A Playlist of the 3,300 Best Films & Documentaries on Youtube, Including Works by Hitchcock, Kubrick, Errol Morris & Other Auteurs


Once upon a time, the most con­ve­nient means of dis­cov­er­ing movies was cable tele­vi­sion. This held espe­cial­ly true for those of us who hap­pened to be ado­les­cents on a break from school, ready and will­ing morn­ing, mid­day, or night to sit through the com­mer­cial-laden likes of Corvette Sum­mer, Tran­syl­va­nia 6–5000, BMX Ban­dits, or Free­jack. Click on any of those links, and you can watch the rel­e­vant pic­ture free on Youtube; click on the link to this playlist, and you’ll find 3,000 of the best films now avail­able on that plat­form (the exact num­ber may vary depend­ing on your region of the world), as curat­ed by Learnoutloud.com.


Not all these movies belong in the cheap-thrills bin. You’ll also find the work of cel­e­brat­ed auteurs like Alfred Hitch­cock (The Man Who Knew Too Much, The 39 Steps), Stan­ley Kubrick (Fear and DesireBar­ry Lyn­don), Aki­ra Kuro­sawa (Der­su Uza­laDreams), and Woody Allen (Mighty Aphrodite, Cas­san­dra’s Dream).

Then here are the doc­u­men­taries, gath­ered here on their own playlist, includ­ing Errol Mor­ris’ Gates of Heav­en and The Thin Blue Line and Wern­er Her­zog’s The Great Ecsta­sy of Wood­carv­er Stein­er and Lessons of Dark­ness. You can even find relat­ed pic­tures across gen­res: con­sid­er fol­low­ing Lost in La Man­cha, which doc­u­ments Ter­ry Gilliam’s thwart­ed efforts to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, with The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.


“Almost all of these movies are free with ads,” writes Learnoutloud.com’s David Bis­chke, though YouTube Pre­mi­um sub­scribers will be able to watch ad-free. “Like any stream­ing ser­vice, the rights to these movies change fre­quent­ly, espe­cial­ly on YouTube’s offi­cial Movies and TV chan­nel. So if you see a movie you real­ly want to watch, then check it out soon!” If you’ve been mean­ing to get into Raise the Red Lantern and To Live by direc­tor Zhang Yimou, to learn about artists and musi­cians like Jack­son Pol­lock and Glenn Gould, or to behold a young Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger’s ear­ly appear­ances in Pump­ing Iron and Her­cules in New York, now’s the time. And with Vice Ver­sa and Dream a Lit­tle Dream cur­rent­ly avail­able, why not revis­it the sub­genre of the eight­ies body-switch com­e­dy while you’re at it?

P.S. In case you’re won­der­ing about the legal­i­ty of the films, the Learnout­loud site notes:  To make the playlist, “the movies had to be legal­ly free on YouTube either from YouTube’s offi­cial Movies and TV chan­nel, from a YouTube chan­nel legal­ly dis­trib­ut­ing the movie, or from a movie on YouTube that is in the pub­lic domain.” Just thought you might want to know…

Relat­ed con­tent:

4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More

Kino Lor­ber Lets You Stream 146 Films on YouTube: Til­da Swin­ton, Samuel L. Jack­son, Steve Busce­mi, Buster Keaton & More

Watch Free Cult Films by Stan­ley Kubrick, Fritz Lang, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi & More on the New Kino Cult Stream­ing Ser­vice

Watch More Than 400 Clas­sic Kore­an Films Free Online Thanks to the Kore­an Film Archive

Down­load 6600 Free Films from The Prelinger Archives and Use Them How­ev­er You Like

Based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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  • David Spisak says:

    Nice catch. ‘Bury Lyn­don (John­son)’ fills the gap between Pre­minger’s “Joan of Arc” (1957) and the 2024 por­trait en rouge of King Charles VIII (which I find to be rather live­ly and appeal­ing — aes­thet­i­cal­ly). It is nec­es­sary to defuse this sort of object from uncon­scious influ­ence. Then what­ev­er one decides to do — no resid­ual ghosts.

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