Public Domain Movies

Alco Beat (1965)
Running Time: 12 mins Black & White

A supervised test, illustrating the effects of alcohol on driving ability, is staged in a parking lot.

Aloha Hot Volcano (1959)
Running Time: 3 mins Black & White
Starring: US Archives
Eruption of Kilauea Iki volcano in Hawaii in 1959.To purchase a clean DVD or digital download of this film for personal home use or educational use contact us at To license footage from this film for commercial use visit:

American Harvest Part I (1955)
Running Time: 13 mins Black & White

This institutional film was designed to promote Chevrolet's corporate citizenship rather than any specific model of automobile. While it forcefully demonstrates how central automobile manufacturing is to the American economy, it even more strikingly shows the effects of the automobile upon our landscape. Bombastic narration is accompanied by excellent images of automobile manufacturing, the extraction and processing of raw materials from the earth, and mid-1950s consumerism. Cinematography: Gordon Avil, Pierre Mols and Robert Tavernier. Music: Samuel Benavie. Narrator: John Forsythe. Revised from the original 1951 version.

American Negro (1960)
Running Time: 25 mins Black & White
Starring: James Farmer,
In the case of an early 1960s United States Information Agency (USIA) film with the working title of The American Negro, NARA received a mish-mash of elements.

An Introduction to Eyes and Their Care (1941)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

Animated drawings explain physiology of sight; how eyeglasses work.

Appreciating Our Parents (1950)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

Young Tommy sneaks around and discovers that his parents work hard to take care of him and his messes. After watching them slave and toil, he learns that he should be "a real member of his family team," so he can get a bigger allowance. Films like this tried to introduce kids to the idea of being a productive member of society.

Ascaris - A Human Parasite (1972)
Running Time: 11 mins Black & White
Starring: Dan Givan
Shows the life cycle and methods of treatment for infection by Ascaris lumbricoides, a human parasitic worm, and the sanitary steps needed to prevent infection.

Car Surveillance (1974)
Running Time: 28 mins Color

This film explores techniques used by surveillance teams, specifically the use of three cars to monitor the subject. -

Carving Magic (1959)
Black & White

1959 film from Swift and Company demonstrates how to correctly carve a turkey...and other cuts of meat as well. That's TV favorite Harvey Korman as "Al" in the film.

Century 21 Calling (1962)
Running Time: 14 mins Black & White
Starring: Robert W. Larsen
Two perky teens explore every inch of the telephone exhibit at Seattle's fair.

Chemical Munitions Testing (1970)
Running Time: 9 mins Color

Department of Defense. Department of the Army. U.S. Army Materiel Command. U.S. Army Pictorial Center.

Choosing For Happiness (1950)
Running Time: 13 mins Black & White
Starring: Henry A. Bowman, Renee Nell
Premarital advice for young women.

Civil Disturbances - Principles of Control (1968)
Running Time: 13 mins Color

Riot control refers to the measures used by police, military, or other security forces to control, disperse, and arrest civilians who are involved in a riot, demonstration, or protest.

Danger, Women at Work (1943)
Running Time: 59 mins Black & White
Starring: Patsy Kelly, Mary Brian, Isabel Jewell
3 women inherit a 10 ton truck and decide to go into business.

Domestic Violence Awareness for Probation and Pretrial Services Officers (2004)
Running Time: 80 mins Color
Starring: Federal Judicial Center
This broadcast is a revision of the training program that was first broadcast in November 1998. It defines domestic violence, provides victim and perpetrator characteristics, and explains why relationships continue.

Dry Rot (1956)
Running Time: 87 mins Black & White
Starring: Ronald Shiner, Brian Rix, Sidney James
A trio of not particularly bright bookmakers tries to fix a horse race.

Each Child is Different (1954)
Running Time: 15 mins Black & White

The children in your classroom lead very dramatic lives.

Earthworm Tractors (1936)
Running Time: 69 mins Black & White
Starring: Joe E. Brown, June Travis, Guy Kibbee
Alexander Botts is a self described natural born salesman and master mechanic, who is trying to make a big sale of Earthworm tractors to grouchy lumberman Johnson. Since Botts doesn't really know anything about tractors, and since the old fashioned Johnson is opposed to tractors of any kind, it isn't going to be an easy sell. But Botts perseveres, encouraged by Johnson's daughter.

