Best Documentary Movies of 1932
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.
This humorous short film shows various species of tropical fish at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco, California.
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.
The film documents the actions taken by the Misiones Pedagógicas, active in the 1930s, to bring culture and development to rural areas of Spain.
Bring 'Em Back Alive
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.
Just a Gigolo
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.
In this Sports Champions entry, power boat racers use specially designed outboard motor boats in a race on California's Salton Sea.
In the Name of Lenin
The film showcases the opening of the Dnepr water-power plant.
Rambling 'Round Radio Row #1
Jerry Wald has to write about radio, visiting Sid Gary gives him the tip it might be more easy for him to write this article at the radio station than at his newspaper office. At the studio they listen to the Boswell Sister's rehearsal, which is interupted by some not so friendly remarks by orchestra leader Abe Lyman, they listen at the door, where a Colonel Stoopnagel broadcast is prepared, as well as to the rehearsal of a new song for an broadcast by Kate Smith.
Possible images of Military during the War of the Four days
Burial of Archbishop Manuel Maria Polit Laso (October 1932)
Burial of Archbishop Manuel Maria Polit Laso (October 1932)
Documentary detailing the hardships of life among Alaskan Natives.
This Naked Age
"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.
Screen Snapshots (Series 12, No. 2)
A Columbia Pictures promotional short which explains how a movie is made.
This short film takes a look through a microscope's lens at insect life.
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.
All That Is England
Austin promotional short, showing a tour around the country by many Austin models, from the Seven to the Ascot.
Believe It or Not (Second Series) #11
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).
Tennis champion Bill Tilden gives two tennis players tips on the proper grip, footwork, body position, and other ways to improve their tennis game.
A look at the everyday life of Tahitian natives.
This short film presents several athletes preparing for the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.
12th Grand Prize Brasschaet 1932
Short documentary about the cycling match "12de groote prijs Brasschaet".
Hockey: Canada's National Game
1933 hockey game
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.
1932 Lake Placid Olympics
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.
In Sheep’s Clothing
1932 Los Angeles Olympics
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.
Nature's Double Lifers - Ferns and Fronds
Mary Field edits the time-lapse photography of F. Percy Smith to show the life cycle of ferns and related plants.
Wild Women of Borneo
Travelogue, following a journey from Mexico to Borneo, via Singapore, covering local flora, wildlife, peoples and customs.
National Hunger March 1931
A document of the 1931 national hunger march on Washington produced by the Workers Film and Photo League.
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.
Isle of Paradise
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.
A beautifully shot four-minute travelogue from Viipuro (Vyborg) to Kuopio, focused on architectures and everyday lives of rural villagers.
Un sat basarabean, Cornova
Sociological documentary presenting a village in Romania in the 1930s.
A documentary taking a journey down the Thames from Tower Bridge to the Shellhaven refinery near London.
Detroit Workers News Special 1932: Ford Massacre
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.
The National Hunger March 1931
The film shows the National Unemployment Council Hunger March of Nov. and Dec. 1931, which set out from disparate parts of the U.S. to represent twelve million unemployed.
Bonus March 1932
Bonus March shows unemployed WWI veterans marching on Washington, D.C., demanding their bonus money, and being forcefully evicted.
Part of BFI collection "Secrets of Nature."
Laurel and Hardy in Edinburgh
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy visit Scotland in the Summer of 1932
Gateway to India: Bombay
This early entry in James A. Fitzpatrick's TravelTalks series takes us to Bombay, which we're told is the gateway to India.
Small trades in Paris
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.
The Magic Vault
A featurette documentary based on the life and works of Commander George Miller Dyott.
Stranded in Prescot
Brilliant documentary showing how British Insulated Cables can electrify your home!
Window of the World
A documentary about the progress of film.
The Invention of the Ford V8 Engine
1932 Documentary showcasing the Ford V8 engine.
Meshie, Child of a Chimpanzee
In 1931, Henry Cushier Raven, the American Museum of Natural History’s Curator of Human and Comparative Anatomy, returned from West Africa to his home in Long Island with a baby chimpanzee named Meshie. Raven shot a home movie-style documentary of Meshie living, playing with, and taking care of his young kids Harry, Jane, and Mary.