TechHive: 10 classic films to stream for free on Crackle

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thumbnail 10 classic films to stream for free on Crackle
Jan 18th 2014, 11:00, by Jeffrey M. Anderson

In the world of streaming movies, Netflix and Hulu get all the attention, but Crackle is a force to be reckoned with. The site has a smallish, but still comparable film and television library, plus some original Web shows, and the best part is that it's absolutely free. Viewers don't need to sign up or even log in, unless they want to share videos or create a queue. The main catch is that, though the movies are not cut for content, they do have unskippable ads every so often—just like watching television in the innocent days before TiVo.

We cracked the hood of Crackle and found these ten great films playing right now, five that are absolute classics, and, in honor of awards season, five more recent movies that were nominated for Oscars.

The Lady from Shanghai

The Lady from Shanghai


After the extraordinary Citizen Kane, Orson Welles had to struggle to get films made. The legend behind The Lady from Shanghai (1948) is that, while on the phone with Columbia Pictures, he grabbed a nearby paperback and pitched it as his next project. Married to the lovely Rita Hayworth at the time, he cast her in the lead, but proceeded to make a typically brilliant, unusual (and uncommercial) Wellesian masterpiece. To start, he cut Hayworth's luxurious brown hair and died it blonde, an act that was blamed for the film's financial failure. Welles plays sailor Michael O'Hara, who gets into trouble when he rescues beautiful Elsa, meets her wealthy, sinister husband, lawyer Arthur Bannister (Everett Sloane), and agrees to work for him on his yacht. The movie has many striking moments, but none more celebrated than the showdown in the hall of mirrors.

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