Elements of Tempering, Normalizing and Annealing (1994)
Running Time: 13 mins Color

Explains how steel is tempered, how the structure, toughness, and hardness of plain carbon steel changes at progressive tempering stages, and how steel is normalized and annealed. Describes the results. Category Education

Elevator Safety ( )
Black & White

Elkmont Rural Village (1933)
Running Time: 1 mins Color
Starring: National Archives and Records Administration
ELKMONT VALLEY SOLAR ENERGY: Elkmont Rural Village - National Archives and Records Administration - ARC Identifier 37534 / Local Identifier 142.21 - Tennessee Valley Authority. (1933 - ). DVD copied by IASL Master Scanner Timothy Vollmer.

Eskimo Family (1959)
Running Time: 16 mins Black & White

The barren life of an Inuit family and their children in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Arctic Canada more than fifty years ago.

Facts About Projection (1950)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

How to set up a film projector. This film, set in a 1950's school classroom, teaches the young projectionist how to put on a good show. Tripping over the power cord is optional!

Give Yourself the Green Light (1954)
Running Time: 22 mins Black & White

Advocacy film produced to garner public support for the creation of the Interstate Highway System.

Good Grooming for Girls (1948)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White
Starring: Don and Sue
Siblings Don and Sue show how they keep themselves well groomed throughout the school week and for their Friday night dates." Stresses health, posture, cleanliness, and neatness.

How Computers Work - Man vs Machine (1950)
Running Time: 9 mins Black & White

Information Machine - the history of storing and analyzing information from the days of the cavemen to today's age of electronic brains. Live film & Animation showing how computers work. 1950s

How Money is Made (1920)
Running Time: 11 mins Black & White

The making of coins at Canada's Royal Mint, 1920. Background and context

How To Keep A Job (1949)
Black & White
Starring: Prelinger Archives
What you need to do to stay employed: choose the right job, get along with colleagues, maintain positive attitude, etc.

How to Say No (1951)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

This classroom training film is somewhat unusual in that, instead of the usual indoctrination about fitting in and not doing anything to draw attention to yourself, it actually encourages teenagers to think for themselves and act on their conscience. It tells the story of three teenagers and how they resisted the temptation of drinking, smoking and sex by standing up to the "gang" and not going along with this "dangerous" and "immoral" behavior.

How to Use Classroom Films (1963)
Running Time: 14 mins Black & White

Using Documentaries

How to Use Your Ration Coupons (1942)
Running Time: 5 mins Black & White
Starring: Amanda Lee
Miss Amanda Lee shows us how to use our ration coupons. World War 2 educational film.

Introduction to Haiti (1942)
Running Time: 9 mins Color
Starring: Milton John Cross
Presents a tourist's view of Haiti: its history, tradition, daily life of the people, Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien and Henri Christophes' Palace. In Kodachrome. Producer and Director: Mary Darling. Narrator: Milton J. Cross.

It's Your Library (1947)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

Dick, sent by his mother to the library, had rather play baseball until he finds, with the help of a friendly librarian, that it's not such a bad place after all.

Jobs and Work - When You Grow Up (1949)
Black & White

Jobs and Work - You and Your Work (1948)
Running Time: 10 mins Color
Starring: Frank Taylor
Young Frank Taylor loathes working at a shoe store, but discovers that he is doomed to hate any job unless he changes his attitude. After a motivational lecture by his high school guidance counselor, Frank looks forward to working the rest of his life selling shoes.

Junkyard Guards (2005)

Kariina's Classroom (2009)
Running Time: 4 mins Color

These powerful stories underscore critical lessons for financial literacy. The themes of financial responsibility, preparation, and decision making are woven throughout.

Keep It Safe, Keep It Clean (1956)
Running Time: 75 mins Black & White
Starring: Ronald Shiner, James Hayter
Advertising agent Bert Lane (Ronald Shiner) plans to market his brother-in-law's Peter's (Colin Gordon) new miracle cleaning machine. However, Bert's boss Mr. Bouncenboy (James Hayter) wants him to advertise Mrs Anstey's famous crumpets, but Bert's cheesecake advertising slogans incur the wrath of Mrs Anstey (Jean Cadell) and her Purity League, as well as his boss.

