Best Documentary Movies of 1935


A Trip Thru a Hollywood Studio

6.2/10 IMDB

This short shows the entrances of the various Hollywood studios, then specifically visits Warner Bros. / First National Studios. We start at the casting office, then see Busby Berkeley and choreographer Bobby Connolly working with chorus girls on production numbers. Then come some candid shots of several contract stars. Finally we see comedian Hugh Herbert filming a scene for an upcoming release, then the various behind the scenes steps that transition the raw film in the camera into the finished product.

Starring: William Ray, Arthur Aylesworth, Busby Berkeley, Bobby Connolly, Hugh Herbert, Rudy Vallee, Jean Muir, Warren William, Alice White, Pat O’Brien ..
Directed by: Ralph Staub
Release date: 1935-02-02

A Night of Storytelling

6.4/10 IMDB

A well known storyteller, Tomas O' Diorain tells tales of the sea around a fire in an old Irish cottage. His storytelling is juxtaposed with images of the sea. This film, thought lost was rediscovered by Houghton Library curators during a cataloging update in 2013.

Starring: Seáinín Tom Ó Dioráin, Maggie Dirrane, Michael Dirrane, Colman 'Tiger' King, Patch 'Red Beard' Ruadh ..
Directed by: Robert J. Flaherty
Release date: 1935-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Coal Face

Coal Face

6.3/10 IMDB

1935 documentary about the hard working life of Welsh coal miners.

Starring: W.H. Auden, Montagu Slater ..
Directed by: Alberto Cavalcanti
Release date: 1935-06-03
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Pitcairn Island Today

Pitcairn Island Today

6.2/10 IMDB

This visit to Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific Ocean shows that life for the residents has changed little in the years since Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers on HMS Bounty, along with several Tahitian natives, landed here. The island is self-sufficient and has few visitors. Among the islanders we see at work is Fletcher Christian's great-grandson.

Starring: Carey Wilson ..
Release date: 1935-05-25
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Housing Problems

Housing Problems

6.3/10 IMDB

The problem of slum dwellings in the 1930s.

Directed by: Edgar Anstey, Arthur Elton
Release date: 1935-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : The Fashion Side of Hollywood

The Fashion Side of Hollywood

5.8/10 IMDB

Compilation of lighting and costume tests from various films, most notably Sternberg's The Devil Is a Woman (1935).

Starring: Marlene Dietrich, Joan Bennett, Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard, Mae West, George Raft, Travis Banton, Kathleen Howard ..
Release date: 1935-11-04
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Kliou the Tiger

Kliou the Tiger

5.3/10 IMDB

Bhat, a member of the Moi tribe in Indo-China, loves Dhi, but her father Khan does not believe Bhat is worthy of his daughter, as he lacks hunting and warrior prowess. The tiger, Kliou, has been attacking Moi villages, taking people and livestock. During a hunt, Khan is severely mauled by the claws of Kliou. Witch doctors claim that Khan can only be saved by Kliou experiencing a similar bloodletting.

Starring: Lieut. Allouard Carny, Henri de la Falaise ..
Directed by: Henri de la Falaise
Release date: 1935-07-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : A Dream Comes True

A Dream Comes True

6.1/10 IMDB

A promotional short to hype the production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935).

Starring: Addison Richards, Ross Alexander, Binnie Barnes, Freddie Bartholomew, George Brent, Joe E. Brown, Virginia Bruce, James Cagney, Leo Carrillo, Hobart Cavanaugh ..
Release date: 1935-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Shipyard


5.9/10 IMDB

Documentary about the building of ships at Barrow-in-Furness.

Directed by: Paul Rotha
Release date: 1935-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Starlit Days at the Lido

Starlit Days at the Lido

5.8/10 IMDB

Basically this is a commercial for Hollywood's Lido Lounge and for MGM contract players. The Lido is a large watering hole; we visit one afternoon with an orchestra playing, all sorts of stars and would-be stars sitting at tables near the pool alongside paying customers, and bathing beauties parading and diving. The Lido's manager, Reggy Denny, introduces the stars in the audience. He's sometimes interrupted by someone who does a bit, sings a song, or otherwise entertains: most of these are novelty acts. By the end, everyone's having a swell time.

