1928 is Public Domain in 2024

1928 is Public Domain in 2024 December 28, 2023

Every year older movies and books that were written decades ago get released into the public domain. That means as an artist you can use the source material for your own creative endeavors without having to get permission to do so. You don’t have to pay any $$money to anyone or pay any licensing fees. It is part of the public domain and is yours to use for whatever your little heart wants to use it for.

Films and books released in 1927 became public domain in 2023.
Films and books released in 1928 became public domain in 2024.
Films and books released in 1929 became public domain in 2025.

I have only selected a small amount of New Public Domain stuff

For more recommendations and other interesting stuff click on the links below.

Public Domain Day 2023 is Coming: Here’s What to Know | Copyright Lately

Public Domain Day 2024 is Coming: Here’s What to Know | Copyright Lately


1st Talking Pictures

The Jazz Singer (1927)

Lights of New York (1928)

The first all-talking full-length feature film.

Laurel and Hardy

Before Abbott and Costello there was Englishman Stan Laurel (1890–1965) and American Oliver Hardy (1892–1957). They are one of the most successful comedy teams of all time.  Starting their career as a duo in the silent film era, they later successfully transitioned to “talkies“. From the late 1920s to the mid-1950s, they were internationally famous for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy, childlike friend to Hardy’s pompous bully.[1][2] Their signature theme song, known as “The Cuckoo Song”, “Ku-Ku”, or “The Dance of the Cuckoos” (by Hollywood composer T. Marvin Hatley) was heard over their films’ opening credits, and became as emblematic of them as their bowler hats.

From 1927 – 1929 they appeared in 44 films. Some highlights include.

Do Detectives Think? (1927) 
First film in which the duo appear in their standard costumes

Putting Pants on Philip (1927) 
Their first “official” film together as a team. 

The Battle of the Century (1927)
The film is famous for its use of more than 3,000 cream pies (although the Guinness Book of Records claims that as many as 10,000 may have been used) in the film’s climactic pie fight. For many years only three minutes from the film’s second reel, containing the pie fight, was thought to have survived, as the footage had been included in Robert Youngson‘s 1950s film documentaries.[3] However, the complete reel was rediscovered in 2015. It was released to the public on DVD and Blu-ray disc on June 16, 2020, as part of the Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations compilation of remastered films. Also in 2020, The Battle of the Century was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Should Married Men Go Home? (1928)
The first Hal Roach film to bill Laurel and Hardy as a team. Previous appearances together were billed under the Roach “All-Star Comedy” banner.

Two Tars (1928)
At a rail crossing, a small fender-bender incident turns into a major tit-for-tat retaliatory war among various motorists.

Big Business  (1929)
The film, largely about tit-for-tat vandalism between Laurel and Hardy as Christmas tree salesmen
and the man who rejects them, was deemed culturally significant and entered into the National Film Registry in 1992.

Unaccustomed As We Are (1929)
Laurel and Hardy’s first sound film. 

Harold Lloyd

One of the most influential film comedians of the silent era, Lloyd made nearly 200 comedy films, both silent and talkies, from 1914 to 1947. His bespectacled “glasses character” was a resourceful, ambitious go-getter who matched the zeitgeist of the 1920s-era United States.

The Kid Brother (1927)This is considered by critics and fans to be one of Lloyd’s best films, integrating elements of comedy, romance, drama, and character development.

Speedy (1928)
Baseball-crazed city boy can’t keep job, upsets mobsters’ plans to ruin old man’s business.
Babe Ruth makes an appearance.
This is Lloyd’s only part-talking feature.

Welcome Danger (1929)
Botanist-turned-sleuth thwarts Chinese hoods in San Francisco.
This is Lloyd’s first all-talking feature.

Buster Keaton

He is best known for his silent film work, in which his trademark was physical comedy accompanied by a stoic, deadpan expression that earned him the nickname “The Great Stone Face”. Critic Roger Ebert wrote of Keaton’s “extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929” when he “worked without interruption” as having made him “the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies”

College (1927)

The Cameraman (1928)

Spite Marriage (1929)

Our Gang

38 Our Gang Comedies were released between 1927- 1929 including

Seeing the World (1927) with Stan Laurel

Barnum & Ringling, Inc.  (1928) with Oliver Hardy

Small Talk First OG sound film

Other Comedians

The Circus (1928) starring Charlie Chaplin

The Cocoanuts (1929) Starring the Marx Brothers

Douglas Fairbanks

The Gaucho (1927)

The Iron Mask (1929)

The Taming of the Shrew (1929) with Mary Pickford

Greta Garbo  

Love (1927)

The Mysterious Lady (1928)

Wild Orchids (1929)

The Kiss (1929) Garbo’s, and MGM’s, last silent picture

Frank Capra and Harry Langdon

Frank Capra (May 5, 1897 – September 3, 1991) was an Italian-American film director, producer and writer who became the creative force behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s. Capra directed a total of 36 feature-length films (34 of which are known to survive) and 16 documentary films during his lifetime. His movies It’s a Wonderful LifeMr. Smith Goes to Washington, and It Happened One Night are often cited among the greatest films ever made. Between 1927 – 1929 he made 12 films including…

Henry “Harry” Philmore Langdon (June 15, 1884 – December 22, 1944) was an American comedian who appeared in vaudevillesilent films (where he had his greatest fame), and talkies.

