Best Documentary Movies of 1947


School for Danger

7.1/10 IMDB

Britain's Special Operations Executive (SOE) provides trained agents, arms and other assistance to the European resistance groups fighting against Hitler. British agents, Captain Harry Rée DSO, OBE, Croix De Guerre, Médaille de la Résistance, aka "Felix", and Jacqueline Nearne, MBE, aka "Cat", recreate some of their adventures in France.

Starring: Teddy Baird, Harry Rée, Jacqueline Nearme ..
Directed by: Teddy Baird
Release date: 1947-06-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Blow-Ups of 1947

Blow-Ups of 1947

6.2/10 IMDB

Flubs and bloopers that occurred on the set of some of the major Warner Bros. pictures of 1947.

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Wayne Morris, Dennis Morgan, Edward Arnold, Patricia Neal, Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, James Cagney, Jane Wyman ..
Release date: 1947-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Thunderbolt


6.6/10 IMDB

Documentary about the U.S. Air Force's P-47 Thunderbolt bomber's role in the Italian Campaign.

Starring: James Stewart, Robert Lowery, Lloyd Bridges, Eugene Kern ..
Directed by: William Wyler, John Sturges
Release date: 1947-07-26
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : School in the Mailbox

School in the Mailbox

6.0/10 IMDB

In Australia, children live in the Outback, too far from others to travel to any school. The Australian government has a school with no student only teachers that correspond with their pupils and teach those children at their own pace.

Directed by: Stanley Hawes
Release date: 1947-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Now You See It

Now You See It

6.7/10 IMDB

This Pete Smith Specialty short demonstrates the uses of micro- and macrophotography. We see extreme closeups of the mechanical workings of a tiny wristwatch, the surface of a cat's tongue, and several insects. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Subject, One-Reel.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Richard L. Cassell
Release date: 1947-03-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Montreal by Night

Montreal by Night

6.8/10 IMDB

This short film showcases the city of Montreal on a summer's night. What was once a small Indian village is presented as a pot-pourri of contrasting sights and sounds. It is North America's second largest port and, after Paris, the world's largest French-speaking city. With its warehouses, offices, homes, clubs and amusement parks, the city serves as a bright backdrop for a happy couple out on the town.

Starring: Jean Lajeunesse, Juliette Béliveau, Jeanette Bertrand, Gratien Gélinas ..
Directed by: Jean Palardy, Arthur Burrows
Release date: 1947-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Design for Death

Design for Death

6.0/10 IMDB

Documentary Feature winner "Design for Death" (1947) examines Japanese culture and how it led to Japan's role in WWII.

Starring: Kent Smith, Hans Conried ..
Directed by: Richard Fleischer
Release date: 1947-01-01

Give Us the Earth!

5.7/10 IMDB

This "Theater of Life" documentary was produced in cooperation with the International Committee, YMCA. It focuses on the work of Dr. Spencer Hatch, as he shows residents of small Mexican villages how to make their land better able to grow food and make them more independent.

Starring: Emily Hatch, Spencer Hatch ..
Directed by: Gunther von Fritsch
Release date: 1947-06-21

Around the World in California

6.0/10 IMDB

This FitzPatrick's Traveltalks series short takes the viewer to various sites around California that resemble the geography, architecture, and culture of other places around the globe.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick, Leo Carrillo ..
Release date: 1947-05-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Fight of the Wild Stallions

Fight of the Wild Stallions

4.8/10 IMDB

Fight of the Wild Stallions is a 1947 short documentary film produced by Thomas Mead about wild stallions in the wilds and the business of wrangling them. It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Subject, Two-Reel.

Starring: Ben Grauer ..
Directed by: Thomas Mead
Release date: 1947-12-24
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Brooklyn, U.S.A.

Brooklyn, U.S.A.

4.9/10 IMDB

Brooklyn, U.S.A. is a 1947 English language short film directed by Arthur Cohen, starring Ted de Corsia. It was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Short Subject, One-Reel.

Starring: Ted de Corsia ..
Directed by: Arthur Cohen
Release date: 1947-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : The Road to Hollywood

The Road to Hollywood

4.7/10 IMDB

Exploitation film-maker Bud Pollard appears on screen to tell us of Bing Crosby's rise to fame, using scenes from four early Crosby shorts to illustrate his fictional biography.

