errol Morris and eats a shoe with the help of chef Alice Waters. (1980)
  • Whoever Says the Truth Shall Die Free - Film about the life, death, and philosophy of Pier Paolo Pasolini. (1981)
  • Who’s Afraid Of MachiavelliFree – This documentary asks how relevant Machiavelli’s book, The Prince, is 500 years after its publication. (2013)
  • Why We Fight - Free - A seven part series of WWII propaganda films directed by Frank Capra. (1943)
  • William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers - Free - Klaus Maeck’s in-depth interview with Burroughs. Includes a series of his readings, a collection of his appearances in other movies, and even images of his paintings. (1991)
  • WikiRebels - Free - Documentary by Swedish public television chronicles history of Wikileaks. (2010)
  • Woody Guthrie - Free – Covers the life of Woody Guthrie, America’s great travelling singer-songwriter. (1988)
  • You Don’t Know Jack - Free - Morgan Spurlock’s short documentary on the 15-year-old who invented a new way to detect early stage pancreatic cancer. (2013)
  • Young At Heart - Free - An Oscar winning documentary about two widowed artists in their mid-80′s who meet on a painting tour to England and fall madly in love. (2007)
  • Žižek! - Free - A study of philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Zizek, “Academic Rock Star” and “Monster” of a Man. (2005)

For a full lineup of great movies, please visit our complete collection of Free Movies Online.

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