Nowadays, many of us are staying at home to help curb the spread of Covid-19. With that, we are continuously finding ways to keep ourselves entertained. One of them is watching movies on the Web.
It seems that almost everyone is hooked on Netflix and other streaming services to watch movies. But they don’t come cheap. Netflix, for example, can charge you as much as $17.99 per month (as of this writing).
Other alternatives will allow you to watch movies without having to pay anything. Bring out your DVD collection that has been sitting in the dust for years. Or look for free movies on YouTube. Yes, you read it right! YouTube now streams some full-length feature and short movies, as well.
Although YouTube’s library is not as expansive as Netflix or Disney+, and most of the free movies are old action films or rom-coms, you will find some surprising crowd-pleasers there. Of course, you will only have to sit through ads that usually pop up at the beginning or in the middle of the movie.
If you particularly love classic movies, you will find loads of them here on YouTube. Some of them include Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves, Stanley Donen’s Charade, classic Westerns such as Stagecoach, and even silent films like Buster Keaton’s 19-minute comedy outing One Week. There are also some contemporary movies, foreign films, and documentaries.
So bring out the popcorn, hop on the couch, and log in to YouTube for a (free) movie night! Check out the following suggestions that you might enjoy:
1. Unknown (2011)
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Liam Neeson, Unknown is a story about a man who wakes up from a four-day coma and realizes that his identity has been stolen. Although it received mixed critical reviews, it was a hit at the box-office, earning around $136 million against its $30 million budget.
2. Super Size Me (2004)
If Super Size Me were released today, it would have been a viral phenomenon that spurred a dietary revolution, and its creator and star Morgan Furlock would have been a famous influencer overnight. Instead, this is a simple food documentary that follows Furlock’s drastic physical and psychological changes after binging on only McDonald’s food for the entire month. The documentary also examines the fast-food industry’s corporate influence, including encouraging poor nutrition for the sake of profit.
3. Bicycle Thieves or The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Whether you’re a classic movie fan or not, you should not miss one of the greatest and most influential movies of all time. Bicycle Thieves (also known as The Bicycle Thief; original Italian title: Ladre di biciclette) is a neorealist Italian drama film directed by Vittorio de Sica. Set in 1948 postwar Rome, it tells a story about a working-class man whose bicycle is stolen, without which he will lose his job that will bring salvation to his family. He and his son set out to find it.
The movie is considered part of the canon of classic cinema. It received an honorary Oscar for the Most Outstanding Foreign film in 1950. But more importantly, it has influenced numerous directors, including Satyajit Ray and Ken Loach.
4. Charade (1963)
Considered as the “greatest Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made,” Charade is a romantic comedy and suspense thriller movie directed by Stanley Donen. Starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, Charade is a delightful romp known for its intelligent plot, witty dialogue and an unforgettable soundtrack courtesy of Henry Mancini. Romance and suspense follow in Paris as a woman becomes a target of several men who are after her fortune that her murdered husband had stolen. Whom will she trust?
5. One Week (1920)
One Week is a short silent comedy film starring Buster Keaton about a newly-wedded couple who receives a prefabricated house as a wedding gift. The house can be built, supposedly, in “one week.” Unbeknownst to them, a rejected suitor has sabotaged the kit component’s numbering. Keaton wrote the script and directed this 19-minute, two-reel film with Edward F. Cline. The humor of this silent film doesn’t get old, even 100 years after!
6. Mannequin (1987)
In the mood for some ‘80s rom-com? Fortunately, YouTube has some. Mannequin was one of the biggest box-office hits during the decade. A down-on-luck artist gets a job at a department store and falls in love with a mannequin, who comes to life on occasion but only for him. Well, we will not be leaving much here! Never mind the negative critical reviews and just enjoy the nostalgia.
7. Stagecoach (1939)
1939 was a banner year for movies, producing such classics as Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Wizard of Oz, and Stagecoach. This landmark Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne (in his star-making role) and Claire Trevor offers a rip-roaring adventure about a group of strangers riding on a stagecoach through the treacherous Apache territory.
8. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
One of the many public domain films, The Man with the Golden Arm was based on the novel by Nelson Algren of the same name. Directed by Otto Preminger and starring Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker and Kim Novak, this gritty drama film tells a story about a recovering drug addict who, after being released from prison, is struggling to stay clean in the outside world. The Man with the Golden Arm is pretty difficult to watch because of its subject matter, but the famous crooner Sinatra’s impressive acting holds the film together.
9. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The first modern and definitive zombie movie. Directed by George A. Romero and produced on a shoestring budget, it brought in $30 million (or about $230 million in today’s money) at the box office. The movie has gone beyond the “cult” status and is now consistent in several “greatest films of all time” lists. The fact that it is a low-budget, outdated film shot in black-and-white makes Night of the Living Dead even scarier.
10. Fist of Fury (1972)
If you’re into kung fu movies, chances are you have seen Fist of Fury at least once. It stars Bruce Lee in his second major film role as a martial artist who seeks vengeance for his teacher’s death. It was one of the highest-grossing films in Hong Kong, earning US $100 million worldwide (or about US $600 million in today’s money), and was soon followed by The Way of the Dragon, which grossed even higher.