The Oldest Movies and TV Shows on Netflix (And Why There Isn’t More)

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Most of the library on Netflix US now consists of Netflix Originals which means that they’ve all been produced over the past decade. That leaves only a limited number of titles from the 20th century. So what are the oldest movies and TV shows on Netflix? Let’s find out.

Netflix released its first Netflix Original series in 2013 with the release of House of Cards. In almost ten years, it has released an astonishing number of movies and TV shows. However, a decade pales compared to over a century of dramatic, controversial, and entertainment history.

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Sadly, there is only a limited number of what we consider “classical” or “old” titles on Netflix. In our list below, we’ve selected ten of the oldest movies and TV dating from 1925 to 1975.

Below are the oldest movies and TV shows on Netflix US:


Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers (1 Season)

Seasons: 1 | Episodes: 17
Genre: Comedy, Drama | Runtime: 11-69 Minutes

pioneers first woman filmmakers oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

Women taking a prominent role in filmmaking isn’t a modern phenomenon. For almost a hundred years women have been making movies, and this series celebrates that by taking some of the oldest features made by women, and restoring them so they are watchable for a brand new generation to be inspired by.

If you haven’t already, you only have a limited amount of time before the series leaves Netflix on December 30th, 2022.


Five Came Back: The Reference Films (1 Season)

Seasons: 1 | Episodes: 10
Genre: Docuseries, Historical, War | Runtime: 18-82 Minutes

five came back the reference films oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

During the second world war, there was a ton of incredible and awe-inspiring footage captured by some of the greatest filmmakers of the era. However, there was also a lot of propaganda filmed for the war effort against the Axis Powers, and in this series, those 12 featured films from the docuseries Five Came Back can be seen unfiltered.


White Christmas

Director: Michael Curtiz
Genre: Drama, Romantic | Runtime: 120 Minutes
Cast: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger

white christmas oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

One of the most iconic Christmas movies of all time, White Christmas is a must-watch for many homes during the holiday season. Featuring the likes of Hollywood icons such as Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen.

Two war buddies fall for two sisters and follow the girls to a resort owned by their former commanding officer, who is in danger of losing the place.


Dark Waters

Director: Youssef Chahine
Genre: Drama, Romantic | Runtime: 104 Minutes
Cast: Faten Hamama, Omar Sharif, Ahmed Ramzy, Hussein Riad, Ferdoos Mohammed

dark waters oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

A fisherman returns home after a three-year absence only to find the woman he loves drifting away, the sailors feuding, and his community unraveling.


Cairo Station

Director: Youssef Chahine
Genre: Drama | Runtime: 73 Minutes
Cast: Farid Shawqy, Hind Rostom, Youssef Chahine, Hassan el Baroudi, Abdel Aziz Khalil,

cairo station oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

A Cairo newsstand vendor’s fantasies morph into a dangerous fixation with a lemonade seller as a serial killer begins terrorizing the city.



Director: Lekh Tandon
Genre: Comedy, Romance | Runtime: 163 Minutes
Cast: Shammi Kapoor, Kalpana, Lalita Pawar, Parveen Choudhary, Salim

professor oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

A college grad in need of money must disguise himself as an old man to tutor two young women who are under the watchful eye of their strict aunt.



Director: Youssef Chahine
Genre: Action, Adventure | Runtime: 194 Minutes
Cast: Ahmad Mazhar, Salah Zo El Faqqar, Nadia Lotfi, Hamdy Gheith, Laila Fawzy

saladin oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

The Sultan of Egypt and Syria launch a campaign to retake Jerusalem amid the Crusades.



Director: Lekh Tandon
Genre: Drama, Romance | Runtime: 116 Minutes
Cast: Vyjayanthimala, Sunil Dutt, Prem Nath, Bipin Gupta, Gajanan Jagirdar, Zul Vellani

amrapali oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

In the age of Buddha and his philosophy of nonviolence, a warmonger king plots the destruction of an enemy kingdom to rescue the woman he loves.


The Dirty Dozen

Director: Robert Aldrich
Genre: Action, Adventure, War | Runtime: 149 Minutes
Cast: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes

the dirty dozen oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

The 60s and 70s were full of Westerns and War movies. Some of the most iconic war movies in history were released in the 60s, in particular, The Dirty Dozen. Without The Dirty Dozen, we wouldn’t have films such as Inglourious Basterds, The Expendables, The Suicide Squad, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Longest Yard.

During World War II, the US Army recruits 12 convicts for a secret mission that sends them behind enemy lines to kill high-ranking German officers.