Long Pants (1927)
Directed Frank Capra by starring Silent Film Comedian Harry Langdon 

His First Flame (1927)  Harry Langdon

Three’s a Crowd (1927)  Harry Langdon

Fiddlesticks (1927, Short) Harry Langdon

The Matinee Idol (1928) Frank Capra

Submarine (1928) Frank Capra

Flight (1929) Frank Capra

Alfred Hitchcock

The master of thrillers directed 8 films between 1927 – 1929

Some of the films are..

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)

The Ring (1927)

Downhill (1927)

The Farmer’s Wife (1928)

Easy Virtue (1928)

Champagne (1929)

The Manxman (1929)

Blackmail (1929)

Howard Hawks

Howard Hawks (1896–1977) was an American film director who made 40 films between 1926 and 1970. He is responsible for classic films in genres ranging from film noirscrewball comedycrimescience fiction and Western.

The Cradle Snatchers (1927)

Paid to Love (1927)

A Girl in Every Port (1928)

Fazil (1928) 

Trent’s Last Case (1929)

Cecil B. DeMille

Cecil B. DeMille made 70 features. 52 of his features are silent films. The first 24 of his silent films were made in the first three years of his career (1913–1916).  Eight of his films were “epics” with five of those classified as “Biblical”. Six of DeMille’s films—The ArabThe Wild Goose ChaseThe Dream GirlThe Devil-StoneWe Can’t Have Everything, and The Squaw Man (1918)—were destroyed by nitrate decomposition, and are considered lost.[319] The Ten Commandments is broadcast every Saturday at Passover in the United States on the ABC Television Network

The King of Kings (1927)

The Godless Girl (1928)

Dynamite (1929)

Fritz Lang

Fritz Lang (1890–1976) was an Austrian film directorproducer and screenwriter. In Lang’s early career he worked primarily as a screenwriter, finishing film scripts in four to five days.[1] Lang directed major German films of the silent and early sound eras.

Metropolis (1927)

Spies (1928)

Woman in the Moon (1929)

Paul Leni 

The Cat and the Canary (1927)

The Chinese Parrot (1927)

The Man Who Laughs (1928)

The Last Warning (1928/29)

King Vidor  

The Crowd (1928)
The Patsy, also known as The Politic Flapper (1928)
Show People (1928)
Hallelujah (1929)

Walt Disney

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (1927) 9 Cartoons

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (1928) 18 Cartoons

Mickey Mouse  in  The Gallopin’ Gaucho/Steamboat Willie (1928)

Mickey Mouse (1929) 13 Cartoons

Silly Symphony (1929) 5 cartoons including  The Skeleton Dance

Various Other Films


Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927)
It (1927)  starring Clara Bow.
Napoléon (1927)
Tarzan and the Golden Lion (1927)


The Wind (1928) starring Lillian Gish
Our Dancing Daughters  (1928) Starring Joan Crawford
Feel My Pulse (1928) starring Bebe Daniels,
Lonesome (1928)

The Fall of the House of Usher, (1928) directed by James Sibley Watson
The Fall of the House of Usher  (1928) directed by Jean Epstein,  (France)
The Italian Straw Hat   (1928)
Laugh, Clown, Laugh, directed by Herbert Brenon, starring Lon Chaney and Loretta Young


Rio Rita (1929)
Man with a Movie Camera (1929)  (USSR)
Seven Footprints to Satan (1929) written and directed by Benjamin Christensen
The White Hell of Pitz Palu (1929)– (Germany)

 Academy Awards 

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and hosted by AMPAS president Douglas Fairbanks, honored the best films from 1 August 1927 to 31 July 1928 and took place on May 16, 1929, at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Tickets cost $5 ($85 in 2022, considering inflation); 270 people attended the event, which lasted 15 minutes. It is the only Academy Awards ceremony not broadcast on either radio or television; a radio broadcast was introduced for the 2nd Academy Awards.

Best Unique and Artistic Picture Sunrise (1927)
Warner Baxter – In Old Arizona as The Cisco Kid (1928)

Religion at the Movies

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Noah’s Ark, (1928)


Edgar Rice Burroughs (September 1, 1875 – March 19, 1950)


The Master Mind of Mars (1927)

Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1928)
Tarzan and the Lost Empire (1929)

G. K. Chesterton

 (May 20, 1874 –June 15, 1936)

 4. The Secret Of Father Brown (1927)

 The Return of Don Quixote (1927)

Dame Agatha  Christie

( September  15, 1890 – 12 January 12,1976)

Hercule Poirot
   5. The Big Four (1927)
   6. The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928))

Tommy and Tuppence
   2. Partners in Crime (1929)

Superintendent Battle
   2. The Seven Dials Mystery (1929)

