It’s an unwritten rule that subscription streaming services only show films from recent decades, without bothering to preserve, share or promote older movies. But if you delve into Amazon Prime Video UK’s archives, you can find a surprising number of classics, from Truffaut and Hitchcock to Romero, Ed Wood and even The Beatles.
To help you on your way, we’ve put together a rundown of the best films from before 1970 currently available on Amazon Prime Video UK. Subscriptions start from £5.99 a month – for more information, click here.
This list is kept up-to-date to reflect new releases and removals.
Jules & Jim (1962)
Based on the novel by Henri-Pierre Roché, Truffaut’s definitive French New Wave classic chronicles a buoyant love triangle between two friends and an alluring woman, the object of their mutual obsession, over twenty-five years.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
George A Romero’s 1967 classc, which sees a group of people barricaded in a farmhouse to survive the reawakening of the dead, remains as chillingly relevant as ever.
Yellow Submarine (1968)
The idyllic Peppeland is attacked by the Blue Meanies – who hate music, sound and colour – in The Beatles’ classic, trippy animation, which boasts a timeless, amazing soundtrack.
A Star Is Born (1954)
The age-old Hollywood story gets its first remake – and its first musical version, no less – courtesy of Judy Garland and James Mason, a pairing as iconic as, well, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
Mr. Arkadin (1955)
Orson Welles turns his obsessive eye upon himself, as he plays the titular Mr. Arkadin, an elusive billionaire who hires a smuggler to investigate his past and his identity in this underseen curio.
Vijay writes unpopular poems about the destitute and poor. Ridiculed by his brothers and scorned by publishers, Vijay finds encouragement in a woman, Gulabo, who helps him to try and get his poems published in this 1957 effort from Indian filmmaking icon Guru Dutt.
House on Haunted Hill (1958)
The inimitable Vincent Price stars as a suave, eccentric millionaire who invites five guests to spend the night in a sinister haunted house, offering each $10,000 but only if they survive until morning.
Animal Farm (1956)
Joy Batchelor and John Halas’ superb adaptation of George Orwell’s satire is a landmark of cinema in its own right, as Britain’s first animated feature film.
Stage Fright (1950)
Hitchcock’s underrated treat, starring Jane Wyman and Marlene Dietrich, follows aspiring actress Eve, who shelters a fellow drama student from the police, after he’s suspected of killing the husband of his mistress, a famous singer.
The Philadelphia Story (1941)
Cary Grant, James Stewart, Katherine Hepburn… Need we go on?
The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1921)
Robert Wiene’s silent horror is a seminal piece of expressionist cinema, delving into the bizarre, surreal mystery of a somnambulist who appears to have killed a man – but is he actually under the control of the mysterious Dr. Caligari?
A Tale of Two Cities (1911)
William Humphreys take on the epic scope of Charles Dickens in 30 minutes with this silent film from 1911, which introduces us to Lucie, who falls in love with the nephew of the aristocrat who condemned her father to decades of imprisonment.
Babes in Toyland (1934)
Laurel and Hardy are on winning form in this endearing Christmas classic, which is based on Victor Herbert’s operetta and features all manner of fairytale characters.
Blue Steel (1934)
Years before Zoolander came John Wayne’s turn in this 1934 Western, which sees him play a mysterious gunslinger who teams up with a local Sheriff to take down the town’s rich citizen planning to take over the area’s ranches.
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943)
Before Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr., Basil Rathbone made the iconic Deerstalker his own with a string of Sherlock Holmes adventures – including this case, which sees Holmes rescue the inventor of a bomb-sight the Allies want to keep from the Nazis.
Forbidden Planet (1956)
Shakespeare’s The Tempest gets the sci-fi treatment in this classic 1950s sci-fi B-movie, which boasts a character named Robby the Robot, an electronic musical score and an Academy Award nomination for Visual FX.
Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
Bela Lugosi stars in Ed Wood’s (unintentionally) seminal sci-fi horror, which sees aliens from outer space reanimate the Earth’s dead in an attempt to save the human race.
Gammera The Invicible (1966))
Amazon Prime Video may not have Godzilla, but it does have his counterpart Gammera, a giant, fire-breathing turtle who’s awoken from millions of years of hibernation by an atomic explosion. Much monstering ensues.