Director: Lekh Tandon
Genre: Drama, Romantic | Runtime: 152 Minutes
Cast: Shammi Kapoor, Vyjayanthimala, Rajendra Nath, Ajit, Helen

prince oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

To better himself, a spoiled prince temporarily assumes a commoner’s identity. But he soon learns his palace has been gifted to his father’s new wife.


The Land

Director: Youssef Chahine
Genre: Drama | Runtime: 129 Minutes
Cast: Hamdy Ahmed, Nagwa Ibrahim, Ezzat El Alaili, Tawfik El Deken, Yehia Chahine

the land oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

A group of peasant farmers fights to protect their village against a corrupt landowner. Adapted from the popular novel by Abdel Rahman al-Sharqawi.


A Clockwork Orange

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Genre: Crime, Drama | Runtime: 136 Minutes
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke, Adrienne Corri

clockwork orange oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

Once banned in multiple countries around the world, A Clockwork Orage is one of the best movies by director Stanley Kubrick.

In the near future, the psychopathic and sadistic Alex is arrested for murder and rape. Given the option to reduce his sentence through the use of experimental therapy, Alex complies, but upon his release more than just his personality has changed.



Director: John Boorman
Genre: Thriller | Runtime: 108 Minutes
Cast: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Bill McKinney

deliverance oldest movies and tv shows on netflix

One of the most controversial movies of the 1970s thanks to a particular infamous scene, that didn’t stop Deliverance from being successful at the box office, bringing in $46.1 million on only a $2 million budget.

Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it’s turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they’ll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.


Khoon Khoon

Director: Mohammed Hussain
Genre: Bollywood | Runtime: 131 Minutes
Cast: Danny Denzongpa, Mahendra Sandhu, Rekha, Faryal, Helen

khoon khoon oldest movies and tv shows on netflix in 2022

As a crazed killer blazes a trail of blood through an anxious city, a hardened cop aims to take him down by any means in this remake of Dirty Harry.


Monty Python’s Flying Circus (4 Seasons)

Seasons: 4 | Episodes: 45
Genre: Comedy | Runtime: 30 Minutes
Cast: John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin

monty pythons flying circus oldest movies and tv shows on netflix in 2022

As far as comedy goes, the cast and crew of Monty Python are legendary. Some of the best of British comedy in the late 70s and early 80s, Monty Python’s Flying Circus features some truly incredible and hilarious iconic sketches.


Monty Phyton and the Holy Grail

Director: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Genre: Comedy | Runtime: 92 Minutes
Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones

monty pythons and the holy grail oldest movies and tv shows on netflix in 2022

One of the most well-known British legends of all time, there are fewer iconic mythical heroes than King Arthur and his knights of the round table. However, thanks to Monty Python, when some people think of King Arthur they think of a murderous white rabbit and an overly confident black knight.

Why are there so few classic movies and TV shows on Netflix US?

Netflix has a distinct lack of titles available pre-2005 in its library. The vast majority of titles available in the library were released after 2014. This shouldn’t be surprising when we consider the sheer number of Netflix Originals produced by the streaming service since 2013.

Netflix still has a healthy number of licensed content, which as of August 2022, makes up 50% of the US library. However, most licensed content has been produced sometime in the past ten years.

Number of Titles vs. Year

Netflix has a significantly smaller history than its competitors.

Companies such as Paramount Pictures have been distributing films as early as 1912, which precedes the first released Netflix Original by a century. When you consider that other competitors such as Warner Brothers and Disney have also been producing and distributing content for only a slightly shorter length of time, it’s not hard to understand why many of these movies and tv shows are on streaming services such as Paramount+, HBO Max, and Disney+.

Even with those distributors, however, their streaming services often don’t have some of their earlier titles down to complicated licensing.

When choosing how best to spend money on content, Netflix has opted for newer content that’ll likely get far more eyeballs than older library titles.

There has been a debate surrounding whether or not Netflix should seek to purchase a library of legacy content in order to bolster its own library. One of Netflix’s biggest competitors, Amazon Prime, purchased MGM for $8.45 billion, which will add roughly 4000 movies and 17,000 episodes of TV to its library.

Would you like to see more classic movies and TV shows on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jacob joined What's on Netflix in 2018 as a fulltime writer having worked in numerous other industries until that point. Jacob covers all things Netflix whether that's TV or movies but specializes in covering new anime and K-dramas. Resides in Norwich in the United Kingdom.