Starring: Bing Crosby, Luis Alberni, Ann Christy, Arthur Stone, Marion Sayers, Vernon Dent, Patsy O'Leary, George C. Pearce ..
Directed by: Mack Sennett, Leslie Pearce, Del Lord, Bud Pollard
Release date: 1947-07-04
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Judo Jymnastics

Judo Jymnastics

7.2/10 IMDB

In a gym, a girl is pulling some pulleys, to gain arm strength, while three men and three girls watch a judo demonstration in the middle of the room. A girl wearing a sweater and shorts applies a succession of holds to a young man in a sleeveless undershirt and a black trunks: over the shoulder projection, arm lock, over the hip projection, sideways headlock and knee to the face, sacrifice fall followed by school-girl pin, kidney punching followed by a groin kick, sideways kick to the knee and arm-lock, eye-gouge and kick to the ribs, attack to both legs with arms and legs, arm-lock and tripping followed by a leg blow to the throat, disarming a knife attack from above, and then an up-thrust with the knife, disarming a revolver menace from the back, usage of a leather belt to strangle and throw an attacker, usage of hair holds for control and throw of the opponent, and KO punching. The man simulates different forms of attack and stands gamely every time - except the last.

Starring: Mary Parker, Lou Leonard ..
Directed by: William Forest Crouch
Release date: 1947-12-01

La rose et le réséda

7.8/10 IMDB

The poem of the same name by Aragon is read in order to make a statement about the 1940s wartime French Resistance.

Starring: Jean-Louis Barrault ..
Directed by: André Michel
Release date: 1947-07-10

Children on Trial

6.4/10 IMDB

Documentary dealing with the work of Approved Schools for child delinquents.

Directed by: Jack Lee
Release date: 1947-11-08
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Five Towns

Five Towns

7.2/10 IMDB

A look at a family living in Stoke-on-Trent in the 1940's and what it's like working in the pottery factories that Stoke is famous for.

Directed by: Terry Bishop
Release date: 1947-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : The Balance

The Balance

6.4/10 IMDB

A documentary about how trading goods with the rest of the world works to help the UK economy after WWII.

Directed by: Paul Rotha
Release date: 1947-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : The World Is Rich

The World Is Rich

6.3/10 IMDB

The World Is Rich is a 1947 British documentary film directed by Paul Rotha about food shortages after World War II, outlining steps underway to deal with the problems. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Directed by: Paul Rotha
Release date: 1947-01-01

De gamle

6.2/10 IMDB

he laws governing old age pensions in Denmark have recently been consolidated, and the rates of pensions improved. The film opens with visits to typical old age pensioners living independently. We pay a visit to a typical block of low-rent flats, built specially for old people who can care for themselves. Special places are provided for those who can no longer live alone without attention. We see the famous De Gamles By, which has been criticised on a number of counts, yet which has certain amenities provided by few other such places. We then visit a number of old people's homes, including a small one in a village, one of the most modern homes in Denmark in the prosperous Copenhagen suburb of Gentofte, and a typical average home.

Starring: Aksel Dahlerup, Susanne Palsbo, Ralph Elton ..
Directed by: Torben Anton Svendsen
Release date: 1947-04-22

Bee-keeping on the Move

6.6/10 IMDB

A look into beekeeping.

Starring: Ernie E. Abram, Ron Shuhkraft ..
Directed by: Shan Benson
Release date: 1947-07-13

Paysages du silence

6.7/10 IMDB

A team of divers explores undersea animal and plant life and revels in the majesty of the underwater world.

Directed by: Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Release date: 1947-07-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : The Impossible Map

The Impossible Map

6.8/10 IMDB

Development in long-range travel and the growing importance of the Arctic and Antarctic regions make it necessary to understand how maps may be misleading. Experiments with a grapefruit illustrate the difficulty of presenting a true picture of the world on a flat surface and it is concluded that the globe is the most accurate way of representing the earth.

Starring: Bill Bolt ..
Directed by: Evelyn Lambart
Release date: 1947-01-01

Calling on Costa Rica

6.4/10 IMDB

This travelogue of Costa Rica, the second smallest of the American republics, starts at San Jose Airport. Transportation is key within the country, boasting among the best roads in the world. San Jose itself is the capital, a small city of about 70,000, with many recreational areas in its suburbs. Heading out of the city, we come to an orchid farm, there being said to be more varieties of the plant in Costa Rica than anywhere else in the world. Next, we move to the volcanic mountains, the range within Costa Rica which contains the largest crater in the world. We then move to the farmland, with coffee and bananas being the primary agricultural export crops.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1947-03-05

Glimpses of New Scotland

6.0/10 IMDB

Glimpses of Nova Scotia, from Halifax to Digby. The off-screen narration cites history, tradition, the contributions of Scottish and French immigrants, the strategic importance of Nova Scotia's coast, each village's churches, the stained glass windows at St. John's in Lunenburg, the Acadians' annual apple crop, Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal), a history of wars between France and England, and the tides of the Bay of Fundy.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1947-08-30

