Best Documentary Movies of 1897

1.

Serpentine Dance: Loïe Fuller

2.5
6.0/10 IMDB

Loïe Fuller performs a serpentine dance.

Directed by: Georges Demenÿ
Release date: 1897-08-05
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Giant Coal Dumper
2.

Giant Coal Dumper

2.4
4.9/10 IMDB

“Shows how a full carload of coal is loaded onto a vessel every thirty seconds at the great Erie Railroad Docks, Cleveland, Ohio. Great clouds of coal dust rise as each car is unloaded.”

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-07-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight
3.

The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight

2.3
5.2/10 IMDB

This legendary fight was filmed on March 17, 1897, using 63mm film that produced an aspect ratio of about 1.75:1. Using three adjacent cameras, Enoch Rector recorded the entire fight, simultaneously creating the world's first known feature film, as the resulting footage lasted over 90 minutes in length. About a quarter of the film survives today.

Starring: James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Billy Madden, George Siler, John L. Sullivan ..
Directed by: Enoch J. Rector
Release date: 1897-01-01
4.

Mr. Edison at Work in His Chemical Laboratory

2.2
5.1/10 IMDB

“This film is remarkable in several respects. In the first place, it is full life-size. Secondly, it is the only accurate recent portrait of the great inventor. The scene is an actual one, showing Mr. Edison in working dress engaged in an interesting chemical experiment in his great Laboratory. There is sufficient movement to lead the spectator through the several processes of mixing, pouring, testing, etc. as if he were side by side with the principal. The lights and shadows are vivid, and the apparatus and other accessories complete a startling picture that will appeal to every beholder.” (Edison Catalog)

Starring: Thomas A. Edison ..
Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-05-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Serpentine Dance - Annabelle
5.

Serpentine Dance - Annabelle

2.2
5.5/10 IMDB

1897 version of Annabelle Moore performing a serpentine dance.

Starring: Annabelle Moore ..
Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-01-01
6.

99ème régiment d'infanterie : assaut du portique

2.2
5.1/10 IMDB

A regiment of soldiers demonstrate their skills.

Directed by: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière
Release date: 1897-06-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Buffalo Fire Department in action
7.

Buffalo Fire Department in action

2.1
4.6/10 IMDB

Ten horse-drawn pieces of equipment of the Buffalo Fire Department pass by a stationary camera that looks down a broad avenue as they come toward it...

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-20
8.

Crissie Sheridan

2.1
5.4/10 IMDB

A woman in a white gown performs a skirt dance, using her arms to produce circles and other patterns within the folds of her costume. Her legs and feet appear to be bare. (Library of Congress)

Starring: Crissie Sheridan ..
Directed by: William K.L. Dickson
Release date: 1897-10-24
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Beyrouth, place des canons
9.

Beyrouth, place des canons

2.1
4.5/10 IMDB

Beirut: place cannons.

Directed by: Alexandre Promio
Release date: 1897-05-01
10.

Danse d'hommes

2.0
4.8/10 IMDB

African men dance, sing and play instruments.

Release date: 1897-10-28
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Fishermen and Boat at Port Said
11.

Fishermen and Boat at Port Said

2.0
4.7/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Henry Short
Release date: 1897-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Women Fetching Water from the Nile
12.

Women Fetching Water from the Nile

1.9
5.1/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Henry Short
Release date: 1897-01-01
13.

École de cavalerie de Saumur, le carrousel militaire: Changement de main

1.9
4.6/10 IMDB

A military horseback riding event from 1897.

Release date: 1897-10-28
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Royal Princes in St. Paul's Churchyard
14.

Royal Princes in St. Paul's Churchyard

1.9
4.3/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Robert W. Paul
Release date: 1897-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Royal Carriages Passing Westminster
15.

Royal Carriages Passing Westminster

1.9
4.4/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Robert W. Paul
Release date: 1897-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Royal Carriage Arriving at St Paul's
16.

Royal Carriage Arriving at St Paul's

1.9
4.5/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Robert W. Paul
Release date: 1897-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Queen's Carriage and Indian Escort Arriving at St. Paul's
17.

Queen's Carriage and Indian Escort Arriving at St. Paul's

1.9
4.3/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Robert W. Paul
Release date: 1897-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Dragoons Passing St Paul's
18.

