Best Documentary Movies of 1937
People of the Cumberland
The film takes place in rural Tennessee, where communities have experienced economic and environmental devastation created by the coal mining industry. The introduction of the Highlander Folk School in 1931 by educator Myles Horton and the movement to bring labor union representation to the region are shown as means of empowering the population. Efforts are made to stop the union activities with the murder of a local organizer, but eventually the union movement is able to take root with the local workforce.
Hindenburg Disaster Newsreel Footage
The airship Hindenburg, arriving from Europe, was being led to its mooring at Lakehurst, New Jersey when suddenly disaster struck. The hydrogen-filled zeppelin ignited, and was almost instantly transformed into an enormous fireball. In less than a minute, the entire ship had been consumed by flames. The Hindenburg explosion marked the end of the budding airship travel industry.
Tsar to Lenin
A documentary film account of the Russian Revolution, based on archival footage.
One of the last voyages of a commercial sailing ship on a trip from Cornwall.
Decathlon Champion: The Story of Glenn Morris
This Pete Smith Specialty tells how Glenn Morris trained for and won the 1936 Olympic decathlon event.
Romance of Radium
This short film tells the story of the discovery of radium and how it is used in medicine.
We Work Again
The role of African Americans in the recovery years of the Great Depression is the subject of this informational short, which offers an idealized depiction of life in a segregated society. The highlight, by far, is rare footage of Orson Welles’s “Voodoo Macbeth,” produced in 1935 for the New York Negro Unit of the WPA’s Federal Theatre Project.
The Romance of Celluloid
Several behind the scenes aspects of the movie-making business, which results in the enjoyment the movie going public has in going to the theater, are presented. They include: the production of celluloid aka film stock, the materials used in the production of which include cotton and silver; construction crews who build sets including those to look like cities, towns and villages around the world; a visit with Jack Dawn who demonstrates the process of creating a makeup design; the screen testing process, where many an acting hopeful gets his/her start; the work of the candid camera man, the prying eyes behind the movie camera; a visit with Adrian, who designs the clothes worn by many of the stars on screen; and a visit with Herbert Stothart as he conducts his musical score for Conquest (1937). These behind the scenes looks provide the opportunity to get acquainted with the cavalcade of MGM stars and their productions that will grace the silver screen in the 1937/38 movie season.
Rocky Mountain Grandeur
This Traveltalk short visits Rocky Mountain National Park and a nearby dude ranch in Colorado.
How to Undress in Front of Your Husband
A "Peeping Tom" likes to look through windows at women undressing. We see him as he sneaks a peek at two "subjects". His first one, a young woman who apparently has a major lingerie fetish, is young, shapely and attractive. The second one--to be charitable--isn't. That doesn't stop him, and the viewer, from getting an eyeful.