Best Documentary Movies of 1932


Swing High

6.6/10 IMDB

Swing High is a 1932 American Pre-Code short documentary film directed by Jack Cummings. In 1932, it was nominated for an Academy Award at the 5th Academy Awards for Best Short Subject (Novelty). The film documents The Flying Codonas, a family of flying trapeze artists.

Starring: The Flying Codonas, Pete Smith, Edward Codona, Lalo Codona, Alfredo Codona, Vera Codona ..
Directed by: Jack Cummings
Release date: 1932-11-12
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Color Scales

Color Scales

5.9/10 IMDB

This humorous short film shows various species of tropical fish at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco, California.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Zion Myers
Release date: 1932-04-23


6.5/10 IMDB

The first sound movie made entirely in Africa, Congorilla premiered in 1932 and permitted audiences to hear what they had only been able to see during previous safari films. Martin and Osa Johnson began in Kenya and Tanzania before moving to Uganda and the Congo Basin (Zaire). Along the way they filmed Zebra in the Serengeti, charging Rhinos in the Northern Frontier District (Southern Somalia), and recorded exciting encounters with Crocodiles and Hippos as they went down the Nile. The latter part of the film is devoted to the 7 months the filmmakers spent in the Ituri Forest with the Mbuti people as they captured village life despite the humidity, which caused batteries to deteriorate, wires and connections to erode, and mildew to form on camera cases.

Starring: Martin E. Johnson, Osa Johnson ..
Directed by: Martin E. Johnson
Release date: 1932-08-07

The Mystery of Marriage

5.9/10 IMDB

The courtship rituals of animals and plants are compared to those of contemporary society, with educational and frequently humorous results.

Directed by: Mary Field
Release date: 1932-04-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Just a Gigolo

Just a Gigolo

5.6/10 IMDB

Irene Bordoni sings the title song in French and English with a Bouncing Ball. Cartoon sequences: Betty Boop as a cabaret emcee and cigarette girl; a romantic tom-cat gigolo.

Starring: Irène Bordoni, Mae Questel, Max Fleischer, Tomcat, Tabby Cats ..
Directed by: Dave Fleischer
Release date: 1932-09-08
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Bring 'Em Back Alive

Bring 'Em Back Alive

6.5/10 IMDB

American animal trapper Frank Buck travels with Ali, his "number one boy," on an expedition into the Malayan jungle. From their jungle headquarters just north of Singapore, Frank, Ali and a team of native helpers roam the area from Northern Johore to Perak in search of interesting wild animals, reptiles and birds. Hoping to find a tiger, Buck captures a monitor lizard and a black leopard, while another black leopard narrowly escapes an encounter with a giant python and then battles a bigger and stronger tiger. After trapping a spotted leopard, Frank adopts a baby honey bear and a baby elephant. The team catches an orangutan, but the tiger eludes their camouflaged pit. Meanwhile, Frank visits the "bathing festival" of a local tribe and watches as tribesmen kill an intruding spotted leopard with blow darts. The tiger then meets an enormous regal python, who has just crushed a crocodile, and fights to a draw with it.

Starring: Frank Buck ..
Directed by: Clyde E. Elliott
Release date: 1932-12-30

Desert Regatta

5.5/10 IMDB

In this Sports Champions entry, power boat racers use specially designed outboard motor boats in a race on California's Salton Sea.

Starring: Pete Smith, Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Jules White
Release date: 1932-09-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Igloo


8.1/10 IMDB

Documentary detailing the hardships of life among Alaskan Natives.

Starring: Gayne Whitman, Mala, Kyatuk, Toyuk, Lanak, Nahshook ..
Directed by: Ewing Scott
Release date: 1932-07-14

This Naked Age

5.0/10 IMDB

"This Nude World" is a groundbreaking 1932 "documentary" celebrating the age-old tradition of playing volleyball in you socks... and nothing else. The film purports to pose probing questions about the morality of nudist colonies o cover its actual aim of getting naked people on screen... primarily in long shots. A highlight of the film is the peeks at the phenomena in Germany, France (including Lido de Paris) and the United States along with wonderful pre-WWII footage of the cities visited A real hoot. It passed the National Board of Review in 1932.

Starring: Leo Donnelly, Kienne de Mongeot, Ilka Dieball, Gaston Durville ..
Directed by: Michael Mindlin
Release date: 1932-11-14
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Screen Snapshots (Series 12, No. 2)

Screen Snapshots (Series 12, No. 2)

7.2/10 IMDB

A Columbia Pictures promotional short which explains how a movie is made.