Miss Marple
   The Tuesday Night Club (1927)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 (May 22, 1859 – July 7, 1930)

Hardy Boys

  1. The Tower Treasure (1927)
   2. The House on the Cliff (1927)
   3. The Secret of the Old Mill (1927)
   4. The Missing Chums (1928)
   5. Hunting for Hidden Gold (1928)
   6. The Shore Road Mystery (1928)
   7. The Secret of the Caves (1929)

 Ernest Hemingway

 (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961)


Ronald Knox

(February 17, 1888 – August 24, 1957)


The Belief of Catholics (1927)

Miles Bredon
   1. The Three Taps (1927)
   2. The Footsteps At the Lock (1928)

   8. The Mystery of Cabin Island (1929)

Hugh John Lofting 

(January 14, 1886 –  September 26,  1947)

A. A. Milne

( January 18, 1882 –  January 31, 1956)

 3. Now We Are Six (1927)
   4. The House at Pooh Corner (1928)

Mystery and Action

Evelyn Waugh ( October 28, 1903 –  April 10, 1966) Decline and Fall (1928)

Charles Edward Montague (1 January 1, 1867 –  May 28, 1928) Action (1928), short stories

Leslie Charteris ( May 12, 1907 – 15 April 15, 1993), Meet the Tiger (1928)

Dorothy L . Sayers

 ( June 13, 1893 –   December 17, 1957)

Peter Wimsey
   3. Unnatural Death (1927)
   4. Lord Peter Views the Body (1928)
   5. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1928)

 Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery and Horror 1st Series (1928)

Ruth Plumly Thompson

 (July  27, 1891 –April 6, 1976)

 21. The Gnome King of Oz (1927)
22. The Giant Horse of Oz (1928)
 23. Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz (1929)

Tom Swift

  30. Tom Swift Circling the Globe (1927)
aka The Daring Cruise of the Air Monarch
   31. Tom Swift and His Talking Pictures (1928)
aka The Greatest Invention on Record
   32. Tom Swift and His House On Wheels (1929)
aka A Trip around the Mountain of Mystery

World of Pure Imagination

Walter Rollin Brooks (January 9, 1886 – August 17, 1958) Freddy Goes to Florida, 1927 (To and Again),

John Masefield (June  1, 1878 – May, 12 1967) The Midnight Folk (1927)

Edward Wyke Smith (April 12, 1871 – May 16, 1935) The Marvellous Land of Snergs (proto-Hobbits) (1927)

Sir James Matthew Barrie, ( May 9, 1860 – 19 June 19, 1937)”Peter Pan” the play (1928)

Wanda Gág – Millions of Cats (1928)
Millions of Cats is a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Wanda Gág. The book won a Newbery Honor award in 1929, one of the few picture books to do so. Millions of Cats is the oldest American picture book still in print.

Dhan Gopal Mukerji – Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon (1928)

Felix Salten – Bambi, A Life in the Woods (1928) (Bambi. Eine Lebensgeschichte aus dem Walde, 1923)

Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (1929)

Erich Kästner – Emil and the Detectives (Emil und die Detektive) (1929)

Rachel Lyman Field (September 19, 1894 – March 15, 1942)  Hitty, Her First Hundred Years (1929)

Alison Uttley – The Squirrel, The Hare and the Little Grey Rabbit (1929) (introducing Little Grey Rabbit)

Eric Philbrook Kelly (March 16, 1884 – January 3, 1960) The Trumpeter of Krakow (1929)

Award Winning Books and Authors

Willa Cather (December 7, 1873 – April 24, 1947) Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)

Thornton Wilder (April 17, 1897 – December 7, 1975) The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927)—won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel (1928)

Julia Peterkin (October 31, 1880 – August 10, 1961) Scarlet Sister Mary (1928) —won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel (1929)

Oliver Hazard Perry La Farge II (December 19, 1901 – August 2, 1963)  Laughing Boy (1929)  —won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel (1930)

William Faulkner – The Sound and the Fury (1929)

Graham Greene – The Man Within (1929) His first Novel

John Steinbeck – Cup of Gold: A Life of Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer, With Occasional Reference to History (1929)



Trying to determine the public domain status of music can present another trap for the unwary. As I’ve explained before, every piece of recorded music is comprised of two different copyrights. There’s a copyright in the underlying composition, which protects a song’s lyrics and musical arrangement. There’s also a separate copyright in a particular sound recording of that composition as performed by a recording artist. When you listen to music on the radio or a streaming service, you’re technically hearing both the composition and the sound recording of the composition.

The distinction between compositions and recordings is important to remember because these two types of copyrighted works won’t enter the public domain at the same time.

Sound recordings first published in 1928 are protected for an additional five years, so they won’t fall into the public domain until 2029 (95 years + additional 5 years = 100 years total). But don’t fret: sound recordings first published in 1923 will enter the public domain on January 1, 2024, as they pass the 100-year mark. Public Domain Day 2024 is Coming: Here’s What to Know | Copyright Lately

Published Music




1923 Sound Recordings 

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