Starring: The Radio Rogues, Eddie Bartell, Jimmy Hollywood, Henry Busse, Henry Busse and His Orchestra, Three Radio Rogues, Henry Taylor, Donald Grayson, Arthur Lake, The Fanchonettes ..
Directed by: Natalie Kalmus
Release date: 1935-09-28
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Los Angeles: 'Wonder City of the West'

Los Angeles: 'Wonder City of the West'

6.5/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk series short visits Los Angeles, California. In one of the highlights of the film, narrator James FitzPatrick visits the Disney cartoon studio and shakes hands with Walt Disney.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick, Walt Disney ..
Release date: 1935-03-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Audioscopiks


5.7/10 IMDB

After the audience is instructed how to use the 3-D glasses they received, demonstrations of three-dimensional films are presented. Various objects move towards the camera, including a ladder being shoved out a window, the slide on a trombone, a woman on a swing, and a thrown baseball.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Jacob Leventhal, John Norling
Release date: 1935-12-26
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Things You Never See on the Screen

Things You Never See on the Screen

5.9/10 IMDB

Collection of Warner's stars blundering through missed takes.

Starring: Robert Armstrong, Johnny Arthur, Busby Berkeley, Joan Blondell, George Brent, James Cagney, Anne Canova, Judy Canova, Zeke Canova, Leo Carrillo ..
Release date: 1935-12-01

About Bananas

4.8/10 IMDB

Complete presentation of the banana industry from the clearing of the jungle and the planting to the shipment of the fruit to the American markets.

Release date: 1935-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : BBC: The Voice of Britain

BBC: The Voice of Britain

8.3/10 IMDB

An impressionistic portrait of the BBC.

Starring: Gilbert Keith Chesterton, H.G. Wells, Stuart Hibberd, Rev 'Dick' Sheppard, Val Gielgud, John Sharman, Humphrey Jennings, Adrian Boult, Queen Consort of George V Mary, Ramsay MacDonald ..
Directed by: Stuart Legg
Release date: 1935-07-28


7.1/10 IMDB

The 1935 Morro films, shot by Martin and Osa Johnson, recount the 60,000 mile "Flying Safari" undertaken by the filmmakers as they flew their two amphibious airlanes(the Zebra stripped 'Osa's Ark' and the Giraffe-spotted 'Spirit of Africa') from Capetown, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt. Famous shots from the movie include the first-ever aerial pictures of the tops of Africa's highest peaks, Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. Along the journey, Martin filmed Osa surrounded by a pride of Lions and together they captured amazing scenes of a baboon colony, an event striking enough to give the movie its name.

Starring: Martin E. Johnson, Osa Johnson ..
Directed by: Martin E. Johnson, Truman H. Talley
Release date: 1935-01-19

Honolulu: The Paradise of the Pacific

6.3/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk short visits Hawaii's capital city.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Directed by: Ruth FitzPatrick
Release date: 1935-11-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Royal Cavalcade

Royal Cavalcade

6.8/10 IMDB

Made in commemoration and celebration of the Jubilee of King George V, this is the story of the first twenty-five years of his reign, told through the many travels of a penny that was minted in the year of his accession: 1910. Through a series of individual stories, Royal Cavalcade covers a period of striking change in every area of life – from the suffragette movement to the trenches of World War One, the effects of the Depression to single events such as the first ever Royal Command Performance, featuring Anna Pavlova and George Robey.