On the Shores of Nova Scotia

6.5/10 IMDB

In this Traveltalk look at Canada's province of Nova Scotia, we visit several coastal communities. The first stop is Lunenburg, where deep sea fishing and shipbuilding are the main industries. Other stops include Blue Rocks, where lobstering is an important source of income, and Peggy's Cove, known for its artist community. Here we meet artist Earl Bailly, who contracted polio at the age of 3 and learned to paint by holding the brush between his teeth.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1947-06-28

Cradle of a Nation

6.1/10 IMDB

Historical sites in Virginia are visited.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Directed by: James H. Smith
Release date: 1947-12-13
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Christmas Under the Sun

Christmas Under the Sun

5.9/10 IMDB

Made by The National Film Board 1947. Directed by Catherine Duncan. Christmas in Australia is a mid summer festival, with temperatures rising high. Over the years many of the traditional northern hemisphere Christmas customs have been modified to fit the climate. Cool drinks have taken the place of hot refreshments and much time is spent out of doors but the spirit of Christmas is unchanged and Santa Clause still arrives with snow glistening in his beard!

Directed by: Catherine Duncan
Release date: 1947-12-01

Visiting Virginia

6.3/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk series short visits the State of Virginia. In 1947, agriculture was the mainstay of the economy. Tobacco, molasses from cane and peanuts were the agricultural mainstays. The State capitol, Richmond, can boast the oldest legislature in the Western Hemisphere. There are many attractions including old caverns with beautiful rock displays.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Directed by: James H. Smith
Release date: 1947-11-29

Au parc Lafontaine

5.8/10 IMDB

This short documentary profiles the idyllic landscapes of Parc Lafontaine. Set to an original song, the film follows a mother who brings her son to the park, where he plays, swings, and watches the ducks and gondolas glide on the pond. As an adult, he wanders through the park with his sweetheart. The song closes sadly, for his sweetheart leaves him. The passing gondola seems to bear his love away forever, but the final scenes suggest a happy ending. - NFB

Directed by: Pierre Petel
Release date: 1947-01-01

The Fishmonger

5.3/10 IMDB

About a Fishmonger and his working day with a trip to Billingsgate market.

Directed by: Gaston Charpentier
Release date: 1947-07-13

Marlon Brando Screentest for Rebel Without a Cause

5.8/10 IMDB

Marlon Brando was asked by Warner Bros. to do a five-minute screen test in 1947 for their new project "Rebel Without a Cause". The studio abandoned the original project, and eventually revived it eight years.

Starring: Marlon Brando, Ruth Ford ..
Directed by: David Butler
Release date: 1947-07-10

A Day at Hollywood Park

6.1/10 IMDB

A little feature on horse racing.

Starring: Knox Manning ..
Directed by: Harry O. Hoyt
Release date: 1947-06-07
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Moon Rockets

Moon Rockets

5.0/10 IMDB

This short is one of Paramount's "Popular Science" series (number L6-5, or the fifth one of the 1946-47 production season) and begins by showing moon rockets, weighing 30 tons, a flight in the ionosphere, with mounted color cameras recording pictures hundreds of miles above the earth. Coming back to earth, it discourses on modern bathroom fixtures, and then demonstrates a one-man hay-bailer.

Starring: Gayne Whitman ..
Directed by: Robert Carlisle
Release date: 1947-06-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Afro Mood Burlesque

Afro Mood Burlesque

5.2/10 IMDB

A burlesque short starring Amalia Aguilar. Part of "Joe Bonica presents the Movie of the Month" nudie film series.

Starring: Amalia Aguilar ..
Directed by: Russ Meyer
Release date: 1947-07-10

Body Care and Grooming

2.2/10 IMDB

This educational film emphasizes the importance of good grooming and personal hygiene habits. Clothes should always appear clean and neat, and should be appropriate to the classroom setting. (Inappropriate dress makes you uncomfortable and conspicuous, not a good thing!) The functions of the skin are examined in scientific detail. Methods for cleaning the skin are demonstrated. Besides maintaining skin and body health, good grooming habits will help you "fit in" in various social situations, and may even help a gal attract a boyfriend!

Release date: 1947-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : A Day at the Fair

A Day at the Fair

2.1/10 IMDB

A family goes to the local fair to compete with their livestock & produce.

Starring: James Brill ..
Release date: 1947-01-01

Screen Snapshots: Laguna U.S.A.

4.8/10 IMDB

The correct and full name of this short is "Screen Snapshots: Laguna,U.S.A." (Columbia production number 9852), in which director/producer Ralph Staub is out touring Laguna Beach. While there, he drops in at the Griffin Theatre where actors Brian Aherne, Lon Chaney Jr., Dane Clark and Eddie Bracken are rehearsing, as members of the Griffin Theatre Players, their roles in an upcoming stage presentation of "Of Mice and Men." To be precise, Lon Chaney is not in this film as "Lennie", as some sources seem to think.

