Best Documentary Movies of 1937


People of the Cumberland

7.4/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Richard Blaine ..
Directed by: Sidney Meyers, Jay Leyda, Bill Watts, Elia Kazan
Release date: 1937-12-01

Hindenburg Disaster Newsreel Footage

7.4/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Herbert Morrison ..
Release date: 1937-12-31

Tsar to Lenin

8.0/10 IMDB

A documentary film account of the Russian Revolution, based on archival footage.

Starring: Max Eastman, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Alexander Kerensky, Czar Nicholas II of Russia ..
Directed by: Herman Axelbank
Release date: 1937-03-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1937 : Farewell Topsails

Farewell Topsails

6.4/10 IMDB

One of the last voyages of a commercial sailing ship on a trip from Cornwall.

Directed by: Humphrey Jennings
Release date: 1937-01-01

Decathlon Champion: The Story of Glenn Morris

6.8/10 IMDB

This Pete Smith Specialty tells how Glenn Morris trained for and won the 1936 Olympic decathlon event.

Starring: Glenn Morris ..
Directed by: Felix E. Feist
Release date: 1937-11-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1937 : Romance of Radium

Romance of Radium

6.3/10 IMDB

This short film tells the story of the discovery of radium and how it is used in medicine.

Starring: Pete Smith, Margaret Bert, André Cheron, James Conaty, Eddie Hart, Emmett Vogan ..
Directed by: Jacques Tourneur
Release date: 1937-10-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1937 : We Work Again

We Work Again

6.3/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Eric Burroughs, Lawrence Chenault, Alma Dickson, Maurice Ellis ..
Release date: 1937-09-05
Best Documentary Movies of 1937 : The Romance of Celluloid

The Romance of Celluloid

4.1/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Virginia Grey, Clark Gable, Robert Montgomery, Cliff Edwards, Rosalind Russell, Gladys George, Jessie Ralph, Maureen O'Sullivan, Adrian, Jeanette MacDonald ..
Directed by: Douglas Shearer
Release date: 1937-08-26

Rocky Mountain Grandeur

6.7/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk short visits Rocky Mountain National Park and a nearby dude ranch in Colorado.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Directed by: James H. Smith
Release date: 1937-06-21
Best Documentary Movies of 1937 : How to Undress in Front of Your Husband

How to Undress in Front of Your Husband

4.6/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Elaine Barrie, Trixie Friganza, Hal Richardson, Albert Van Antwerp ..
Directed by: Dwain Esper
Release date: 1937-06-27

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