Directed by: Walter Summers, Thomas Bentley, Marcel Varnel, Herbert Brenon, Norman Lee, W.P. Kellino
Release date: 1935-04-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Beautiful Banff and Lake Louise

Beautiful Banff and Lake Louise

6.9/10 IMDB

This short film focuses on the majestic towns and landscapes of the Canadian Rockies.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Directed by: Benjamin D. Sharpe
Release date: 1935-10-05

Trained Hoofs

6.4/10 IMDB

This short film focuses on how racehorses are trained.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: David Miller
Release date: 1935-10-12

Modern Tokyo

6.6/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk series short looks at pre-World War II Tokyo, highlighting the influences of Western culture.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1935-12-28

Rainbow Canyons

6.3/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk series short visits The Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Directed by: Ruth FitzPatrick
Release date: 1935-02-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Workers and Jobs

Workers and Jobs

6.0/10 IMDB

Public information film aimed at the unemployed, commissioned by the Ministry of Labour.

Directed by: Arthur Elton
Release date: 1935-03-01

Colorful Guatemala

5.9/10 IMDB

James A. FitzPatrick takes a look at colorful Guatemala.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1935-02-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : MGM 1935 Promo Reel

MGM 1935 Promo Reel

6.0/10 IMDB

Promo for MGM's upcoming 1935-36 releases hosted by Laurel & Hardy and Jimmy Finlayson. Brief clips are shown from Rose Marie, Anna Karenina, Broadway Melody, China Seas, The Great Ziegfield and others. Don't miss a few seconds from the 1935 version (now lost) of Tarzan Escapes showing Jane with a great ape; there were no great apes in the 1936 release.

Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson ..
Release date: 1935-12-09

Colorful Islands: Madagascar and Seychelles

6.2/10 IMDB

A Technicolor travelogue of the islands in the Indian Ocean east of Africa.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1935-01-01

Water Sports

6.0/10 IMDB

This short film showcases water sports activities such as sailboat racing and surfboard riding, including Christian Peterson doing a human surfboard at 45 mph.

Starring: Pete Smith, Christian Peterson ..
Directed by: Ray McCarey
Release date: 1935-10-26
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : The Immortal Swan

The Immortal Swan

5.2/10 IMDB

"The Immortal Swan", is a 1935 documentary tribute filmed not long after Pavlova's death that depicts the star dancing, including her most famous solo, "The Dying Swan".

Starring: Anna Pavlova ..
Directed by: Edward Nakhimoff
Release date: 1935-05-26

Hollywood Hobbies

5.8/10 IMDB

This short documentary narrated by sportscaster Ted Husing explores the free-time activities of some of Hollywood's most popular celebrities. Big names such as Boris Karloff, Buster Crabbe, and Clark Gable make appearances, enjoying games of golf, field hockey, swimming, and many other fun hobbies.

Starring: Ted Husing, Richard Arlen, Richard Arlen Jr., Boris Karloff, Charles Farrell, Keith Gledhill, Buster Crabbe, James Gleason, Jack Holt, Clark Gable ..
Release date: 1935-07-05
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Camera Thrills

Camera Thrills

6.6/10 IMDB

Academy Award nominated short film.

Directed by: Charles E. Ford
Release date: 1935-09-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : The Last Wilderness

The Last Wilderness

5.0/10 IMDB

Archery expert Howard Hill and a cameraman go to Wyoming to film this wild-animal three-reel short. Besides the scenery, the scenes include a buffalo killed by an arrow shot by Hill (for food); a wildcat and a coyote in a battle, and a fight-to-the-death between a mother bear (protecting her cubs) against a killer bear.

Starring: Howard Hill, Gayne Whitman ..
Release date: 1935-05-14

Inauguración monumento a Simón Bolívar

4.3/10 IMDB

Ingratiation of Simón Bolívar

Directed by: Miguel Ángel Álvarez
Release date: 1935-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Picnic Days

Picnic Days

0.0/10 IMDB

How to prepare the perfect picnic for the warm days that you spent outside. Learn here how to make your side dishes look and taste amazing.

