Best Documentary Movies of 1938

1.

Beautiful Budapest

2.8
6.7/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk series short visits Hungary's capital, Budapest.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1938-04-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Breakdowns of 1938
2.

Breakdowns of 1938

2.7
7.1/10 IMDB

This was one of the annual "blooper" reels screened by the Warners Club, an organization of Warners actors, crew and executives. It was meant to poke fun at the flubs and bloopers that occurred ont the set of some of the major Warner Bros. pictures of 1938.

Starring: Eddie Acuff, Fay Bainter, Katharine Alexander, Robert Barrat, Ralph Bellamy, Mel Blanc, Humphrey Bogart, George Brent, Sheila Bromley, Claudette Colbert ..
Directed by: Bob Clampett
Release date: 1938-02-07
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Czechoslovakia on Parade
3.

Czechoslovakia on Parade

2.7
6.7/10 IMDB

This FitzPatrick Traveltalk series short looks at Czechoslovakia before World War II, including images of bridges, churches, and castles in Prague, also a non-military parade through the city.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1938-06-11
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : English Harvest
4.

English Harvest

2.7
6.5/10 IMDB

Documentary short made by Humphrey Jennings.

Starring: A.G. Street ..
Directed by: Humphrey Jennings
Release date: 1938-02-03
5.

Singapore and Jahore

2.7
6.4/10 IMDB

A visit to Singapore, an essential port city in Britain's empire, established in 1813 when Raffles negotiated its separation from the independent Malay state of Jahor. The camera observes Singapore's traditional neighborhoods, trade, and small craft, which are dominated by people of Chinese ancestry. Then, we drive the modern causeway to Jahor's small capital, Johor Bahru, for a look at imposing buildings and a visit to the grounds of the sultan. The sultan's son invites the crew in, and we meet the sultan, "H.H." himself. The narrator relates the sultan's commitment to commerce, economic well-being, and tolerance, stemming in part from his European education.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1938-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Tree Trunk to Head
6.

Tree Trunk to Head

2.6
6.4/10 IMDB

“The personality of the sculptor Chaim Gross, his mannerisms, his characteristic method of work, his tendencies are all intimately disclosed in minute details, as though unobserved—a sort of candid-camera study. Dramatic form and cinematic structure endow the presentation with excitement, humor, and interest.” —Lewis Jacobs

Starring: Chaim Gross ..
Directed by: Lewis Jacobs
Release date: 1938-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : The Farm
7.

The Farm

2.6
6.2/10 IMDB

Documentary short by Humphrey Jennings

Directed by: Humphrey Jennings
Release date: 1938-01-01
8.

Haiti

2.6
5.7/10 IMDB

A travelogue of Port-au-Prince, Haiti concentrating on the daily life and rhythm of tropical island life.

Starring: Alexard Esther ..
Directed by: Rudy Burckhardt
Release date: 1938-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : The River
9.

The River

2.6
6.4/10 IMDB

This short Depression-era documentary describes the importance of the Mississippi River to the United States and laments the environmental destruction committed in the name of progress, particularly farming and timber practices and their impact on impoverished farmers.

Starring: Thomas Chalmers ..
Directed by: Pare Lorentz
Release date: 1938-02-04
10.

Penny Journey

2.5
6.3/10 IMDB

As the subtitle of the film suggests - The Story of a Post Card from Manchester to Graffham - this journey is very much focused on the process of sorting, transporting and delivering the postcard in question.

Directed by: Humphrey Jennings
Release date: 1938-01-01
11.

Making Fashion

2.5
5.7/10 IMDB

Documentary short by Humphrey Jennings

Directed by: Humphrey Jennings
Release date: 1938-01-01
12.

Sydney: 'Pride of Australia'

2.5
6.5/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk series short visits Sydney, Australia and its harbour.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1938-12-03
13.

Madeira: 'Isle of Romance'

2.4
6.0/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk short takes the viewer to Madeira Island, the largest of the group of Madeira islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1938-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : The Road of Health
14.

