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The Blog
ClassicsNov 15, 202210 min

The Premiere Streaming Service for Classic Films

Need to know the best streaming service for all your favorite classic films? Check out this definitive review to point you in the right direction.

By Zak Price

HBO Max hosts a wide range of classic movies like The Wizard of Oz.
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Whether it stems from a sense of nostalgia for the silver screen’s golden age or a desire to discover more content from Hollywood’s bygone eras, classic films have a tendency to occupy a portion of the mind of cinema fanatics and casual viewers alike. Just one of the many benefits of the age of these stand-out movies is the allowance of ample time for review and recollection of how well they stand the test of time. Those that prove able to hold their own against the films of today, notably accompanied by technical improvements and considerably larger budgets, are reasonably held in high esteem. Qualified by talented actors, inspired writers and directors, as well as memorable story beats, movies that garner classical status have done so for reasons that cannot be discounted. However, finding the right place to engage with these titles can be a daunting task; so we’ve done it for you!

The Question

Everyone has a different taste for their favorite talent, but it can’t be ignored that household names like Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, and, of course, Marilyn Monroe, are still idolized to this day by those on both sides of the screen. For some, watching a movie spearheaded by familiar actors such as these can be akin to reconnecting with an old friend. Notable titles such as What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Casablanca, and more are decidedly worth a watch from time to time, but where is one to find these classic titles?

After an in-depth research expedition to the farthest corners of streaming services everywhere, it has been concluded that HBO Max holds the title of best streaming service for classic films.

The Answer

Although any one person’s definition of what would constitute a classic movie is subjective, there are some criteria that can be used for general reference: resonance and impact, appeal and reception, and endurance of audience captivation for around at least 25 years post-release. Through looking at The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Films of All Time, containing selections from the years 1916 through 2001, one can see that the included titles do truly meet the criteria for being labeled classics by most standards. Unsurprisingly, a sizable portion of these films are considered such by not only critics but audiences as well. After some thorough investigation, it has been found that over 25 of the listed films can be streamed right now on HBO Max:

1. Citizen Kane

2. Casablanca

3. Singin’ in the Rain

4. Gone With the Wind

5. The Wizard Of Oz

6. City Lights

7. 2001: A Space Odyssey

8. On The Waterfront

9. Chinatown

10. The Maltese Falcon

11. The Bridge on the River Kwai

12. King Kong

13. Bonnie and Clyde

14. The Philadelphia Story

15. A Streetcar Named Desire

16. West Side Story

17. North by Northwest

18. The Gold Rush

19. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

20. Unforgiven

21. A Clockwork Orange

22. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

23. All the President’s Men

24. Modern Times

25. Goodfellas

26. Pulp Fiction

The cultural impact of these movies is almost palpable, but they’re not the only ones that can be found on HBO Max. A complete list of every noteworthy classic available to stream on the platform would take longer to read than it would watch any one of the films, so we’ll keep the following to an even 10:

1. To Have and Have Not

2. Gaslight

3. Braveheart

4. Driving Miss Daisy

5. Little Women

6. Cleopatra

7. Indecent Proposal

8. Beauty and the Beast

9. Dirty Harry

10. The Exorcist

From western adventures to dashing romances and everything in between, HBO Max certainly has the most masterfully curated selection of classic movies for all genres that should satisfy the specific palate of any subscriber.

For Further Consideration

Although HBO Max boasts an impressive collection of classic films, there are some that cannot be ignored by the avid film connoisseur. As such, some omitted titles must be found elsewhere. Here are a handful of classic movies that can be watched right now on their respective streaming services:

While services such as Disney+, SHOWTIME, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, and more do host some admittedly memorable movies, HBO Max’s reservoir of classic films is just too numerous to contend with.

Now that you’ve got the goods, take some time to sit down, pop some corn, check out HBO Max, and get reacquainted with your favorite classic film!

Make sure to read our other lists for even more ideas about what to watch next:

The Best Streaming Service for Documentaries - A Comprehensive Review

Everything Coming To HBO In November

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