Dragoons Passing St Paul's

1.9
4.3/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Robert W. Paul
Release date: 1897-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Head of Colonial Procession, Canadians, etc
19.

Head of Colonial Procession, Canadians, etc

1.8
4.3/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Robert W. Paul
Release date: 1897-01-01
20.

Return of Lifeboat

1.8
4.5/10 IMDB

Along the seashore near San Francisco, a boat belonging to the Pacific Coast Life Saving Service can just be seen as it returns to shore. Several men are at the oars. As the boat approaches land, it must make its way through rough waves and surging water.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Head of Procession Including Bluejackets
21.

Head of Procession Including Bluejackets

1.8
4.4/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Robert W. Paul
Release date: 1897-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Fast mail, Northern Pacific Railroad
22.

Fast mail, Northern Pacific Railroad

1.8
4.2/10 IMDB

Here is a twelve car train dashing along at a high rate of speed. It is seen first in the distance and approaches and then passes by the camera...

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-12-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Corner Madison and State Streets, Chicago
23.

Corner Madison and State Streets, Chicago

1.8
4.5/10 IMDB

The busiest corner in Chicago. Cable cars and street traffic of all descriptions. Hundreds of shoppers. Fine perspective view looking north toward the Masonic Temple.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-07-20
24.

The First Sleigh-Ride

1.8
4.6/10 IMDB

“This subject taken just after the recent first fall of snow, shows two enthusiastic horsemen indulging in a "brush" with their respective horses and cutters.” (Maguire & Baucus)

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-01-01
25.

Stanford University, California

1.8
3.5/10 IMDB

People walking around the campus. The view shows an immense arch in the background through which are seen coming groups of students, some walking, others on bicycles. The ivy covered walls of the building form the background to a pleasing picture.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Buffalo Stockyards
26.

Buffalo Stockyards

1.8
4.3/10 IMDB

From Edison films catalog: A long line of horses, mules and ponies are led, driven and ridden into the yards, where they are sold and distributed.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-07-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Caped Mounted Riflemen Passing St Paul's
27.

Caped Mounted Riflemen Passing St Paul's

1.8
4.4/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Robert W. Paul
Release date: 1897-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Life Guards and Princes North of St Paul's
28.

Life Guards and Princes North of St Paul's

1.8
4.4/10 IMDB

No Overview

Directed by: Robert W. Paul
Release date: 1897-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Fisherman's Luck
29.

Fisherman's Luck

1.8
4.5/10 IMDB

"Two German anglers are fishing, with odd results. One gets a bite, and pulls in a length of stovepipe. The other is so astonished that he falls overboard."

Directed by: William Heise
Release date: 1897-09-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Horses loading for Klondike, no. 9
30.

Horses loading for Klondike, no. 9

1.7
3.4/10 IMDB

The wharf is crowded with live stock, and the huge derrick slowly drops the large box or sling into the bunch. Into this cradle a horse is led, and is slowly hoisted and swung over to the deck of the steamer. This picture is taken ten minutes before sailing time.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-20
31.

First Avenue, Seattle, Washington, No. 8

1.7
3.7/10 IMDB

From Edison films catalog: Taken during the Klondike excitement. The streets are crowded with miners buying outfits and supplies. Mule trains, trolley cars and hurrying pedestrians give life and bustle to the scene. 50 feet. $7.50. Advertised as part of the "Northern Pacific Railway Series" (Edison films catalog): The following pictures were taken by our artists at various points on the Northern Pacific Railway. We are greatly indebted to their officials who afforded us every opportunity in their power to obtain these splendid views. Many of the scenes are incident to the excitement prevailing at the time of the Klondike gold rush. They show the resources of this company for handling large numbers of people, baggage, freight and excursion parties, and give to prospective tourists and merchants an idea of the facilities with which this road handles traffic of all kinds (p. 9). (LoC)

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Hotel Del Monte
32.

Hotel Del Monte

1.7
4.1/10 IMDB

Shows a party of tourists at this famous resort; located in Monterey, Cal., on the Southern Pacific Railroad. The magnificence of its surroundings is clearly shown. This early sponsored film by Southern Pacific Railroad offers views of tourists at the opulent resort in Monterey, California.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Free-for-All race at Charter Oak Park
33.