Keeping the Global Supply Chain Moving (1989)
Running Time: 6 mins Color

Showcases how freight moves through the supply chain, the importance of an efficient transportation system for reliable freight movement, and the impact the transportation system has on the economy.

Kilns and Dryers (2004)
Running Time: 10 mins Color

We are a company dedicated to quality design, supply, installation and repair and maintenance of industrial processing equipment, including rotary dryers, kilns and ball mills. Our team has the knowledge and experience to get, and keep, your units running smoothly. We are here to serve your present needs, as well as your future requirements. Our crews handle small or big jobs. We perform all of our services with a commitment to quality and cost effectiveness. As our vision statement outlines, we want to be your solutions provider and our response and measurable positive impact to your business is what motivates us. With 24-hour customer service support, we are here to answer your questions and offer our expertise. Call us at 877-316-6140 or email

Know for Sure )
Black & White

Dramatization of how to get a Blood Test for Syphillis.

Know Your Rights (1996)

LSD Psychedelic Hallucinogen (1967)
Running Time: 36 mins Color

I don't usually post talking head lectures, but this 1967 mix of facts, distortions and exaggerations [when you are high on LSD you ARE PSYCHOTIC] is more interesting than most, particularly when combined with the psychedelic intro/extro music and title page. It is, of course, understandable that the US Navy was not keen on having sailors on duty (e.g., conducting carrier deck ops) while tripping or hungover. 'Navy physician talks about the dangers of LSD or "Russian roulette in a sugar cube..." "How LSD was discovered, the extreme dangers of using it and how it affects the brain and body."'

Making Sauerkraut (2009)
Running Time: 38 mins Color

Provides a thorough overview of basic canning and preserving processes for pickling foods. The program reviews the necessary steps for making sauerkraut, pickling vegetables and infusing vinegars. Further described are the equipment, preparations, storage methods, storing, causes of spoilage, canning and procedures needed, as well as the making of herb, fruit and fruit juice vinegars.

More Dangerous Than Dynamite (1941)
Running Time: 9 mins Black & White

Many accidental deaths each year are caused by carelessness in the home leading to fires. Such causes are leaving plugged in irons unattended, standing next to gas heaters wearing combustible clothing, hiding frayed electrical cords underneath rugs, placing pennies behind fuse plugs, smoking in bed, dealing with electrical equipment while bathing, burning rubbish in unventilated areas, leaving open paint buckets and oil soaked rags lying around, and using gasoline as a home dry cleaning fluid. With the latter, commercial dry cleaning establishments are subject to safety regulations which are not present in the home. And commercial establishments are run by those who know the dangers of the materials with which they are working.

Outsider, The (1958)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White
Starring: Centron Productions

Personality and Emotions (1954)
Running Time: 12 mins Black & White

Why do we have emotions? How do they work?

Promotion By-Pass (1958)
Running Time: 8 mins Color
Starring: Mcgraw Hill Films

Putting Pants on Philip (1927)
Running Time: 19 mins Black & White
Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Chester A. Bachman
Pompous J. Piedmont Mumblethunder, greets his nephew from Scotland, who arrives in kilts. He is immediately taken to a tailor for a pair of proper pants.

Radio Teletypewriter (1963)
Running Time: 26 mins Black & White

You are looking at a shelter, mounted on a three-quarter-ton truck. Both are standard United States Army equipment...It houses one of the smallest radio teletypewriter units available for tactical communication.

Right or Wrong (1951)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

Produced By the Coronet Instructional Films Division of Coronet Magazine.

Rumpus In The Classrooms (1950s)
Black & White

Outrageous, straightforward educational shorts from the 1950's and 1960's, featuring "Joan Avoids Cold", "Candy Is Healthy," "Dating Do's and Don'ts" and "Fun with Speech Songs."

