5 best classic movies just added to Prime Video with 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

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Prime Video has always been one of the best streaming services for classic movies, and after adding several of the best movies ever made last month, the Amazon-owned service is further boosting its classic library with another selection of must-watch films from yesteryear in June 2024.  

Just to clear up any confusion, when I say “classic movies”, I’m referring to flicks from the period commonly referred to as the “Golden Age of Hollywood," around the mid-1920s to the early 1960s. During this era, several legendary filmmakers cut their teeth, and cinematic standards were set that are still followed today.

If you appreciate classic movies, then you’ll want to check out these new additions to Prime Video. Even better, every single pick on this list has scored at least 90% on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, which is a testament to their enduring quality. So, let’s dive into the best classic movies added to Prime Video this month.

'Paths of Glory' (1957)

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Standing out in Stanley Kubrick’s truly astonishing filmography is no easy task, so it speaks to the supreme quality of “Paths of Glory” that there's a strong case to be made that it’s the legendary director’s very best work. Based on the Humphrey Cobb novel of the same name, and starring Kirk Douglas in a performance that has echoed through the decades, this World War I movie is not a celebration of heroic sacrifice but instead sends a clear message about the futility of conflict. 

Douglas plays Dax, a commander in the French Army who is forced to defend his men after a suicide mission ends in disaster. The general responsible for the plan looks to deflect blame by court-martialing three soldiers for supposed cowardice. In response, Dax agrees to defend these men at the forthcoming trial but it soon becomes clear the proceedings are a sham. 

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
Stream it on Prime Video

'The African Queen' (1951)

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“The African Queen” pairs two titans of classic Hollywood, Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, so right from the start, you know you’re in for a Golden Age treat. Set in East Africa, during World War I, Charlie Allnut (Bogart) is a surly steamboat captain who uses his barely sea-worthy vessel to ferry supplies across the region, this includes delivering resources to missionaries Samuel (Robert Morely) and Rose Sayer (Hepburn). 

When Samuel is killed by invading German troops, Charlie agrees to take Rose back to civilization, but the snobbish Brit has no intentions of returning home without getting a little revenge and convinces the grumpy captain to do their part for the war effort by dismantling a nearby German gunboat. As you might expect, what follows is a thrilling adventure that sees the two very different lead characters start at odds before eventually, romantic sparks fly.   

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
Stream it on Prime Video

'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' (1962)

Much like the above pick, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” pairs together two icons of the Golden Age, John Wayne and James Stewart. The ‘60s Western was also directed by John Ford, adding further star power to the already potent mixture. Wayne and Stewart would go on to feature in two more Westerns together, “How the West Was Won” and “The Shootist," but “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” was their first collaboration, and is broadly considered their best as well. 

The movie opens with Ranse Stoddard (Stewart) attending the funeral of a local man named Tom Doniphon (Wayne). It’s then revealed via a series of flashbacks how these two seemingly very different men came to know each other, and how they teamed up to end the reign of terror of a gang of bandits, led by the villainous Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). 

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
Stream it on Prime Video

'High Noon' (1952)

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Another Western — there were a lot of Westerns released during this period of Hollywood history — “High Noon” was fairly unique for the era, as it takes place in real-time. It was also controversial upon release for its political themes, but still went on to be nominated for seven Academy Awards, taking home four, and was one of the first 25 films to be selected for preservation in Congress's National Film Registry. 

“High Noon” centers on Will Kane (Cooper), the soon-to-be-retired marshal of the small town of Hadleyville, who is preparing to leave his post and start afresh with his new wife, Amy (Grace Kelly). However, his plans are thrown into doubt when a ruthless criminal breaks free and sets out on a mission of revenge against Kane for putting him behind bars. While Amy pleads with him to escape the town before the outlaw can arrive, Kane hopes to find allies ahead of the impending showdown. 

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Stream it on Prime Video

'The Quiet Man' (1952)

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Another John Ford picture, “The Quiet Man” also stars John Wayne alongside Maureen O’Hara, Victor McLaglen, Barry Fitzgerald, and Ward Bond. But Wayne doesn’t play a cowboy in this romantic comedy, instead, he plays Sean Thornton, a retired boxer who leaves America to return to his native home of Ireland hoping to buy his family’s old farmhouse and settle down for good. 

When his bid for the property is accepted all seems well, but in buying the place he falls on the wrong side of local bully Will Danaher (McLaglen) who has wanted to buy the farm for years. Making matters even more complicated, Sean has fallen for Will’s sister, Mary Kate (O’Hara), but the aggressive sibling refuses to give the couple his blessing and in turn schemes to keep them apart. 

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Stream it on Prime Video

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.