The Road of Health

2.2
5.1/10 IMDB

The lecturer shows a microcinematographic sequence of spirochaetes and drawings of the gonoccus (the bacteria responsible for syphilis and gonorrhea). He then turns to an easel and begins to draw 'the road of health'; the cartoon takes this up in magic drawing, in a style that is highly reminiscent of the 'Giro the Germ' series made for the Health and Cleanliness Council a few years before.

Directed by: Brian Salt
Release date: 1938-11-13
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Another Romance of Celluloid
15.

Another Romance of Celluloid

2.2
5.9/10 IMDB

This second entry in MGM's "Romance of Film" series documents how celluloid movie film is processed and features behind-the-scenes glimpses of current MGM productions.

Starring: Freddie Bartholomew, Frank Capra, Betty Ross Clarke, William H. Daniels, Clark Gable, Fay Holden, Myrna Loy, Louis B. Mayer, Robert Morley, John M. Nickolaus ..
Directed by: Herman Hoffman
Release date: 1938-02-05
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Another Romance of Celluloid: Electrical Power
16.

Another Romance of Celluloid: Electrical Power

2.2
5.8/10 IMDB

This short begins at Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam). The electricity generated here by the Colorado River is sent to Hollywood, where movie studios need it to make movies. After a tour of the MGM studios' power plants, we see short advertisements for upcoming MGM releases.

Starring: Jo Ann Sayers, Ray Bolger, Judy Garland, Frank Whitbeck ..
Release date: 1938-12-31
17.

Mony a Pickle

2.1
5.7/10 IMDB

Documentary on savings

Directed by: Alberto Cavalcanti, Norman McLaren, Richard Massingham
Release date: 1938-01-01
18.

Gestern und heute

1.9
4.1/10 IMDB

Nazi propaganda film contrasting Germany in the days before Adolf Hitler became Chancellor with the Germany of "today" and how much better it is.

Starring: Adolf Hitler ..
Directed by: Hans Steinhoff
Release date: 1938-02-02
19.

Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra

1.8
6.1/10 IMDB

In a nightclub setting, Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra, with two of his vocalists, perform four of the group's best known songs. For the complete list of songs, check the soundtrack listing.

Starring: Jimmy Dorsey, Bob Eberly, Evelyn Oaks ..
Directed by: Lloyd French
Release date: 1938-10-22
20.

Glimpses of Austria

1.7
6.8/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk short takes us to Vienna, the largest city in Austria. We visit the Schönbrunn Palace, the Charles Church, and the historic Opera House.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1938-02-19
21.

Personality Parade

1.6
7.1/10 IMDB

This MGM short provides brief glimpses of over sixty screen actors and actresses, all whom started in silent films.

Starring: Jimmie Fidler ..
Directed by: Ralph Staub
Release date: 1938-01-08
22.

Cairo 'City of Contrast'

1.6
6.8/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk series short takes a look at Cairo's landmarks, people, and culture.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1938-09-10
23.

Screen Snapshots Series 17, No. 12

1.6
6.8/10 IMDB

A visit to Buck Jones's new ranch and his horse, Silver, to James Gleason and his dog, to Charles Ruggles and his kennels; on the set of 'You Can't Take it With You', director Frank Capra and stars James Stewart and Jean Arthur celebrate Lionel Barrymore's sixtieth birthday; a ski meet is held at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Starring: Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, Frank Capra, James Gleason, Buck Jones, Charles Ruggles, Silver, James Stewart ..
Directed by: Ralph Staub
Release date: 1938-07-29
24.

Yesterday Lives Again

1.5
6.4/10 IMDB

Compilation of newsreel items showing various people.

Release date: 1938-12-15
25.

Anaesthesia

1.5
6.6/10 IMDB

An examination of the history of anesthesia, from ancient Egyptian times to contemporary times.