Starring: Art Baker ..
Directed by: Ralph Staub
Release date: 1947-10-09

Rhumba Amalia

4.4/10 IMDB

Amalia Aguilar dancing the Rhumba.

Starring: Amalia Aguilar ..
Directed by: W. Merle Connell
Release date: 1947-07-10
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : The Feeling of Rejection

The Feeling of Rejection

3.6/10 IMDB

Although some of the conclusions are a bit odd - the woman who had been suffering headaches and misery is shown as cured when she rejects with a smile a shoe a clerk tries to sell her - its musings on the origins of what can be crippling issues.

Starring: Wanda Allen ..
Directed by: Robert Anderson
Release date: 1947-09-03
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : The Illegals

The Illegals

3.5/10 IMDB

Directed by Meyer Levin.

Starring: Yankel Mikalovitch, Tereska Torres ..
Directed by: Meyer Levin
Release date: 1947-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Easy to Get

Easy to Get

5.7/10 IMDB

U.S. Army training film about avoiding venereal disease, intended primarily for Black servicemen.

Starring: Wendell Corey, Ruby Dee, Ken Renard, Joe Louis, Ralph Metcalfe, Jesse Owens, Paul Robeson ..
Directed by: Joseph M. Newman
Release date: 1947-07-10

American Square Dance

0.0/10 IMDB

Relates the square dance to social dancing, teaches the positions of the dancers in relation to the calls and defines terms. Includes the swing, allemande, grand right and left, promenade, promenade the outside ring, right and left through and back, two ladies chain and back, four hands up and half around, and do-si-do.

Release date: 1947-07-07

Primitive Painters of Charlevoix

6.2/10 IMDB

A look at contemporary art in Québec.

Directed by: Jean Palardy
Release date: 1947-07-10

The New Ipswich

0.0/10 IMDB

From the Film Australia Collection. Made by The National Film Board 1947. Directed by Eric Thompson. Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, is very unlike Ipswich, England, after which it was named.

Directed by: Eric Thompson
Release date: 1947-07-15

Girls in White

0.0/10 IMDB

This edition of the series, Volume 7, Number 2, examines the concerns in the medical profession regarding the shortage of qualified nurses. It takes a look at the importance of the profession, the training they must undergo and a glimpse of their social life during the three-year journey taken by student-nurses.

Starring: Dwight Weist ..
Directed by: Harry W. Smith
Release date: 1947-12-10

Diamond Demon

7.1/10 IMDB

The unusual talents of Johnny Price, a minor league baseball pitcher and trick artist, are showcased in this Pete Smith Specialty. Among other talents, Mr. Price can throw two (and, in certain situations three) baseballs simultaneously to different people. The catchers can be side by side, with one high and one low, or standing on the pitcher's mound and second base while Price throws the ball from the catcher's position. He can even perform these feats while suspended upside-down.

Starring: Pete Smith, Johnny Price ..
Directed by: Dave O'Brien
Release date: 1947-02-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : Sewing Simple Seams

Sewing Simple Seams

0.0/10 IMDB

An instructional film on sewing different types of seams.

Starring: Thelma Freearc ..
Directed by: Arthur H. Wolf
Release date: 1947-07-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : In My Beginning

In My Beginning

0.0/10 IMDB

'A colour sound film funded by the Koornong School in Warrandyte, Victoria. Produced to promote awareness of the school’s activities, in particular its cooperative approach to school management, the film illustrates the traditional left ideal of collective action and again deploys the rural ideal which provides a response to the problems depicted in A Place to Live and These are Our Children. Scenes include the collective building of the school, a meeting of the school’s ‘bully committee’ to discuss students’ problems, and various activities where the emphasis is on groups of people working together. The school is located in what was a rural landscape outside Melbourne and the film shows exercise, learning and craft work in this locale as particularly wholesome activities.' (Deane Williams)

Release date: 1947-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1947 : A Voice Is Born

A Voice Is Born

0.0/10 IMDB

This 1947 Columbia short, part of their Two-Reel Special series, tells the story of the Hungarian tenor, Miklos Gafni, who learned to sing while being confined in a Nazi slave-labor/concentration camp during World War II, and who had just made a successful New York City concert-hall debut. Mr. Gafni sings "The Return to Sorrento," "Vesti la Guiba," and an Hungarian love song. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Subject, Two-Reel.

Starring: Miklos Gafni ..
Directed by: George Blake
Release date: 1947-12-29

Making Books

0.0/10 IMDB

This short from the publishers of Encyclopedia Brittanica shows the process of making a book, from the author's finished manuscript to its being turned over to a printer for typesetting, assembly, cutting, trimming, binding and actual printing.

Release date: 1947-07-15

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