Best Documentary Movies of 1931


Intimate Interviews: Bela Lugosi

6.8/10 IMDB

Actor Bela Lugosi discusses his career, his social life, and his feelings about his most famous role, Count Dracula.

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Dorothy West ..
Directed by: Grace Elliott
Release date: 1931-11-26
Best Documentary Movies of 1931 : Portrait of a Young Man in Three Movements

Portrait of a Young Man in Three Movements

6.5/10 IMDB

This is a non-narrative film, comprised of shots that "portray a certain young man in the terms of the things that he likes", such as the flow of the tide on a seashore, the motion of finely-tuned machinery, and sunlight shining through the fronds of a palm.

Directed by: Henwar Rodakiewicz
Release date: 1931-04-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1931 : How I Play Golf by Bobby Jones No. 11: Practice Shots

How I Play Golf by Bobby Jones No. 11: Practice Shots

5.7/10 IMDB

Golf expert Bobby Jones arrives on the golf course to join actors James Cagney, Anthony Bushell, Donald Cook, Evalyn Knapp, and Louise Fazenda in shooting a golf instruction film. Louise Fazenda however has no knowledge of golf and her ongoing commentary disrupts Jones's attempts to practice. While Cagney and Bushell hold Louise's mouth shut, Jones demonstrates his approach to golf. Later, upon arrival of director George Marshall, Louise is sent off "to practice" alone while the cast and crew go about shooting the film.

Starring: James Cagney, Louise Fazenda, Anthony Bushell, Evalyn Knapp, George Marshall, Bobby Jones, O.B. Keeler, Donald Cook, Percy Ikerd ..
Directed by: George Marshall
Release date: 1931-04-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1931 : Industrial Britain

Industrial Britain

6.3/10 IMDB

Grierson set out to make "propaganda," and this film--with it's voice-over proclaiming the great value of the British industrial worker, without a hint of ambiguity or doubt--fits that category well. The authoritatarian narrator feels out-of-date and unsophisticated, but the footage is well shot and interesting, and the transparency of the propaganda aspect is almost a reflief at a time when so many films have hidden agendas.

Starring: Donald Calthrop ..
Directed by: Robert J. Flaherty
Release date: 1931-01-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1931 : The Forgotten Frontier

The Forgotten Frontier

5.4/10 IMDB

The Forgotten Frontier (1931) is a documentary film about the Frontier Nursing Service, nurses on horseback, who traveled the back roads of the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States.

Starring: Mary Breckinridge ..
Directed by: Marvin Breckinridge
Release date: 1931-01-01

Intimate Interviews: James Cagney

6.5/10 IMDB

Dorothy West, an interviewer for the New York-based filmed interview series "Intimate Interviews" calls up rising screen star James Cagney and asks for an interview. He agrees and she comes to his house. Cagney and West sit down while she asks him questions about his early life and his career.

Starring: James Cagney, Dorothy West ..
Directed by: Grace Elliott
Release date: 1931-10-24
Best Documentary Movies of 1931 : Round About Hollywood

Round About Hollywood

6.2/10 IMDB

This short travelogue depicts snippets of locations in Hollywood, California, most of them as seen from the streets. Considerable time is taken showing the kinds of architecture of private homes. There are images of various important buildings, and a depiction of the Hollywood Bowl. Finally, there is a sequence revolving around the premiere of the film “Dirigible” (1931) at the famed Chinese Theatre.

Starring: Frank Fay, Carl Laemmle, Gladys Lloyd, Bessie Love, Sally O'Neil, Edward G. Robinson, Barbara Stanwyck, Gloria Swanson ..
Release date: 1931-05-22
Best Documentary Movies of 1931 : Around the World with Douglas Fairbanks

Around the World with Douglas Fairbanks

6.1/10 IMDB

With the advent of sound, the world's leading screen idol, Douglas Fairbanks, experienced a downturn in his fortunes. His thin, reedy voice was not suited to the talkies, his marriage to Mary Pickford was on the outs, and his son, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., had replaced him as a major box-office draw. Faced with the Hollywood equivalent of a mid-life crisis, Doug called up three of his best friends - director Victor Fleming, cinematographer Henry Sharp, and production manager Charles Lewis - and took them on a six-month tour of Asia, ostensibly to shoot a travelogue for United Artists (of which Fairbanks was still a major shareholder.) Their first stop is Honolulu, followed in quick succession by Japan, China, Peking, Hong Kong, Indochina, the Philippines, Siam, and India. Fairbanks and company spend time at such noteworthy spots as the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, the Summer Palace and the Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum.

Starring: Douglas Fairbanks, Victor Fleming, Duke Kahanamoku, Sôjin Kamiyama, Emilio Aguinaldo, Sessue Hayakawa, Charles Lewis, Henry Sharp ..
Directed by: Victor Fleming, Douglas Fairbanks
Release date: 1931-12-12

Little Journeys to Great Masters

6.0/10 IMDB

This short film provides a glimpse at famous art galleries of Rome, Florence, and the Vatican.

Directed by: E.M. Newman
Release date: 1931-08-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1931 : Wrestling Swordfish

Wrestling Swordfish

5.7/10 IMDB

Wrestling Swordfish is a 1931 American short adventure film produced by Mack Sennett. In 1932, it won an Oscar for Best Short Subject (Novelty) at the 5th Academy Awards.

Release date: 1931-11-08

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