Best Documentary Movies of 1948


The Photographer

7.7/10 IMDB

1948 ARC Identifier 46998 / Local Identifier 306.131. FEATURES THE PERSONALITY, PHILOSOPHY, TECHNIQUES AND ARTISTRY OF EDWARD WESTON, AS SHOWN THROUGH SCENES OF THE ARTIST AT HOME, ON LOCATION AND AT WORK WITH HIS STUDENTS. U.S. Information Agency. (1982 - 10/01/1999) Made possible by a donation from Simon Phipps

Starring: Edward Weston, Mel Brandt ..
Directed by: Willard Van Dyke
Release date: 1948-07-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Seal Island

Seal Island

7.3/10 IMDB

Seal Island is a 1948 American documentary film directed by James Algar. It won an Academy Award in 1949 for Best Short Subject (Two-Reel).

Starring: Winston Hibler ..
Directed by: James Algar
Release date: 1948-12-21
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Strange Victory

Strange Victory

7.5/10 IMDB

Strange Victory" is about racial bias in post World War II America. Following "Native Land" in Leo Hurwitz' filmography, it uses some of the same techniques: dramatized scenes interspersed with scenes of compilation news reel footage, and scenes of evocative imagery.

Starring: Alfred Drake, Muriel Smith, Gary Merrill, Saul Levitt, Virgil Richardson ..
Directed by: Leo Hurwitz
Release date: 1948-09-25

In the Street

6.7/10 IMDB

Images of street life in New York's Spanish Harlem during the 1940s.

Directed by: James Agee, Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb
Release date: 1948-01-01

The Secret Land

6.8/10 IMDB

This documentary, filmed entirely by military photographers, recounts the U.S. Navy's 1946-47 expedition to Antarctica, known as Operation High Jump. The expedition was under the overall command of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, no stranger to the Antarctic. This was a large undertaking involving 13 ships and over 4000 thousand men. The fleet departed from Norfolk, Virginia traveling through the Panama canal and then southward to their final destination. The trip through the ice pack was fraught with danger and forced the submarine that was part of the fleet to withdraw. The trip was a success meeting all of its scientific goals.

Starring: Robert Montgomery, Robert Taylor, Van Heflin ..
Directed by: Orville O. Dull
Release date: 1948-10-22
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Muscle Beach

Muscle Beach

6.8/10 IMDB

Muscle Beach was shown in competition at Cannes in 1949 and won a prize at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 1951. The short became a cult favorite, screening at film clubs around the world. Strick used an army surplus movie camera to shoot the film during weekends in the fall of 1948. The songs in “Muscle Beach,” composed and sung by political folk singer Earl Robinson, with lyrics by screenwriter and poet Edwin Rolfe, accent the film’s three-movement structure as it transitions between soaring gymnastics shows, flirty beachgoers and children playing near the now-demolished pier at Ocean Park.

Directed by: Irving Lerner, Joseph Strick
Release date: 1948-12-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

6.5/10 IMDB

A documentary covering the 1948 Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and London, England.

Starring: Bill Stern, Ted Husing, John Snagge, Stewart MacPherson ..
Directed by: Castleton Knight
Release date: 1948-09-19
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Going to Blazes!

Going to Blazes!

6.5/10 IMDB

This Theatre of Life series short, produced with the cooperation of the Los Angeles Fire Department, emphasizes fire safety and fire prevention. It gives a behind-the-scenes look at the switching system used to dispatch the proper equipment to fires, as well as a look at life in the fire station and fire fighter training. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Subject, Two-Reel.

Directed by: Gunther von Fritsch
Release date: 1948-01-01

Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today

6.9/10 IMDB

How, in November 1945, after the end of the World War II and the fall of the Third Reich, the international prosecutors participating in the first Nuremberg trial —formally, the International Military Tribunal— built their case against the top Nazi war criminals using the films and records produced by the own regime, obsessed with documenting everything in its long path of infamy and crime.

Starring: Francis Biddle, Karl Dönitz, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Rudolf Heß, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler, Robert Jackson, Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels ..
Directed by: Stuart Schulberg
Release date: 1948-11-21
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Fight Without Hate

Fight Without Hate

6.0/10 IMDB

A documentary covering the 1948 Olympic Games in St. Moritz.

Directed by: André Michel
Release date: 1948-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Toward Independence

Toward Independence

6.0/10 IMDB

Toward Independence is a 1948 American short documentary film about the rehabilitation of individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Directed by: George L. George
Release date: 1948-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Meet the Pioneers

Meet the Pioneers

6.0/10 IMDB

Lindsay Anderson's first feature, a documentary about the origin and processes of the Richard Sutcliffe Limited underground-conveyor company.

Starring: Lindsay Anderson ..
Directed by: Lindsay Anderson
Release date: 1948-06-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede

5.7/10 IMDB

The pageantry of Calgary's colorful celebration of its past, culminating with its world famous rodeo, is chronicled.

Starring: Art Gilmore ..
Directed by: Saul Elkins
Release date: 1948-05-29
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : The Quiet One

The Quiet One

6.5/10 IMDB

A documentary account of the rehabilitation at the Wiltwyck School of an emotionally disturbed black boy who is unwanted, misunderstood, and inwardly tortured.

