Best Documentary Movies of 1901

1.

Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theatre

2.8
6.7/10 IMDB

Time-lapse photography showing the one month-long demolition of the Star Theatre in New York.

Directed by: Frederick S. Armitage
Release date: 1901-04-29
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : Anna Held
2.

Anna Held

2.5
5.4/10 IMDB

Stage star Anna Held (1872-1918) riffs on her once-famous scene from the comedy Papa's Wife (1899-1901) featuring a naif getting tipsy on her first champagne, in this "photographic interview", filmed in 68mm by Frederick S. Armitage. AM&B's Picture Catalogue of 1902 pitched it as "A stunning picture of the well-known actress in the drinking scene which made such a hit in Papa's Wife. The figure is shown in bust view, making the head very large and giving a clear view of the facial expressions of the beautiful artiste." The company said that both "make hits either in the Biograph [35mm projection service] or Mutoscope" [hand-cranked peep-show viewer].

Starring: Anna Held ..
Directed by: Frederick S. Armitage
Release date: 1901-05-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : The Georgetown Loop
3.

The Georgetown Loop

2.5
5.5/10 IMDB

Railroad from Georgetown to Silver Plume, Colorado.

Directed by: Billy Bitzer
Release date: 1901-07-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : What Happened on Twenty-Third Street, New York City
4.

What Happened on Twenty-Third Street, New York City

2.5
5.8/10 IMDB

A street level view from the sidewalk, looking along the length of 23rd Street. Following actuality footage of pedestrians and street traffic, the actors, a man in summer attire and a woman in an ankle-length dress, walk toward the camera.

Starring: A.C. Abadie, Florence Georgie ..
Directed by: Edwin S. Porter, George S. Fleming
Release date: 1901-07-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : Preston Egg Rolling
5.

Preston Egg Rolling

2.3
5.4/10 IMDB

Release date: 1901-04-02
6.

Boys Diving, Honolulu

2.2
4.7/10 IMDB

In the background is a row of three-masted sailing ships, at anchor, their sales furled. In the foreground, a simple pier that's more like a yardarm juts out above the water; about 15 boys of six or seven years of age are on the jutting wood, and they jump off into the water below. The water looks to be about three feet deep. They swim back toward the pier. A small motorized boat passes. It's a stationary camera; one take.

Release date: 1901-01-01
7.

President McKinley Inauguration

2.2
5.4/10 IMDB

President McKinley Inauguration

Starring: William McKinley ..
Directed by: Billy Bitzer
Release date: 1901-03-05
8.

The Trick Cyclist

2.2
5.0/10 IMDB

Shows a tramp enter and try to ride a wheel, from which he makes some very ludicrous falls and gives up in despair, after which an artist enters and jumps rope on a wheel. A very laughable subject.

Directed by: Thomas A. Edison
Release date: 1901-09-21
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : President McKinley and Escort Going to the Capitol
9.

President McKinley and Escort Going to the Capitol

2.1
4.5/10 IMDB

Cavalry and foot-soldiers escort President McKinley.

Starring: William McKinley, George Dewey, John Davis Long, Nelson Appleton Miles ..
Release date: 1901-03-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : President McKinley Taking the Oath
10.

President McKinley Taking the Oath

2.1
4.4/10 IMDB

President McKinley taking the Oath.

Starring: William McKinley, Melville Fuller, George Dewey, Nelson Appleton Miles, Joseph E. Ransdell, Mark Hanna, John Coit Spooner, James K. Jones, Joseph Gurney Cannon, John Dalzell ..
Directed by: Thomas A. Edison
Release date: 1901-03-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : Buffalo Bill's Wild West Parade
11.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Parade

2.1
4.4/10 IMDB

The film shows a parade down Fifth Avenue, New York. In the foreground many children, both black and white, can be seen following alongside the parade. The participants in the parade include cowboys, Indians, and soldiers in the uniform of the United States Cavalry on horseback and riding horse-drawn coaches. Buffalo Bill can be seen on horseback, lifting his hat to the crowd. Filmed on 1 April 1901.

