Best Documentary Movies of 1934
Man of Aran
A documentary on the life of the people of the Aran Islands, who were believed to contain the essence of the ancient Irish life, represented by a pure uncorrupted peasant existence centred around the struggle between man and his hostile but magnificent surroundings. A blend of documentary and fictional narrative, the film captures the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands.
The Song of Ceylon
Ambitious documentary chronicling the cultural life and religious customs of the Sinhalese and the effects of advanced industrialism on such customs.
City of Wax
City of Wax is a 1934 American short documentary film produced by Horace and Stacy Woodard about the life of a bee. It won the Oscar at the 7th Academy Awards in 1935 for Best Short Subject (Novelty).
During his adventure in Mexico, Sergei Eisenstein made footage of a Mexican "Death Day" celebration for inclusion in his "Que Viva Mexico!" film project. When the 200,000-plus feet of film he eventually exposed in Mexico was first attempted to be made into a feature film, "Thunder Over Mexico", the producers excluded the Death Day material for subsequent compilation as an independent short subject. Silent with music track and explanatory English intertitles.
Strikes and Spares
This short features professional bowler Andy Varipapa. He first shows the correct way to grip a bowling ball and the proper form for delivering the ball down the alley. He then performs several trick shots.
The Hollywood Gad-About
A parade highlights the Screen Actors Guild's Film Stars Frolic, hosted by Walter Winchell as Master of Ceremonies.
The Story of the Wheel
The history of wheels, roads and vehicles from cavemen to the coming of steam.
Documentary following an Edinburgh fishing trawler, the "Isabella Grieg".
The First World War
Produced by the Fox Movietone News arm of Fox Film Corporation and based on the book by Lawrence Stallings, this expanded newsreel, using stock-and-archive footage, tells the story of World War I from inception to conclusion. Alternating with scenes of trench warfare and intimate glimpses of European royalty at home, and scenes of conflict at sea combined with sequences of films from the secret archives of many of the involved nations.
Short documentary showing the workings of a large London sorting office.