Monday 1 January 2024

Claude Gonzalez's GUIDE TO FREE MOVIES ONLINE (Part Two) - On YouTube

William Holden, Stalag 17

is is the second part of a list that was originally compiled by Claude Gonzalez after he took over the presentation of the final few weeks of David Stratton's long ongoing University of Sydney course on a the History of World Cinema. It is intended as a guide for those who will now have to self-navigate through the thickets of online cinephilia. As Claude remarked however, a good number of classics by established filmmakers are available online for free.  But not everything... 

The first tranche provided links to  Kanopy, Tubi, SBS OnDemand, ABC I-view and more. You can find it if you CLICK HERE 

Two sites that Claude advises could have been added to the first tranche are -  Plus this one: which is rich with obscure and experimental films. (Thanks Jenny Gray for the reminder.)

These are lists of resources and recommendations that Claude created for his own film students that could help with your search for elusive titles.  He hopes readers find the following useful, and that it brings you many hours of film viewing pleasure.  

Now read on as Claude explores the amazing world of YouTube


Since 2005 YouTube has been enabling people from all over the world to disseminate videos, with many of them feature films. Like other free online services, the quality, and the way to find the films varies, but within there are many listings that cater to film classics and that are of a high standard. 


Like the rest of the online services, I have mentioned it does not have everything, but it’s worth going to first when you’re trying to find a film or genre you want.  The majority of the videos available are free, but now and then YouTube will suggest that you can rent or buy it from them if it is not online.  Ads do appear, as this is part of their revenue, and they will pop on and off when you are watching some of the films on the site.


When searching for a film you’ll need to apply some lateral thinking and get used to how YouTube users group their films and playlist.  Each film page allows you to adjust the ratio, subtitles, and screen sizes.   To help you get started I have created a set of links that will help you find some films classics – most of the following tiles are good to high quality prints.


Old Films Revival Project


For example, here is Billy Wilder’s Stalag 17:



Example - King Vidor’s Duel in the Sun:



Akira Kurosawa and friends

Films by Akira Kurosawa:


Japanese cinema:




Retrospective (hit the subscribe button)


We Stream TV


Alfred Hitchcock (left)

Alfred Hitchcock – 56 Films:



Robert Rossellini – 21 films:


An excellent copy of Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy:



Hollywood Movies:


Flick Vault:


Now Playing:





Italian films


French cinema:


Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

English Cinema:



Cult Cinema Classics:


There you go that’s the Classics free list. 

In short use Kanopy, You Tube, SBS on Demand and Tubi first – they are all reliable and you’ll be able to watch many films that are part of the film canon plus some genre gems. If you cannot find what you're after there – then move onto the online libraries – the quality varies and they can become rabbit holes, but it sometimes has obscure film gold.  I hope theses links are helpful and bring you many hours of viewing pleasure. 

Kind Regard 



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