Starring: Pete Smith, George Du Count, Eddie Gribbon, Danny Jackson, Eugene Jackson, Mitchell Lewis, Alberto Morin, Tom Rutherford, Walter Soderling, Will Stanton ..
Directed by: Will Jason
Release date: 1938-07-09
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : The City of Little Men
26.

The City of Little Men

1.5
6.4/10 IMDB

The story of Boys Town, founded by Father Edward Flanagan in 1917 as a haven for wayward, homeless, and neglected boys.

Starring: Edward Flanagan, Johnny Walsh, Frank Whitbeck ..
Directed by: Harry Loud
Release date: 1938-11-21
27.

Temples of India

1.5
6.6/10 IMDB

Hindu temples at Benares and Belur and the mythologies associated with them.

Starring: Frank Gallop ..
Directed by: Hans Nieter
Release date: 1938-02-05
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Delhi
28.

Delhi

1.5
6.1/10 IMDB

Filmed in 1938, less than a decade before Indian independence, Delhi has a curious tale to tell. ‘Delhi’, the viewer is informed, ‘is the cockpit of the Indian Empire’, it provides the ‘gateway to the riches of the south’. The opening sections of the film focus upon those who have tried and failed to establish a lasting power in the capital. ‘At Delhi’, the commentator states, ‘successive cities have been built by conquering invaders – each has fallen into disuse and decay’. The camerawork focuses on the ‘impressive ruins’ of these earlier invaders. Although the film also depicts the enduring architecture of Muslim rulers, such as Akbar and Shahjahan, it is stressed that their power has been superseded. Legend has it that it will be the ninth city of Delhi that ‘will endure and will rule forever’. Shahjahan had built the eighth.

Directed by: Hans Nieter
Release date: 1938-02-08
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Rural Sweden
29.

Rural Sweden

1.5
6.4/10 IMDB

This short film takes the viewer to several towns and historical sites of rural Sweden.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1938-05-14
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Paris on Parade
30.

Paris on Parade

1.4
6.2/10 IMDB

This Traveltalks short showcases the Paris International Exposition of 1937. It features a tour of the pavillions of several nations, as well as the spectacular water and light displays.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Directed by: James A. FitzPatrick
Release date: 1938-07-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : The Adventures of Chico
31.

The Adventures of Chico

1.4
5.9/10 IMDB

A Mexican boy without young neighbors to play with, befriends a diverse group of desert animals.

Directed by: Horace Woodard, Stacy Woodard
Release date: 1938-03-03
32.

Return of the Buffalo

1.2
5.0/10 IMDB

A 1938 NFB short. Part of a series called 'Canada Cameos' that traces the history of buffalo in Alberta, it's threat of extinction and the efforts to protect it as an endangered species. Narrated by Lorne Greene. (black and white)

Directed by: Gordon Sparling
Release date: 1938-04-08
33.

Behind the Spanish Lines

1.2
5.1/10 IMDB

Documentary short directed by Sidney Cole and Thorold Dickinson.

Starring: G.C.T. Giles ..
Directed by: Sidney Cole, Thorold Dickinson
Release date: 1938-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : The Expose of the Nudist Racket
34.

The Expose of the Nudist Racket

1.2
4.6/10 IMDB

This is a "road show" from 1938. There is no director credited. For a few years in the late thirties, "nudist colony" movies were quite popular on the "sexploitation" circuit. Notice that the girls featured with bare breasts are quite attractive, more so than average people who might be in the colony. These are probably models and aspiring actresses brought in for the movie only. As one producer of the time put it, "If you are going to make a nudist colony movie, bring your own nudists" Notice the title. Nudism is a "racket." an indication of the middle class morality which is imposed on all these movies. Also note how they make fun of the fat woman. This is another aspect of these films.

Release date: 1938-12-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Predacious fungi
35.

Predacious fungi

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Study on Dactylaria brochopaga's predacious strategy

Directed by: Jean Comandon
Release date: 1938-06-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : The Spider and the Fly
36.

