Best Documentary Movies of 1933
A Small Town in China
Shot by Methodist missionaries, this is an incredibly charming record of small-town life in an unidentified location in China. We see a bustling wharf town with canal-side dwellings, distinctive school buildings, and a hospital where newly graduated nurses pose for a group portrait. The relaxed smiles of Chinese and Europeans are captured in intimate close-ups, suggesting a tight-knit community.
Elysia, Valley of the Nude
James Mack, a reporter for the International News Bureau, is assigned by his editor to do a story on the phenomenon of nudist colonies.
New Deal Rhythm
Plotless musical revue celebrating President Franklin D. Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration.
All at Sea
"All at Sea" is a short documentary of Cooke, Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard all on Chaplin's yacht on an afternoon sail.
In the Wake of the Bounty
The film explores the story of the Bounty and is based on the 1932 novel Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall.
The Rugged Island: A Shetland Lyric
Hailed by John Grierson as 'one of the best descriptions of life in the country anybody has yet made', the film follows a young couple torn between the choice of emigration to Australia or remaining to work their croft in Shetland.
The Film Parade
Pioneer filmmaker J. Stuart Blackton was intrigued by the idea of a film about the history of the movies as early as 1915. He finally released a 52-minute feature called The Film Parade that was shown in New York and favorably reviewed by "Variety" in 1933. He continued tinkering with the film for the rest of the decade, and later filmmakers and distributors used Blackton's footage for stock or to produce their own variously titled and truncated versions. -UCLA Film & Television Archive
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.
Producer Samuel Cummins, along with five participants in World War I, discuss the key events of the war as illustrated by an assemblage of battlefield and other documentary footage. This film is not the same as, but seems likely to have either inspired or been inspired by, Norman Lee's British production of the same title (q.v.), apparently released the following year.
A short GPO documentary showing how undersea telephone cables are repaired.