Safe...Not Sorry )
Running Time: 1 mins Black & White

Though the era of 16mm educational cinema has come to a close, those quirky films unspooled in the mid-century American classroom continue to fascinate viewers today. And no group of titles is more popular than the safety films. Presenting scenarios that couldn't be depicted in a textbook or described from a lectern, safety films capitalized on the drama and spectacle of death—lurking around every corner, in every pair of scissors, in every overloaded electrical cord, on every park bench where a stranger pets a puppy.The techniques employed by the fourteen films in this collection include: slapstick comedy (Step Right Up, on ladder safety), docudrama (Our Obligation, a large-scale reenactment of a tragic schoolhouse fire), fantasy (Safety: Harm Hides at Home, which features an accident-fighting Wonder Woman knock-off named Guardiana), and animation (Lucky You, from the legendary Jam Handy studios). And no safety collection would be complete without an homage to the "King of Calamity," Sid Davis (the child-molester film Dangerous Stranger and the unintentionally sadistic Live and Learn)

Safety With Animals (1961)
Running Time: 12 mins Color

Shows how to approach and handle beasts, both wild and domestic, with an emphasis on dogs and horses.

Schizophrenia Model Psychosis Induced by LSD 25 (1955)
Running Time: 23 mins Black & White

This film provides footage of University of California medical tests with LSD. - ARC 1662201 / LI 263.1153 National Archives - Schizophrenic Model Psychosis Induced by Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) - National Security Council. Central Intelligence Agency. (09/18/1947 - 12/04/1981). -

School For Danger (1947)
Running Time: 68 mins Black & White
Starring: Harry Rée, Jacqueline Nearne
School for Danger (also known as Now It Can Be Told) is a 1947 British docudrama film directed by Teddy Baird depicting the training and deployment of agents of the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. The film stars real-life SOE agents Captain Harry Rée and Jacqueline Nearne.

School For Ted (1964)

Self-Conscious Guy (1951)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

Shows how the feelings of self-consciousness keep a high school boy from doing his class work well or making friends easily. The boy discovers many of his classmates suffer from similar feelings, but that several of them have overcome these feelings and developed poise and self-assurance. If you watch this bland film expecting to see another Shy Guy you'll be disappointed. It follows the tribulations of "Marty," who wants a part in the school play but whose self-consciousness dooms him to the inferior role of stage hand. He feels, he explains, "as if there was a spotlight on me," and the inferior stage hands at Coronet help us understand this by shining a spot on Marty whenever he has a nervous moment. Cheap, but effective. Happily, Marty's life turns around when he discovers that he's more confident than leading man "Jack" when it comes to ping pong. Marty, who also starred in How To Say No, has a swath of shaved skin around his ears so wide you could park a truck on it.

Speak Easily (1932)
Running Time: 82 mins Black & White
Starring: Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante
In this film, Buster Keaton stars as Professor Post, a naïve college pedant who mistakenly believes he has inherited $750,000. Post then gets mixed up with a two-bit theatrical troupe. Enchanted by the troupe's libertine leading lady Eleanor Espere, the professor agrees to finance their Broadway-bound musical.

Stage Fright and What to Do About It (1949)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White
Starring: Arthur H. Wolf
Stage fright or performance anxiety is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia which may be aroused in an individual by the requirement to perform in front of an audience, whether actually or potentially (for example, when performing before a camera). In the context of public speaking, this may precede or accompany participation in any activity involving public self-presentation. In some cases stage fright may be a part of a larger pattern of social phobia or social anxiety disorder, but many people experience stage fright without any wider problems. Quite often, stage fright arises in a mere anticipation of a performance, often a long time ahead. It has numerous manifestations: fluttering or pounding heart, tremor in the hands and legs, sweaty hands, diarrhea, facial nerve tics, dry mouth, and erectile dysfunction.

Technique of Hand Sending (1944)
Running Time: 12 mins Black & White


The Camera Speaks (1934)
Running Time: 11 mins Black & White
Starring: Leo Donnelly, William Jennings Bryan, Dorothy Dalton
An elderly night watchman at the Vitagram movie studio falls asleep and dreams about the old days.

