Best Documentary Movies of 1940


London Can Take It!

7.0/10 IMDB

A tribute to the courage and resiliency of Britons during the darkest days of the London Blitz.

Starring: Quentin Reynolds ..
Directed by: Humphrey Jennings, Harry Watt
Release date: 1940-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1940 : Quicker'n a Wink

Quicker'n a Wink

7.1/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Pete Smith, Harold E. Edgerton ..
Directed by: George Sidney
Release date: 1940-10-12
Best Documentary Movies of 1940 : Spring Offensive

Spring Offensive

6.4/10 IMDB

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.

Directed by: Humphrey Jennings
Release date: 1940-01-01

The Miracle of Sound

5.0/10 IMDB

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:

Starring: Douglas Shearer, Greer Garson, Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr, Spencer Tracy, Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, Conrad Veidt, Alla Nazimova, Ann Sothern ..
Directed by: Douglas Shearer
Release date: 1940-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1940 : Cavalcade of San Francisco

Cavalcade of San Francisco

5.7/10 IMDB

A Technicolor travelogue celebrating San Francisco - past and present.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1940-09-27
Best Documentary Movies of 1940 : Transfer of Skill

Transfer of Skill

7.2/10 IMDB

Short World War II documentary showing examples of how skilled craftsmen of peacetime apply their skills to essential wartime production.

Directed by: Geoffrey Bell
Release date: 1940-08-31

Spills for Thrills

7.1/10 IMDB

Warner Bros. short about stuntmen and stuntwomen and how they do their work, featuring real-life stunt artists Harvey Parry, Mary Wiggins, and Allen Pomeroy.

Starring: Harvey Parry, Mary Wiggins, Allen Pomeroy, Knox Manning ..
Directed by: De Leon Anthony
Release date: 1940-01-07
Best Documentary Movies of 1940 : Britain at Bay

Britain at Bay

6.8/10 IMDB

Wartime morale-boosting propaganda short, looking at the greatness of Britain and the efforts of all to preserve her power and integrity.

Starring: J.B. Priestley ..
Directed by: Harry Watt
Release date: 1940-07-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1940 : They Also Serve

They Also Serve

6.6/10 IMDB

Short World War II documentary showing how the everyday work of British housewives aided the war effort.

Directed by: Ruby Grierson
Release date: 1940-09-30
Best Documentary Movies of 1940 : Tomorrow Is Theirs

Tomorrow Is Theirs

6.5/10 IMDB

Tomorrow is Theirs examines provisions for secondary school education during the war, arguing for the importance of maintaining excellent, thorough schooling in spite of wartime obstacles.

Starring: Joseph Macleod ..
Directed by: James Carr
Release date: 1940-07-27

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