Best Documentary Movies of 1937

1.

People of the Cumberland

3.3
7.2/10 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
2.

Hindenburg Disaster Newsreel Footage

3.1
7.5/10 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, Graham McNamee ..
Release date: 1937-12-31
3.

Tsar to Lenin

3.1
7.9/10 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 : The Spanish Earth
4.

The Spanish Earth

2.8
6.6/10 IMDB

A propaganda film made during the Spanish Civil War in support of the Republican government against the rebellion by Gen. Francisco Franco's forces who were backed by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The film would have been seen by those making it as a documentary.

Starring: Manuel Azaña, José Díaz, Dolores Ibárruri, Enrique Lister, Commander Martinez de Aragón, Gustav Regler, Orson Welles, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Renoir ..
Directed by: Joris Ivens
Release date: 1937-07-10
Best Documentary Movies of 1937 : Farewell Topsails
5.

Farewell Topsails

2.8
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
Best Documentary Movies of 1937 : Around the Corner
6.

Around the Corner

2.8
7.0/10 IMDB

Short film detailing the workings of the rear-axle differential and how this new system makes driving smoother and more comfortable.

Release date: 1937-01-23
7.

Decathlon Champion: The Story of Glenn Morris

2.8
6.7/10 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
8.

Heart of Spain

2.7
6.0/10 IMDB

The first production from Frontier Films, the film production collective that was the successor to NYKino and the Workers Film and Photo League, Heart of Spain focuses on the Spanish Civil War, a conflict that became a touchstone of its era and was the most forceful opposition to the rising threat of fascism in Europe. Heart of Spain was begun by Geza Karpathi and Herbert Kline, who ultimately turned their footage over to Paul Strand, Leo Hurwitz, and Ben Maddow to make the film. It is compelling both for its shrewd formal aesthetics and as a sympathetic human document of the war.

Starring: Norman Bethune, Hazen Sise ..
Directed by: Charles Korvin, Herbert Kline
Release date: 1937-01-02
9.

Hong Kong: 'The Hub of the Orient'

2.7
6.3/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk series short takes a look at Hong Kong.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1937-05-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1937 : Romance of Radium
10.

Romance of Radium

2.6
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

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