Best Documentary Movies of 1905
Coney Island at Night
A panorama of Coney Island, taken at night: the camera sweeps across the scene from a vantage point well above the area. It then moves in for closer views of Dreamland and Luna Park.
New York Subway
The camera platform was on the front of a New York subway train following another train on the same track. Lighting is provided by a specially constructed work car on a parallel track. At the time of filming, the subway was only seven months old, having opened on October 27, 1904. The ride begins at 14th Street (Union Square) following the route of today's east side IRT, and ends at the old Grand Central Station, built by Cornelius Vanderbuilt in 1869. The Grand Central Station in use today was not completed until 1913.
Preston North End v Aston Villa
Early football footage from Mitchell & Kenyon.
Midwinter Bathing, L Street Bath, Boston
This film was photographed in the winter, much of it during an actual snowstorm, and snow can be seen on the ground in all scenes. The subject is a group of men, clothed only in swimming trunks, who demonstrate their physical prowess by doing calisthenics, playing handball, and swimming during freezing weather.
Nothing to do with potties... Baby gets a good wash. In this charming Hepworth actuality film a crisply uniformed, no-nonsense nurse bounces a baby girl on her lap before submerging the unsuspecting infant into a tub of soapy water. The baby is surprisingly content to be so vigorously sponged and rinsed but somewhat less happy when extracted from the suds and deposited onto a set of unwelcoming metal weighing scales. Once back on a familiar lap, however, the baby delights in being dried, powdered and expertly pampered. (Catherine McGahan)
Panorama from Times Building, New York
The camera is high above Manhattan near the top of the Times Building, pointing down.
Peace Envoys at Portsmouth, N.H.
I'm not sure why the negotiations that ended the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5 took place in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but President Theodore Roosevelt had been flexing the United States' power in the world. He had offered to mediate an end to the the war. Russia agreed because of the shocking losses they had suffered at Mukden and Tsushima, and the naval revolt in Odessa. Japan had agreed because they feared a drawn-out war would cripple them financially. Besides, the treaty's terms gave them control of Korea. This film documents the world leaders presence in Portsmouth with military parades and naval ships.
Scenes at Creusot's Steel Foundry
An actuality which chronicles how a load of ore becomes a finished steel product at a Bessemer plant. Deep red tints and red-hot pops of hand-coloring give the film an ominous glow.
Across the Subway Viaduct, New York
A train ride of New York.
Au jardin zoologique de Paris
A visit to the zoo.
Building a British Railway Arrival of the Scotch Express at Rugby
It's the view out of a railroad car near the engine as it navigates among a choice of tracks and takes off through the countryside.
Mystic Shriners' Day, Dreamland, Coney Island
A parade of Mystic Shriners in ritual costumes and traditional hats, carrying a banner reading "Mecca"; some walk, some are mounted on horses, a few ride on camels and on one elephant. Many men and women in street dress walk casually in the parade. Single camera position from high angle.
Automobile Races at Ormond, Fla.
Various shots of a car race and the spectators.
Les grandes eaux de Versailles
Colored footage of fountains in the park of Versailles.