Best Documentary Movies of 1936

1.

Night Mail

3.5
6.7/10 IMDB

Night Mail is a short (25 minute) black and white documentary made in 1936. It shows the special train on which mail is sorted, dropped and collected on the run, and delivered in Scotland on the overnight run from Euston, London to Glasgow. Don't miss the W H Auden poem 'Night Mail' toward the end of the film!

Starring: Arthur Clark, John Grierson, Stuart Legg, Robert Rae ..
Directed by: Harry Watt, Basil Wright
Release date: 1936-01-13
Best Documentary Movies of 1936 : The Story of the Jonker Diamond
2.

The Story of the Jonker Diamond

2.5
5.9/10 IMDB

Re-enactment of how the 726-carat Jonker diamond was discovered in South Africa in 1905 by the family of Jacobus Jonker; how it was sold to Harry Winston; and how it was cut by Lazarre Kaplan.

Starring: Pete Smith, Nat Carr, John Hyams, Hugh Marlowe, Louis Mason, Louis Natheaux ..
Directed by: Jacques Tourneur
Release date: 1936-03-27
Best Documentary Movies of 1936 : Harnessed Rhythm
3.

Harnessed Rhythm

2.2
6.2/10 IMDB

This Sports Parade series entry follows the life of Dixie Dan, a harness racehorse, from birth through age three.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Jacques Tourneur
Release date: 1936-06-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1936 : The Conquest of the Air
4.

The Conquest of the Air

2.2
6.2/10 IMDB

This early docudrama uses dramatic re-enactment, working models of early flying machines, and archival footage to trace man's attempts to fly from ancient times through the 1930's.

Starring: Frederick Culley, Laurence Olivier, Franklin Dyall, Henry Victor, Hay Petrie, John Turnbull, Charles Lefeaux, Bryan Powley, Alan Wheatley, John Abbott ..
Directed by: Alexander Esway, Zoltan Korda, John Monk Saunders
Release date: 1936-12-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1936 : Screen Snapshots (Series 16, No. 1)
5.

Screen Snapshots (Series 16, No. 1)

2.1
9.2/10 IMDB

Viewers are provided a visit to Ken Maynard's private circus; Bette Davis poses for her portrait; Frank McHugh plays with his children; a visit to the West Side Tennis Club affords glimpses of many stars.

Starring: Bette Davis, Jimmy Durante, Pat O’Brien, Merle Oberon, David Niven, Nigel Bruce, Fred MacMurray, Marjorie Main, George Murphy, Wayne Morris ..
Directed by: Ralph Staub
Release date: 1936-09-11
Best Documentary Movies of 1936 : People of Britain
6.

People of Britain

1.5
6.1/10 IMDB

Short campaigning documentary putting the case for "peace by reason" rather than through re-arming.

Directed by: Paul Rotha
Release date: 1936-08-01
7.

Hell-a-Vision

1.4
6.0/10 IMDB

A series of scenes that comprised both new material (featuring frontal nudity), and old footage from an Italian version of Dante's Inferno (also featuring frontal nudity) and vignettes from the March of Crime series.

Directed by: Louis Sonney
Release date: 1936-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1936 : Catching Trouble
8.

Catching Trouble

0.7
1.6/10 IMDB

This short follows a day of work for an Everglades wildlife trapper catching animals for zoos around America. In this film, his assignment is to go out into the swamp with his Indian assistant and find a bobcat, 2 black bear cubs and six rattlesnakes.

Starring: Ted Husing, Ross Allen ..
Release date: 1936-05-08
9.

Enough to Eat?

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

A British documentary short about nutrition

Starring: Gowland Hopkins, Julian Huxley, Herbert Morrison, John Orr ..
Directed by: Edgar Anstey, Arthur Elton
Release date: 1936-02-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1936 : Roentgenfilm I
10.

Roentgenfilm I

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

This silent b&w film has intertitles in gothic script (in German). The film features cineradiography of x-rays of eating, drinking and digestion. Solid food is consumed sideways on with a good view of the mouth, then the thorax as food and drink pass down to the stomach. Finally stools are seen forming and dropping through the intestines to the colon.

Directed by: Robert Janker
Release date: 1936-04-06

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