Free-for-All race at Charter Oak Park

1.6
3.7/10 IMDB

Great horse racing on the famous Hartford track, showing start and finish of a 2.04 3/4 heat run by the fastest harness horse in the world, John R. Gentry.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-07-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Charity Ball
34.

Charity Ball

1.6
4.2/10 IMDB

A Victorian couple dancing.

Starring: James T. Kelley, Dorothy Kent ..
Directed by: William Heise
Release date: 1897-09-18
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Launch of life boat
35.

Launch of life boat

1.6
3.6/10 IMDB

This Edison short delivers everything the title says. In 24-seconds we see a boat being lowered into the water led by Capt. Joseph Hodgson. The boat is put into the water and it quickly disappears out of frame on a drill helping them prepare for a real sinking.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Loading baggage for Klondike, no. 6
36.

Loading baggage for Klondike, no. 6

1.5
3.4/10 IMDB

This was the first ship sailing for the Klondike from Seattle during the gold rush of 1897. The picture shows the excitement and enthusiasm that attended the great Klondike exodus. Crowds of anxious gold seekers watch the loading of their outfits, clothing, kits and provisions into the hole of the Williamette.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Fisherman's Wharf
37.

Fisherman's Wharf

1.5
3.7/10 IMDB

Shows the wharf at San Francisco, Cal., with a large fleet of fishing boats at anchor.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Fishing smacks
38.

Fishing smacks

1.5
3.2/10 IMDB

Another Edison film shot in San Francisco at the Fisherman's Wharf. Once again the camera is looking down on a group of men doing their jobs.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-20
39.

Projectile from Ten Inch Disappearing Gun Striking Water, Sandy Hook

1.4
3.5/10 IMDB

"Result of a shot from the ten-inch disappearing gun."

Release date: 1897-02-21
40.

Deyo

1.4
5.9/10 IMDB

"A fascinating skirt dance by the well-known roof garden favorite."

Starring: Blanche Dayo ..
Release date: 1897-03-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Single harness horses
41.

Single harness horses

1.3
4.3/10 IMDB

Shows ten horses hitched to fashionable carts driven past the judges and grandstand to show their style, action and high-stepping movements. Among the drivers, Charles F. (Fatty ) Bates, the noted whip, shows up very prominently. The horses are all of very high class, and the action is of the very best. The film is clear, sharp and catchy.

Release date: 1897-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : The sea lions' home
42.

The sea lions' home

1.2
4.2/10 IMDB

The famous Seal Rocks at Golden Gate Park are here shown. Sea lions in their wild state are lying on the rocks and swimming and diving in the water.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-01
43.

Boat Wagon and Beach Cart

1.2
3.9/10 IMDB

Two carts, one with a boat on it, are being pushed out of a garage.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-10-24
44.

Launch of Surf Boat

1.2
4.3/10 IMDB

The crew of seven dressed in cork jackets, push the boat through the surf; they clamber in and row out to the wreck. 50 ft.

Release date: 1897-10-25
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Bois de Boulogne
45.

Bois de Boulogne

1.1
4.8/10 IMDB

A street scene.

Release date: 1897-12-07
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : The Haverstraw Tunnel
46.

The Haverstraw Tunnel

1.1
5.1/10 IMDB

A train travels along the tracks of the West Shore railroad in Rockland county. It goes through the Haverstraw Tunnel and out the other side.

Release date: 1897-06-15
47.

At the Top of Brooklyn Bridge

1.1
4.9/10 IMDB

No overview found.

Release date: 1897-12-01
48.

Husking Bee

1.1
3.7/10 IMDB

Shows a party of young people in front of a barn door, searching for the red ear, which is discovered, and the penalty exacted from one of the group who resists payment of the forfeit, thereby creating confusion and merriment. The group is animated, and is made up of real farmer boys and girls. During the progress of husking, the farmer arrives wheeling his little daughter to the sport on a barrow.

Directed by: James H. White
Release date: 1897-05-24
Best Documentary Movies of 1897 : Baigneurs et plongeurs
49.

Baigneurs et plongeurs

1.1
4.4/10 IMDB

It's a public pool, where some men stand by the pool, some dive into it, and other simply enjoy being being in the water.

Release date: 1897-12-07
50.

Rue Royale: Église de la Madeleine

1.1
3.9/10 IMDB

Street images with horse carriages passing by.

Release date: 1897-09-12

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