Release date: 1935-07-25
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Safe Roads

Safe Roads

0.0/10 IMDB

A production by Chevrolet from 1935 on safety around trains

Release date: 1935-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : The Great Jakobshavn Iceberg Bank

The Great Jakobshavn Iceberg Bank

0.0/10 IMDB

Inuit in their kayaks hunting for seals and collecting ice for drinking water.

Directed by: Isobel Wylie Hutchison
Release date: 1935-01-01

A Capital Idea

0.0/10 IMDB

The Easy Aces narrate a travel talk of Washington DC.

Starring: Goodman Ace, Jane Ace ..
Release date: 1935-10-04
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Kristallen en Kleur

Kristallen en Kleur

0.0/10 IMDB

The crystallization processes of various chemicals which are visible only through the microscope are shown using time-lapse acceleration at times.

Directed by: J.C. Mol
Release date: 1935-06-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Berlin remains Berlin

Berlin remains Berlin

0.0/10 IMDB

A short film depicting the Nazi Imperial Capital of the 30s as a modern, vibrant metropole, reconstructing itself under the auspices of the new regime and bracing for the role it was about to play in the new political order.

Directed by: Franz Fiedler
Release date: 1935-01-01

Tin Sardines

0.0/10 IMDB

“Produced by the Portuguese Consortium of Tin Fish to advertise Portuguese canned food products in foreign markets, and possibly directed by Leitão de Barros, Tin Sardines is a curious account of its manufacturing process”.

Directed by: José Leitão de Barros
Release date: 1935-10-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Hei Tiki

Hei Tiki

0.0/10 IMDB

Hei Tiki, also known as Primitive Passions and Hei Tiki: A Saga of the Maoris, is a 1935 American mock-documentary film made in New Zealand by the eccentric Alexander Markey and released (with sound added) in America. The film gained notoriety in America for having scenes of nudity cut in various states. It is one of four films (with The Devil's Pit, Down on the Farm, and On the Friendly Road) which claim to be the first "New Zealand talkie", although the claim is dubious in this case as the sound was added in America.

Directed by: Alexander Markey
Release date: 1935-02-02

A Nepomuceno Newsreel (possibly)

0.0/10 IMDB

A reportage filmed for Pathé captures the inauguration of the second President of the Philippines, Manuel Luis Quezon, in the presence of members of the US Senate. The US allowed its colony to have its own president for an experimental period of ten years from 1935. Quezon fled to the US during World War II, where he led a government in exile.

Directed by: Jose Nepomuceno
Release date: 1935-10-30

The Human Adventure

0.0/10 IMDB

This 1935 film, produced by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago under the supervision of Dr. James Henry Breasted was written and told by his son, Charles Breasted. Though we no longer think about archaeology in the same way, this film gives us insight into the early days of the field.

Starring: Charles Breasted, James Henry Breasted ..
Directed by: Charles Breasted
Release date: 1935-10-29
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : R.A.F.


7.1/10 IMDB

Here from 1935 is Gaumont British's documentary about the Royal Air Force, simply titled "RAF", and directed by John Betts.This film looks at the training of new recruits, and includes views of many aircraft of the period. Anyone who thinks that formation flying started with the Red Arrows had better think again - here we see bi-planes flying in perfect synchronization over 70 years ago.

Directed by: John Betts
Release date: 1935-09-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Trip to Manipur

Trip to Manipur

0.0/10 IMDB

This amateur film of a road trip from Dimapur to Manipur in northeastern India shows traditional dances and rituals and a gigantic flower float.

Release date: 1935-01-01

On the Fishing Banks of Skye

0.0/10 IMDB

Short documentary about a trawler fishing for hake.

Starring: John Grierson ..
Directed by: John Grierson
Release date: 1935-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Flight of the Century

Flight of the Century

0.0/10 IMDB

The story of the most famous train in the world

Release date: 1935-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1935 : Heart of an Empire

Heart of an Empire

0.0/10 IMDB

A 1935 black and white film advertising London and exolting it's most popular tourist attractions.

Starring: Laurence Gilliam ..
Directed by: Alexander Shaw
Release date: 1935-09-01

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