Best Documentary Movies of 1940
Cavalcade of the Academy Awards
This 1940 presentation features highlights of earlier (1928 onward) Oscar ceremonies including Shirley Temple and Walt Disney, plus acceptance speeches for films released in 1939 with recipients and presenters including Vivien Leigh, Judy Garland, Hattie McDaniel, Fay Bainter, Mickey Rooney, Thomas Mitchell, Sinclair Lewis, and more, with host Bob Hope.
Experiments in the Revival of Organisms
This film shows experiments performed by Soviet scientists reviving the lungs, heart, and even the head of a dead dog.
The Capital City: Washington, D.C.
A Traveltalk look at the exteriors of Washington, D.C.'s famous buildings and monuments.
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.
Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort South Carolina, May 1940
Field recordings of religious services in a South Carolina Gullah community. Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort South Carolina, May 1940 is a 1940 short documentary film which shows religious services taking place in a South Carolina Gullah community. In 2005, Commandment Keeper Church was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
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.
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.
Combines airplane trips and fashion. Heavy on the fashion.