Starring: Harriet Parsons, Frank Capra, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori ..
Directed by: Ralph Staub
Release date: 1932-06-17

Microscopic Mysteries

6.6/10 IMDB

This short film takes a look through a microscope's lens at insect life.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Hugo Lund
Release date: 1932-10-18
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Snow Birds

Snow Birds

6.1/10 IMDB

This Pete Smith Sports Champion short visits Southern California where it quickly moves from orange orchards to the mountain snow playground at Big Pines L.A. County Camp for some winter sports including sledding, skating, and ski jumping.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Jules White
Release date: 1932-08-20

All That Is England

5.8/10 IMDB

Austin promotional short, showing a tour around the country by many Austin models, from the Seven to the Ascot.

Starring: Judy Kelly, Nigel Patrick, Bruce Lester, Aubrey Mallalieu, Diana Beaumont, Ernest Butcher, Dick Francis, J. Fisher White, Ruth Dunning ..
Directed by: Ralph Smart
Release date: 1932-07-25

Believe It or Not (Second Series) #11

5.9/10 IMDB

This entry of the Robert Ripley series does not feature Robert (who is away gathering material on his tours). Leo Donnelly narrates various odds and ends like a church service held on a river in boats, one of the largest sculptures in the world, sand art in bottles and a man who pulls cars with his hair. This episode also has a greater amount of "critter" material: chickens learn to be aquatic thanks to a training duck, another hen adopts puppies as her own, the Australian platypus is discussed (not as famous then as today) and a couple of horse topics (a motorized blacksmith and a horse with double-hoof).

Starring: Robert L. Ripley, Leo Donnelly ..
Release date: 1932-06-11
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Tennis Technique

Tennis Technique

5.6/10 IMDB

Tennis champion Bill Tilden gives two tennis players tips on the proper grip, footwork, body position, and other ways to improve their tennis game.

Starring: William T. Tilden, Eric Hatch ..
Directed by: Ray McCarey
Release date: 1932-08-29
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Sea Spiders

Sea Spiders

5.6/10 IMDB

A look at the everyday life of Tahitian natives.

Starring: Gayne Whitman ..
Release date: 1932-05-05

Olympic Events

5.4/10 IMDB

This short film presents several athletes preparing for the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Ray McCarey
Release date: 1932-03-05

12th Grand Prize Brasschaet 1932

5.1/10 IMDB

Short documentary about the cycling match "12de groote prijs Brasschaet".

Directed by: Jules Van Volxem
Release date: 1932-01-02

Hockey: Canada's National Game

4.8/10 IMDB

1933 hockey game

Directed by: James W. Campbell
Release date: 1932-09-09

Gazeta no. 4

5.0/10 IMDB

The only surviving film from the first trip of Aleksandr Medvedkin's Kinopoezd (film train). A 'film-newspaper' demonstrating one key aspect of the train's work: the desire to encourage shame. In it, poor workers are named and shamed outright and local leaders are filmed at a lengthy and ill-focused meeting, ignoring the urgent demands of the work that surround them.

Directed by: Nikolay Karmazinskiy
Release date: 1932-01-01

Entierro del Arzobispo Manuel Maria Polit Laso (Octubre 1.932)

4.3/10 IMDB

Burial of Archbishop Manuel Maria Polit Laso (October 1932)

Directed by: Miguel Ángel Álvarez
Release date: 1932-01-01

Posibles imágenes de Militares durante la Guerra de Los Cuatro días

4.4/10 IMDB

Possible images of Military during the War of the Four days

Directed by: Miguel Ángel Álvarez
Release date: 1932-09-12
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : 1932 Lake Placid Olympics

1932 Lake Placid Olympics

0.0/10 IMDB

IOC has restored 18 minutes from the 1932 Lake Placid Olympics. Ten of those minutes are silent sequences from men’s speed skating. The other eight minutes are taken from newsreel reports produced by Hearst Metrotone, Fox Movietone and Pathé.

Starring: Franklin D. Roosevelt ..
Release date: 1932-02-14

In Sheep’s Clothing

0.0/10 IMDB

Directed by: Jenny Gilbertson
Release date: 1932-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : 1932 Los Angeles Olympics

1932 Los Angeles Olympics

0.0/10 IMDB

The IOC has managed to assemble 49 minutes of sound coverage and 99 minutes of silent footage from the 1932 Summer Games, using material from U.S., British, German and Swedish newsreels.