The Spider and the Fly

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Few amateur films with sound were produced in the 1930s and fewer remain extant. A charming artifact that demonstrates the expressive possibilities and technical limitations of amateur talkies, "The Spider and the Fly" includes a backyard Labor Day gathering, a trip to the Riverview Amusement Park, and a homemade Halloween parade of witches and ghouls.

Release date: 1938-07-04
37.

Horse Transport

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

portrait of one aspect of rural life

Release date: 1938-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Highlights and Shadows
38.

Highlights and Shadows

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Watson crafted a dazzling visual ballet that stands on its own as an aesthetically rewarding and educationally inspiring tour of the massive Kodak factories. Utilizing the multiple exposure imagery he had used to such great effect in The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) and Lot in Sodom (1933), Watson makes tool and die drill presses, assembly lines of camera parts, and the film coating process every bit as expressive and interesting as an MGM historic drama.

Starring: Lowell Thomas ..
Directed by: Kenneth R. Edwards
Release date: 1938-01-01
39.

Symptoms in Schizophrenia

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Shows masked mental patients enacting various schizophrenic symptoms as they were understood at the time. A disturbing film that raises questions about the condition and treatment of its subjects. (archive.org) “Abstract: This film describes and demonstrates four types of schizophrenia. Filmed at various New York institutions, it shows patients singly and grouped in large, outside recreational areas. Some patients are blindfolded. Symptoms shown include: social apathy, delusions, hallucinations, hebephrenic reactions, cerea flexibilitas, rigidity, motor stereotypes, posturing, and echopraxia.” (Guide to Mental Health Motion Pictures)

Release date: 1938-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : The Eternal Fire
40.

The Eternal Fire

0.0
6.2/10 IMDB

Technicolor tour of Mt. Vesuvius and surrounding area.

Directed by: Pietro Francisci, Hans Nieter
Release date: 1938-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Fleischer Studios Behind The Scenes
41.

Fleischer Studios Behind The Scenes

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

This fascinating and informative 1938 film, part of Paramount's Popular Science series, offers a tour through Fleischer Studios’ newly-built Miami studio during the making of the classic Popeye film Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp.

Starring: Gayne Whitman ..
Release date: 1938-12-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Elai Alai
42.

Elai Alai

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Opening with shots of the Basque region, this film collects the performances of the children's dance group Elai Alai and the Eresoinka chorus. They performed throughout France in order to bring awareness to the reality of the Basque Country and to raise funds to help refugees from the Spanish Civil War.

Starring: Jon Arriola 'El Irritzilari' ..
Directed by: Nemesio M. Sobrevila
Release date: 1938-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1938 : Ski Flight
43.

Ski Flight

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Not long after opening the first ski school in the United States to an impressive roster of celebrity students, Otto Lang became a noted ski film director and earned an Oscar nod for his efforts. Ski Flight, which premiered at the iconic Radio City Music Hall in 1938 is the first-ever theatrical ski film.

Directed by: Otto Lang
Release date: 1938-02-04
44.

Football Thrills of 1937

0.0
5.6/10 IMDB

A review of the 1937 football season.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Pete Smith
Release date: 1938-09-10
45.

Grid Rules

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Shows how the game of football developed, and how its rules came to be.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Edward L. Cahn
Release date: 1938-10-15
46.

Thimble Theater

0.0
6.0/10 IMDB

One of Joseph Cornell’s funniest films, Thimble Theater is structured like a vaudeville variety show about nature.

Directed by: Joseph Cornell
Release date: 1938-01-01
47.

News Parade of the Year, 1938

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

All the news from 1938 that was fit to print including a New England hurricane, Germany’s annexation of Austria, a promise from Roosevelt to defend Canada and the Munich Pact.

Release date: 1938-12-31

Also check Best documentary movies of 1939.

Check out our top containing the Best Documentary Movies of 1938 - PickTheMovie.com. This top was obtained with our unique algorithm ordered by our unique ranking system.

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