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Best Streaming Platforms to Watch Old Movies

This post shares the best streaming sites, platforms, and channels showing old films.

These days it’s easier than ever to find great classic films online, on TV, or at your fingertips. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look. This post will outline some of the best platforms for you to access all of your favorite classic movies.

Turner Classic Movies

Among the most famous and long-running channels devoted to showing the best of old Hollywood is Turner Classic Movies or TCM. Since 1994 TCM has been committed to programming old favorites (its inaugural broadcast was a screening of Gone With the Wind) as well as hidden studio gems from Hollywood’s Golden Age, arthouse classics from around the world, and newer American independents, too. Their monthly programs include a broad range of domestic and global cinema, and their website also allows you to stream their full library of films. As a leader in beloved older films, the platform also includes, perhaps, the most extensive library of silent cinema available online, whenever you’d like.

Criterion Channel

Cinephiles the world over recognize the Criterion name as one of the best in film preservation, distribution, and restoration. Originally started in the 1980s as a DVD imprint, Criterion now offers much of its beloved collection of classic movies online on the Criterion Channel. The channel consists of Criterion’s library of over one thousand classic titles, including the widest selection of films from such masters as Kurosawa, Bergman, and Fellini. Besides its extensive library, the channel also hosts monthly programming of contemporary, global, and classic titles in a wide array of genres and styles. In addition to the many films available to stream on the channel, Criterion also offers a selection of interviews and commentaries with filmmakers, scholars, and industry professionals to supplement the movies.

Fandor

Another great resource for watching older movies is Fandor. Like TCM and Criterion, Fandor specializes in programming classic cinema of the twentieth century. Although it has a decidedly more populist collection than the previous two platforms, it offers perhaps the widest range of options, from recent festival offerings from around the world to grindhouse and other genre classics of the 70s and 80s. Fandor is a great platform for the well-rounded cinephile or those just looking to watch something a little different than what can be found on Netflix.

Kanopy

Kanopy is a particularly great resource in that all you need to access it, in most cases, is a public library card or university ID. It specializes in housing educational content such as documentaries, video essays, and short-form series alongside a vast library of classic films, including titles from the Criterion Collection, Sony Pictures Classics, Grasshopper Film, A24, and other great distribution companies. Kanopy is organized by subject matter, with documentaries, classic cinema, contemporary films, and several genre-specific categories, including the largest collection of Arrow Films’ horror titles available online. Whether searching for an enriching documentary or some escapist Friday night entertainment, Kanopy is a great resource.

Looking to get new Internet, cable, or mobile coverage? SmartMove has you covered with resources about a range of packages for every lifestyle to help you make the decision. Don’t wait to start watching your favorite classic movies - get connected with SmartMove today!

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