Starring: William F. Cody ..
Release date: 1901-04-01
12.

Panoramic View of Electric Tower from a Balloon

2.1
4.1/10 IMDB

Here we have recorded a very novel scene, the camera having been placed in the basket of the captive balloon at the Pan-American Exposition...

Release date: 1901-08-21
13.

Panoramic View of the Morecambe Sea Front

2.0
6.3/10 IMDB

One long traveling shot through a sea front lined with tourists, workers, and sundry others.

Release date: 1901-01-01
14.

Esquimaux Leap-Frog

2.0
3.6/10 IMDB

Another Edison short filmed at the Pan-American Exposition is pretty much the same film as ESQUIMAUX GAME OF SNAP-THE-WHIP with the only difference being the sport. Here we see a group of kids playing leap-frog.

Release date: 1901-08-21
15.

Esquimaux Game of Snap-the-Whip

1.9
3.2/10 IMDB

“The picture [shows] a number of Esquimaux picking nickels from cracks in a board with their dog whips, in which sport they are very expert. In the background will be seen one of their "Topeks," a sealskin tent in which they live during their short summer.” (Edison catalog)

Release date: 1901-08-08
16.

The Martyred Presidents

1.5
3.8/10 IMDB

This film is difficult to classify. It opens on a scene showing a mourner with bowed head sitting in front of what appears to be a tombstone. Shortly afterwards, the face of Abraham Lincoln and then of two other presidents, Garfield and McKinley, can be seen on the monument and then they disappear. There is a figure huddled at the foot of a statue of Justice, as if asking forgiveness.

Directed by: Edwin S. Porter
Release date: 1901-10-19
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : Japanese Schoolchildren
17.

Japanese Schoolchildren

1.4
4.7/10 IMDB

Film produced by the Warwick Trading Company.

Release date: 1901-01-01
18.

Deaf Mute Recitation

1.3
4.4/10 IMDB

A young girl reciting "The Star Spangled Banner" in sign language as taught at Gallaudet Institute.

Release date: 1901-04-25
19.

Jeffries Exercising in His Gymnasium

1.3
4.3/10 IMDB

Jeffries walks into his gymnasium at Oakland, Cal., accompanied by Billy Delaney, and begins exercising with the heavy weights. The view was taken with the champion close to the camera, and during the exercises his back is turned to the audience, when his great muscles stand out in bold relief, and, as he strains and tugs at the weights, they give one the impression of huge bands of knotted cords.

Starring: Billy Delaney, James J. Jeffries ..
Release date: 1901-12-14
20.

Jeffries Sparring with His Brother

1.3
4.2/10 IMDB

A fine picture of the champion and his brother in a very lively one-round sparring bout. The muscles of the champion are shown to excellent advantage, and aside from being a very lively and interesting sparring exhibition the film presents an absolutely perfect photograph of the champion and his brother.

Starring: Jack Jeffries, James J. Jeffries ..
Release date: 1901-12-14
21.

Jeffries Throwing the Medicine Ball

1.3
4.1/10 IMDB

James J. Jeffries throwing the medicine ball. An absolutely perfect picture of the champion heavyweight of the world.

Starring: James J. Jeffries, Tommy Ryan, Jim Daly ..
Directed by: J. Stuart Blackton, Albert E. Smith
Release date: 1901-12-14
22.

Jeffries Side Stepping and Wrestling

1.2
4.2/10 IMDB

Another fine picture of the champion going through his side-stepping tactics which have made him famous. The picture ends with a wrestling bout with his brother, Jack Jeffries.

Starring: Jack Jeffries, James J. Jeffries ..
Release date: 1901-12-14
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : Jeffries Skipping the Rope
23.