The Celluloid Salesman )
Running Time: 1 mins Color

NEW! This fourth collection of classroom shorts from the A/V Geeks Film Library reveals how sly marketers used 16mm films to shape new generations of loyal consumers. Under the pretense of education, these filmmakers in gray flannel suits promoted their products in the guise of phony newsreels (News Cavalcade), classroom shorts (Your Daily Bread), and travelogues (This Is...Elk Country) -- forerunners of the modern-day infomercial. They depict an American consumer wonderland in which furniture is doused with DDT (Doomsday for Pests), a blender is a piece of modern sculpture (Comprehending Blending), and sex goes hand-in-hand with the sale of copier toner (Miss Puff).

The Mail - A Story of the United States Postal Service (1938)
Running Time: 12 mins Black & White

A regular letter is written, addressed, mailed and carried across the country on a streamlined train. An answer goes back air mail, special delivery. 1938 Hollywood production directed by Visual Instructionist and Postal Authorities

The Outsider (1958)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White
Starring: Centron Productions

The People and the Police - Oakland (1974)
Running Time: 24 mins Color

This film is about police brutality in Oakland, California, 1974. Narrator talks about how town was over half black in 1960's and police force was all white. How African Americans were generally treated with disrespect. Some of policemen interviewed say they were hired as super cops and did not want to change way things were run. Changes were implemented, African Americans were hired, and African Americans in the community were beginning to feel a change as older policemen were told to less aggressive or be fired. Action Review Panel was set up to review police community relations. Several incidents resulting in arrest of African Americans and charges of disorderly conduct were heard by panel. Speaking in this film is Ron Dellums and police chief, George Hart. Song, "Hey, You Old Oakland Town" is heard as camera scans streets and black community of Oakland.

The Road to Health and Happiness (1937)
Running Time: 17 mins Black & White

This silent film advocates leading a healthy, productive life and recommends particular rules to make this so. These include: good mental habits, a contented mind, proper reading and entertainment, Sunday school, and church. Bodily cleanliness, fresh air, sleep, and exercise are advised. Girls are seen playing tennis, roller skating, and swimming. Good posture is advised and demonstrated by girls in bathing suits. The need for sunlight is stressed. Children are advised to cross streets carefully and respect policemen. The duties of the local health department are outlined as well. On the first day of school, the immunization status of students is written on the board. Not all are up to date, but two weeks later, the roster indicates that all have been examined and immunized. Good nutrition is taught; the foods shown. Dental and medical examinations are advised. Two young girls are shown receiving a smallpox vaccination and tuberculin test. The girls visit a dentist and have examinations and X-rays. Tooth-brushing instructions are given and demonstrated by the dentist. Orthodontia is advised in some cases.

The Self Image Film - If Mirrors Could Speak (1976)
Running Time: 11 mins Color
Starring: Ted Zarpas
A group of misbehaving children come across a magic mirror that, when they look into it, shows them as clowns and tries to convince them to change their disruptive behavior.

The Story of Hoover Dam (1981)
Running Time: 28 mins Black & White

Explains the overwhelming need to control and regulate the raging waters of the Colorado River.This historical recording from the National Archives may contain variations in audio and video quality based on the limitations of the original source material.

Trouble With Women, The (1958)
Running Time: 6 mins Black & White

From the "Plant Supervisors' Problems series comes this tale of Brad and his trouble with women. The film leaves with a dangling question, meant to be answered by an eager audience of factory workers.

Use Your Eyes (1970)
Running Time: 13 mins Black & White
Starring: Barney Petty
The Alhambra California Police Department had this film produced to train their police officers to detect drug use in the home.

When You Grow Up )
Running Time: 1 mins Color

Why We have Elections or The Kings of Snark (1972)
Running Time: 9 mins Color

The demise of Bad King Boris, a despot without heirs, leaves the citizens of Snark with a dilemma: who will be king, and how will he be chosen? First, everyone wants to be king, then no one. Eventually, they discover the electoral process.

Woodblock Printer (1968)
Running Time: 15 mins Color
Starring: Lowell Naeve
Follow the step-by-step execution of a woodblock print by artist Lowell Naeve from initial sketch to completed edition. Emphasizes the unique qualities of the medium for creative expression. Very cool. 1968