How to Download Movies for Free on a Mac
By Joe Barlow
Updated September 22, 2017
Many people have heard of movie downloading, a term often associated with illicit activities and copyright infringement. Fortunately, there are a number of free, legal options available for film fans who want to view movies on their Mac. The Internet Media Archive contains thousands of public domain feature films in every genre imaginable, while Apple’s iTunes digital music store offers a number of video podcasts, including “Cult of UHF” (sci-fi/horror films) and “Cult of Kung Fu” (martial arts movies), bringing free cinematic entertainment right to your Apple machine.
Downloading from the Internet Media Archive
Launch Apple’s Safari web browser for the Macintosh and navigate to the Internet Media Archive webpage.
Click “Moving Images."
Scroll through the categories and select “Movies.” Note that many other categories are also available to suit your interests, including “Animation & Cartoons,” “News & Public Affairs” and “Sports Videos.”
Click “Feature Films.”
Browse through the resulting categories, which include “Comedy Films,” “Film Noir,” “Sci-Fi/Horror,” and many more. Click the one that most closely matches your current film-watching mood.
Choose a letter from A to Z under “Browse By Title.” A list appears, containing all the available movies that begin with this letter. (For instance, to locate the classic horror movie “Carnival of Souls,” choose “C” under the “Sci-Fi/Horror” category.)
Locate the film you want to watch, then click on its title. On the film’s information page, you will see options to stream the film (i.e., watch it in your web browser) or download it to your computer. Generally a standard .MP4 version will be available (viewable with Apple’s QuickTime player, which is most likely preinstalled on your system. If not, it can be downloaded from Apple’s website). Alternately, Apple’s iTunes media player software (also preinstalled on most Macs) will play .MP4 files as well. Depending on the film, other media formats may be available too, including versions for the iPod/iPhone.
Stream the movie. To start, click on the “Play Video” link. To download the movie, press the CTRL button on your keyboard while clicking on the desired video link, then click “Download Linked File” on the resulting pop-up menu.
Locate the file on your hard drive once the download has completed. Double-click it and enjoy the show.
Downloading from the “Cult of UHF” or “Cult of Kung Fu” Video Podcasts
Launch iTunes and click “iTunes Store" on the left side of the screen.
Type “cult of uhf” or "cult of kung fu" (without the quotes) in the “Search Store” box at the top of the screen. Click the name of the desired podcast in the resulting list of matches.
Scroll through the list of available movies and locate the film you wish to download. Click the “Free!" link on the right side of the screen, beside the name of the film in question.
Double-click on the name of the movie to watch it after the film downloads. It will be found in the “Podcasts” section of your iTunes. The film can also be copied to your iPod or iPhone for on-the-go viewing.
Click "Subscribe Now!" on the "Cult of UHF" or "Cult of Kung Fu" page in iTunes if you would like to have future movies automatically downloaded to your Mac as they become available.
Joe Barlow has made his living by writing since 1999, and has written extensively on a variety of subjects for such publications as "The DVD Journal," "The Arizona Reporter," and "Electric City" magazine. He published his first book, "100 Nights in the Dark," in 2001. Although he possesses numerous computer and multimedia certifications, Barlow is presently wrapping up an English degree at Misericordia University.