Best Documentary Movies of 1940
Experiments in the Revival of Organisms
This film shows experiments preformed by Soviet scientists reviving the lungs, heart, and even the head of dead dogs.
London Can Take It!
A tribute to the courage and resiliency of Britons during the darkest days of the London Blitz.
Eyes of the Navy
Produced by MGM in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, this short film follows U.S. naval aviators through their basic training in Florida and advanced training in California.
Quicker'n a Wink
In this Pete Smith Specialty short, Dr. Harold E. Edgerton demonstrates stroboscopic photography, which he helped develop. This process allows us to see in slow motion what happens during events that occur too fast to be seen by the naked eye. Examples shown here include a bullet in flight as it shatters a light bulb, the moment of impact when a kicker kicks a football, and the motion of a hummingbird's wings as it hovers.
Documentary short by Humphrey Jennings. The GPO Film Unit was a subdivision of the UK General Post Office. The unit was established in 1933, taking on responsibilities of the Empire Marketing Board Film Unit. Headed by John Grierson, it was set up to produce sponsored documentary films mainly related to the activities of the GPO.
The Miracle of Sound
A New Romance of Celluloid: The Miracle of Sound is a 1940 short documentary film, presented and directed by MGM sound engineer Douglas Shearer and narrated by Frank Whitbeck, which goes behind the scenes to look at how the sound portion of a talking picture is created. The film, which was produced as part of the studio's Romance of Celluloid series, is available as a bonus on the Warner DVD of The Shop Around the Corner. (from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Miracle_of_Sound)
Cavalcade of San Francisco
A Technicolor travelogue celebrating San Francisco - past and present.
Combines airplane trips and fashion. Heavy on the fashion.
Hollywood: Style Center of the World
This short promotes the premise that movies often create a demand for the fashions seen in them. It starts with a vignette in rural America. A mother and daughter go to town to buy a new dress. In the dress shop window is a designer dress worn by Joan Crawford in a recent movie. We then go to Hollywood and visit Adrian, MGM's chief of costume design, and see how multiple copies of a single clothing pattern are produced. The film ends with short segments of several MGM features.
Transfer of Skill
Short World War II documentary showing examples of how skilled craftsmen of peacetime apply their skills to essential wartime production.