Release date: 1932-08-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Wild Women of Borneo

Wild Women of Borneo

0.0/10 IMDB

Travelogue, following a journey from Mexico to Borneo, via Singapore, covering local flora, wildlife, peoples and customs.

Directed by: Charles Diltz
Release date: 1932-04-22

National Hunger March 1931

0.0/10 IMDB

A document of the 1931 national hunger march on Washington produced by the Workers Film and Photo League.

Directed by: Leo Hurwitz
Release date: 1932-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Kharga


0.0/10 IMDB

Documenting a journey by camel across the desolate wasteland of the Kharga Oasis in 1932. The film includes scenes at a train station, bustling street, scenes of digging/excavating, camel caravan carrying loads and travel between desert camps (party includes European women). The film shows Kharga - the largest oasis of the Libyan Desert, which consists of a depression about 160km long and between 20km to 80km wide; it is located 232km south of Asyut, 550km south of Cairo.

Release date: 1932-01-01

Isle of Paradise

0.0/10 IMDB

Shot over a period of six months in the island of Bali, in the Dutch East Indies, the film put together by Charles T. Trego, sets out to show that the scenic splendor and the beauty of the island lives up to the heralding both had from visitors. Any-and-everything shown seems to have happened in a natural way without being forced, and carries out the spirit of the legend that Bali is the one place on earth where happiness is the business. The narration is by David Ross, a popular New York City radio announcer of the time.

Directed by: Charles T. Trego
Release date: 1932-07-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Suomi kutsuu

Suomi kutsuu

0.0/10 IMDB

A beautifully shot four-minute travelogue from Viipuro (Vyborg) to Kuopio, focused on architectures and everyday lives of rural villagers.

Directed by: Heikki Aho, Björn Soldan
Release date: 1932-01-28

Un sat basarabean, Cornova

0.0/10 IMDB

Sociological documentary presenting a village in Romania in the 1930s.

Directed by: Henri H. Stahl, Anton Golopen?ia
Release date: 1932-03-11

Liquid History

0.0/10 IMDB

A documentary taking a journey down the Thames from Tower Bridge to the Shellhaven refinery near London.

Starring: Eric Dunstan ..
Directed by: Eric Dunstan
Release date: 1932-01-01

Detroit Workers News Special 1932: Ford Massacre

0.0/10 IMDB

The only known film record of the mass march and meeting held in Detroit on Feb. 4, 1932, against hunger and unemployment. Also shows the dramatic demonstration by workers at the Ford auto plant in River Rouge, Michigan in March of 1932, which ended with a violent attack by Dearborn police and Ford Company guards on the crowd with clubs, tear gas and guns which killed four young men. These deaths set off a wave of protest across the country.

Directed by: Leo Hurwitz
Release date: 1932-07-01

Bonus March 1932

0.0/10 IMDB

Bonus March shows unemployed WWI veterans marching on Washington, D.C., demanding their bonus money, and being forcefully evicted.

Directed by: Leo Hurwitz
Release date: 1932-12-01

The Nightingale

0.0/10 IMDB

Part of BFI collection "Secrets of Nature."

Release date: 1932-03-18

Laurel and Hardy in Edinburgh

0.0/10 IMDB

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy visit Scotland in the Summer of 1932

Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy ..
Release date: 1932-07-31

Gateway to India: Bombay

0.0/10 IMDB

This early entry in James A. Fitzpatrick's TravelTalks series takes us to Bombay, which we're told is the gateway to India.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1932-08-01

Small trades in Paris

0.0/10 IMDB

Grinders, rag-men, China menders, mattress carders are among those small trades of yesteryear that have disappeared from our sight and fallen into oblivion. But way back in 1931 they were far from extinct and still populated and livened up the streets from dawn till dusk. The tenderness of Pierre Chenal look at them is only accentuated by the nostalgia experienced by today's viewer.

Starring: Pierre Dumarchais ..
Directed by: Pierre Chenal
Release date: 1932-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Stranded in Prescot

Stranded in Prescot

0.0/10 IMDB

Brilliant documentary showing how British Insulated Cables can electrify your home!

Release date: 1932-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1932 : Window of the World

Window of the World

0.0/10 IMDB

A documentary about the progress of film.

Release date: 1932-02-01

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