September 19, 2022

I subscribe to lots of free movie channels on YouTube and wanted to point out two free movies channels that are really emerging as two of the best channels for classic old Hollywood movies. Unlike many classic movie YouTube channels that only offer public domain movies, these channels are licensing out some great classic Hollywood movies as well. And the quality of their movie uploads are usually high definition (HD 1080p) so they'll look really good on your TV as well your phone, tablet, or computer. Below I'll list some of the great movies each of these channels are offering, but here are the two channels you'll want to check out and probably subscribe to!

Retro Central YouTube Channel

Retrospective - Classic Movies YouTube Channel

I'll start with talking about Retro Central. From what I can see, Retro Central has they highest HD quality classic movies of any channel on YouTube. Their uploads are almost all HD and they look superb, both the movies they license and the public domain movies they offer. Lately they've been uploading one new classic HD movie every day to their channel. Years ago they were uploading TV to this channel, but now it's almost all classic movies. Below I'll link to some of their best movies on YouTube:

The African Queen (1951) - Director John Huston's classic adventure romance starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn going down a river in East Africa in a small steamboat. Beautiful cinematography by Jack Cardiff in glorious HD.

Joan of Arc (1948) - Biographical epic on the French saint played by Ingrid Bergman and directed by Victor Fleming. The complete 145-minute version in beautiful Technicolor HD.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965) - Director Russ Meyer's fun cult movie that features three go-go dancers that go on a killing spree in the desert. John Waters has called this movie the best movie ever made!

The Long Voyage Home (1940) - Classic John Ford picture starring John Wayne on his journey home during World War II. Citizen Kane cinematographer Gregg Toland lensed this movie. Based on four Eugene O'Neill plays.

Man Hunt (1941), Hangmen Also Die! (1943), and Cloak and Dagger (1946) - Three anti-Nazi films by the great director Fritz Lang! Lang got the hell out of Germany in 1934 and came to Hollywood and made many great films including these.

Bedazzled (1967) - Brit comedy directed by Stanley Donen and starring Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Eleanor Bron, and Raquel Welch. Dudley Moore is offered seven wishes by the Devil in swinging 60s London.

Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) - Highly regarded romance directed by Max Ophuls and starring Joan Fontaine and Louis Jourdan.

To Be or Not to Be (1942) - Great classic comedy by director Ernst Lubitsch starring Carole Lombard and Jack Benny. Controversial at the time, it finds comedy in the darkest of places in Nazi-occupied Warsaw at the start of World War II. Through a theater company, it satirizes the Nazis and their ridiculous ideology.

The Trial (1962) - Orson Welles' adaptation of Franz Kafka's novel starring Anthony Perkins. It is considered by many critics to be a masterpiece.

Under Capricorn (1949), Sabotage (1936), and The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) - Three Alfred Hitchcock thrillers currently on the channel in glorious HD! Under Capricorn stars Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten, Sabotage stars Sylvia Sidney, and the original The Man Who Knew Too Much stars Peter Lorre and Leslie Banks.

Nanook of the North (1922) - The highest quality version I've seen of Robert J. Flaherty's groundbreaking silent documentary set in the Canadian Arctic.

And there's a lot more to explore on the Retro Central YouTube Channel, including many public domain movies in very high quality HD uploads.

Now let's look at the channel Retrospective - Classic Movies. Like Retro Central this channel has been licensing out some really great classic movies. They generally upload three or four movies a week and their movies have just been getting better and better. Most of the movies on the channel are in HD and all the movies we highlight below are in high definition:

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) - The classic 1962 movie based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel! It won Best Picture, Best Actor for Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, and a lot of other awards. Not sure how long they licensed this movie for so watch it now!

Sabrina (1954) - Classic Billy Wilder romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden!

Dolemite (1975), The Human Tornado (1976), Petey Wheatstraw (1977), and Disco Godfather (1979) - Four hilarious blaxploitation comedies starring Rudy Ray Moore including Dolemite!

Charade (1963) - Another Audrey Hepburn classic romantic comedy this time with Cary Grant. Directed by Stanley Donen, it is considered Hitchcockian.

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) - Dario Argento's first movie is also one of his best. This classic giallo was shot by the amazing cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.

Forbidden Zone (1980) - Cult movie directed by Richard Elfman and starring the Los Angeles theater troupe The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. Richard's famous brother Danny Elfman composed the music and is also in the film where he plays Satan. A midnight movie classic!

Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939) - Classic romance starring Leslie Howard and Ingrid Bergman in her Hollywood debut.

And there are many other gems worth watching on this the Retrospective - Classic Movies. A lot of good public domain films as well, many of which are in HD.

I'll keep adding more great movies to this blog post as these channels add more. Both of these channels have over 100,000 YouTube subscribers, and hopefully they'll keep growing so they can offer way more free great classic movies!