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The 8 Best Free Films To Watch Legally On YouTube

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The Internet is a dark dangerous cavern of dark and dangerous things. Just one particularly grimy pocket is reserved for illegal movie downloads.

But it doesn't have to be this way. As well as services such as Netflix, Blinkbox and Amazon Prime, there's a wealth of free, completely legit, movies to stream on YouTube. We've gone through the stack and picked out the very best for your guilt-free pleasure.

The General

Year: 1926

Genre: Comedy

A bona fide classic co-directed by and starring Buster Keaton, this is commonly viewed as one of the greatest American films of all time. It was released during the end of the silent era and unfairly rejected by critics and audiences upon release yet later reexamined as a hilarious slapstick comedy that manages to be funnier than most of its far more technically advanced contemporaries.

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Nosferatu

Year: 1922

Genre: Horror

Another classic film here with a troubled history. After failing to obtain the rights to adapt Dracula, German producers set about making a dangerously similar version. The filmmakers were sued and all prints were destroyed, well, apart from one, which survived. Since then, it's become a cult favourite, loved for its visual beauty and haunting ability to make you check the shadows at night.

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His Girl Friday

Year: 1940

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Quite possibly the greatest screwball comedy ever made, the pairing of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell made for on-screen chemistry that most actors would kill their agent for. It helps that Charles Lederer's script is so packed with zippy one-liners that it's a joy to watch the two throw a parade of fast and funny barbs at each each other. A huge pleasure.

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Night Of The Living Dead

Year: 1968

Genre: Horror

The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, Zombieland, World War Z, pretty much every zombie movie or TV show you've ever seen wouldn't even exist without this genre-creating zombie horror from George A. Romero. Created on a shoestring budget of just $114k, it went on to become a worldwide hit and have a defining effect on horror films ever since.

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Plan 9 From Outer Space

Year: 1959

Genre: Sci-fi

If, like us, you enjoy a bad movie that's so bad, it becomes wildly enjoyable, then surely you've either seen this or made a mental note to track it down. Legendary director Ed Wood was so, ahem, inventive that he used footage of "star" Bela Lugosi from another unfinished project and spliced it into the movie. Cheaply made and often incoherent, it's an essential addition to your guilty pleasures pile.

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Life In A Day

Year: 2011

Genre: Documentary

Somethinjg entirely different here, both in genre and time period, this relatively recent documentary comes from producer Ridley Scott. It's a crowdsourced film that uses footage from video clips of people around the world and gives us an idea of life, in its many many forms. It alternates between moving and funny and always captivating, showcasing yet again that real life can outdo fiction quite easily.

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The Lady Vanishes

Year: 1938

Genre: Thriller

Before Hitchcock moved to the US to make many of the films he's best known for, he created a set of British thrillers, including this, arguably his greatest of that period. The simple yet effective story of a woman who goes missing yet a train full of passengers who deny her existence has been "borrowed" since (hello Flightplan) but Hitch's tale remains the most compelling.

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A Boy And His Dog

Year: 1975

Genre: Sci-fi

A cult favourite here that's believed to have inspired the game Fallout, this offbeat look at a dystopian future is well worth a watch. Filled with dark humour and a breakout performance from an 18-year-old Don Johnson, it's quirk won't appeal to everyone but that ending deserves a round of applause at the very least...

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