Jeffries Skipping the Rope

1.2
4.4/10 IMDB

A splendid subject, showing the champion heavyweight of the world, exercising in his training headquarters. After showing his skill in side-stepping, and fancy steps while skipping the rope at a phenomenal speed, the champion's trainers peel off his sweater and give him a rubdown, during which the mighty muscles on the champion's chest and back are seen to perfection.

Starring: James J. Jeffries ..
Directed by: J. Stuart Blackton
Release date: 1901-12-14
24.

Inauguration of the Commonwealth

1.2
4.2/10 IMDB

This clip shows part of the official parade for the Inauguration of the Commonwealth on 1 January 1901 as it passes through the temporary gate built especially for the occasion in Hyde Park, Sydney.

Directed by: Joseph Perry
Release date: 1901-04-25
25.

Children Bathing

1.0
3.1/10 IMDB

A pretty and natural picture in which the principal actors are two tiny tots who are evidently not a bit afraid of the briny deep as they splash around in the waves in very evident delight and enjoyment. The water effects are splendid and this is a beautiful subject of "Child-life." We recommend this to make a hit with any audience.

Directed by: J. Stuart Blackton, Albert E. Smith
Release date: 1901-12-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : Visit to Pompeii
26.

Visit to Pompeii

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

George Albert Smith and Charles Urban snaffled the plum job of travelling to Italy to take a series of views of Italy for the Warwick Trading Company, including this one. The long panning shots of Pompeii linger respectfully, as a tourist would, before the camera finally raises its eye to the mighty volcano looming in the distance beyond.

Directed by: George Albert Smith
Release date: 1901-01-01
27.

Parade on West End Pier, Morecambe

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Mitchell & Kenyon.

Release date: 1901-01-02
28.

West End Pier, Morecambe

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Mitchell & Kenyon.

Release date: 1901-01-02
29.

Morecambe Promenade & Winter Gardens

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Mitchell & Kenyon.

Release date: 1901-01-02
30.

Scenes by the Stone Jetty, Morecambe

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Mitchell & Kenyon.

Release date: 1901-01-02
31.

Circular Panorama of Electric Tower

0.0
5.4/10 IMDB

A most interesting picture at the Pan-American Exposition. The picture was taken from the north side of the Electric Tower. It presents the most perfect and diversified views of the Transportation Building, Mexican Plaza, the Stadium and the north side of the Electric Tower. (Edison Catalog, 1902)

Directed by: Edwin S. Porter
Release date: 1901-08-31
32.

Panorama of Ealing from a Moving Tram

0.0
4.7/10 IMDB

A camera sits on top of a moving train, providing a panoramic view of Ealing as the train moves.

Directed by: William K.L. Dickson
Release date: 1901-06-03
Best Documentary Movies of 1901 : Panorama of Grand Harbour, Malta, Showing Battleships, Etc.
33.

Panorama of Grand Harbour, Malta, Showing Battleships, Etc.

0.0
6.2/10 IMDB

Single panning shot of the Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta.

Directed by: William K.L. Dickson
Release date: 1901-01-01
34.

Terrible Teddy, the Grizzly King

0.0
4.0/10 IMDB

Our presidential hunter runs across the landscape and falls down in the snow, gets up with his rifle, and gazes upward at a treed animal which isn't in the camera's view. He fires a shot into the tree, then leaps on the ground to grab the fallen prey, a domestic cat, finishing it off with wild blows of his hunting knife while his companions, a photographer and a press agent, record the event that will be reported far and wide as a manly moment. Teddy then rides out of the forest followed by two companions afoot, never mind that they all originally arrived afoot. Perhaps it was funnier in its day than it is now, but apparently shooting cats was regarded as funny in those days. The larger point was to use a minor whimsy as a political criticism, in this case of Teddy Roosevelt's easy manipulations of the press. It was based on two frames of a political cartoon that had appeared in the paper a mere week before the film was made.

Directed by: Edwin S. Porter
Release date: 1901-12-31

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