Public Domain Movies

A Is For Atom (1952)
Running Time: 14 mins Color

General Electric sponsors this explanation of atomic energy, detailing some of its uses besides the bomb. Using animation and an off-screen narrator, the film describes the atom, elements and isotopes, the discovery of transmutation, experiments in artificial transmutation, and the reasons for the power of nuclear fission. The film argues that now, besides war, the atomic age holds promise for energy, farming, medicine, and research. The promise of the atomic age will depend on human wisdom.

Dear Uncle (1953)
Running Time: 9 mins Color
Starring: Frank Nelson, Herb Vigran.

Destination Earth (1956)
Running Time: 13 mins Color
Starring: Marvin Miller, Edmon Ryan
The American Petroleum Institute presents "Destination Earth"... The cartoon begins by establishing the planet Mars, ruled by a dictator named Ogg. The Martians are small green guys with big noses and space helmets. The poor guys are herded by soldiers into a space-age coliseum where Ogg forces them to applaud as they hear his criticisms of problems with martian ground transportation - no good fuel and too much friction. A single Martian is sent to Earth to find a solution. The intrepid Martian crashes his saucer into a farm, sets forth into the city, learns about the glorious benefits of petroleum AND capitalist competition, steals a few library books, and heads back to Mars. He excitedly reveals the truths he's learned to the crowd in the coliseum. The crowd is fueled by the spirit of capitalism and the dictatorship breaks down instantly, to be replaced by the Oil Pioneers, the Oil Explorers, and new management. And we learn that a future with oil and competition is Destination Unlimited.

Fill ‘Er Up (1959)
Running Time: 12 mins Color
Starring: Carl Urbano

Going Places (1948)
Running Time: 9 mins Color

Cold War-era cartoon aimed at convincing workers that increased productivity brings about greater purchasing power.

It’s Everybody’s Business (1954)
Running Time: 20 mins Color
Starring: Macdonald Carey, Herb Vigran
A film about American capitalism.

Meet King Joe (1949)
Running Time: 9 mins Color
Starring: Joe
Pro-business cartoon explaining the role of investment capital in building America's prosperity. Joe, who wears overalls and talks with a pseudo-Brooklyn accent, is king of the workers of the world because the machinery in his factory multiplies strength and efficiency. This is part of the American way of doing things, the narrator tells us. Because of far-sighted investment in industry, the American worker, personified by Joe, is "king of the workers of the world," and he has higher wages and shorter hours than his counterparts abroad. Meet King Joe argues that in view of the rewards workers reap from the American economic system, it is in labor's best interest to cooperate with management.

Race Car Mystery Kangaroo Express - Race Car Mystery (1950)
Running Time: 20 mins Color
Starring: Richard Cotting, Margaret Kerry, Emil Sitka
Clutch's friend has his car sabotaged in a race.When Clutch shows up, the same thing happens to him.

The Devil and John Q (1951)
Running Time: 9 mins Color
Starring: Frank Nelson
The devil poses as a business tycoon to try and raise the price on home living to start another war and it's up to John Q to stop him.

What Makes Us Tick (1952)
Running Time: 12 mins Color


Why Play Leap Frog? (1950)
Running Time: 10 mins Color
Starring: Joe, Workers
Joe, who paints doll faces at the Dilly Dolly doll factory, is down in the mouth. He can't make ends meet. An unexpected wage raise brightens his spirits. Now he can buy his young daughter a birthday present. He decides upon, not surprisingly, a doll. At the toy shop, he flies into a rage. The doll costs two dollars. He knows there is only ten cents worth of material in the thing. The store manager tries to explain that because Joe's company increased the cost of its latest shipment, his store had to increase the price of the doll. Joe will have none of it. It's up to the narrator to talk some sense into Joe and give him an economics lesson. Soon Joe understands such things as labor costs and profits. Suddenly he hits upon an idea that improves productivity at his company, drives down costs, and thus improves the economy. Now, a Dilly Dolly doll is only one dollar; and Joe's wage raise really means something.

Your Safety First (1956)
Running Time: 12 mins Color
Starring: Marvin Miller, George O'Hanlon
The film opens with a newspaper from the distant future of October 5, 2000 with headlines reading "Space Travel to Mars" and "tax cuts." The protagonist of the short begins by debating whether to buy a new car or not as his family watches 3-D television. A show then comes on explaining the history of the automobile. The show within the show moves through the beginning of the 20th century starting with hand cranking cars and topless buggies. The clip moves through the decades explaining new inventions like windshield wipers and suspension systems.