Starring: Garry Merrill, Donald Thompson, Clarence Cooper, Sadie Stockton, Estelle Evans, Paul Baucum ..
Directed by: Sidney Meyers
Release date: 1948-09-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Operation Vittles

Operation Vittles

5.4/10 IMDB

Operation Vittles is a 1948 American short documentary film about the Berlin Airlift, from the initial closure of the city in 1948 through 1949. It explains how, what, and why that supported the city. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

Release date: 1948-01-01

Make Mine Freedom

6.1/10 IMDB

This Cold War-era cartoon uses humor to tout the dangers of Communism and the benefits of capitalism.

Starring: Billy Bletcher, Daws Butler ..
Directed by: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna
Release date: 1948-02-25
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Initiation into Possession Dance

Initiation into Possession Dance

7.6/10 IMDB

Ritual of introduction, for a Songhaî young woman from Tillabérie, in Niger, to the dance of possession devoted to "Kirey", genie of thunder.

Directed by: Jean Rouch
Release date: 1948-02-22
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : A Plan to Work On

A Plan to Work On

7.0/10 IMDB

Documentary on town planning in which an architect looks at the history of Dunfermline, Scotland and its possible future development.

Starring: Donald Bisset, Gordon McDougall ..
Directed by: Kay Mander
Release date: 1948-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Weegee's New York

Weegee's New York

7.4/10 IMDB

The best known, "Weegee's New York" (1948), presents a surprisingly lyrical view of the city without a hint of crime or murder. Already this film gives evidence, here very restrained, of Weegee's interest in technical tricks: blur, speeded up or slowed-down film, a lens that makes the city's streets curve as if cars are driving over a rainbow. - The New York Times

Directed by: Arthur 'Weegee' Fellig
Release date: 1948-06-02

Where Will You Hide?

7.4/10 IMDB

Bold animated drawings and a dramatic soundtrack provide background for narrators who argue that World War III is looming and, as such, world civilization is in danger. They contend that peace is our only alternative, an alternative we must all work towards.

Starring: Jim Backus, Edmund Penney, Lou Marcelle ..
Directed by: Ed Levitt
Release date: 1948-07-18

10,000 Kids and a Cop

6.8/10 IMDB

A documentary showing the constructive approach taken by the Lou Costello, Jr. Youth Foundation in Los Angeles toward prevention of juvenile delinquency. William Bendix, as a neighborhood policeman, visits the Foundation and discovers the juveniles who used to give him trouble now engaged in sports and activities, furnished them gratis, under self-supervision. Abbott and Costello furnish a couple of bits to liven it up some.

Starring: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, William Bendix, James Stewart, Brenda Joyce ..
Directed by: Charles Barton
Release date: 1948-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Furnival and Son

Furnival and Son

5.3/10 IMDB

Story of work in a cutlery manufacturing firm in Sheffield told through story of the son who enters the business.

Directed by: Denis Segaller
Release date: 1948-08-27

Cape Breton Island

6.6/10 IMDB

This Traveltalk series entry visits the easternmost area of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. We learn that although the island was originally settled by the French, most of the island's inhabitants are of Scottish descent. We are also told that the main industries of the island are agriculture, fishing, and mining. After a look at Bras d'Or Lake, we visit the village of Baddeck. Near there is the grave of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. The last stop is the industrial city of Sydney, home of steel plants, foundries, and coal mines.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1948-05-08

Chicago, the Beautiful

6.7/10 IMDB

A visit to Chicago, featuring the city's architecture and well-known landmarks.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1948-07-31

Scholastic England

6.6/10 IMDB

This MGM Traveltalk short focuses on the history of England's colleges in Cambridge, Oxford, and Eton and the towns that surround the campuses.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1948-12-18

Sydämeni laulu

6.4/10 IMDB

A documentary picture about Finnish Americans. A husband, wife, and a daughter are travelling in the "Wonderland of the West" meeting many Finnish immigrants.

Starring: Heikki Packalén, Kaarina Tamminen ..
Directed by: Arvo Tamminen
Release date: 1948-02-07
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Ice Aces

Ice Aces

6.3/10 IMDB

This Pete Smith Specialty short provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Ice Capades practices with ice skating favorites of the time.

Starring: Pete Smith ..
Directed by: Dave O'Brien
Release date: 1948-11-06

Lisboa de Hoje e de Amanhã

6.2/10 IMDB

Recent population growth in the capital leads to an ambitious development plan, involving public and private initiative as documented here, pinpointing over 60 locations (streets, roads, parks, schools) being modernized or built anew. The narrative and soundtrack are grandiloquent, in the propaganda style required by the Producer (the Municipal Council of Lisbon, then directly dependent of the national government), but the images and data are now of historical relevance.

Starring: António Lopes Ribeiro ..
Directed by: António Lopes Ribeiro
Release date: 1948-01-01

When You Are a Pedestrian

6.0/10 IMDB

Pedestrians and motorists share the responsibility for accident prevention. Filmed on the streets and sidewalks of Oakland, California, and on a tabletop with model cars and dolls representing pedestrians.

Release date: 1948-07-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Spotlight on the Night Mail

Spotlight on the Night Mail

5.4/10 IMDB

Once again the moving beam of "Spotlight" swings across the city of today to pinpoint a new story for the screen audience of tomorrow. This time we start from an office building in London, late on a summer evening, when the timeclocks have rung in the evening's freedom for London's daytime workers.

Release date: 1948-01-01

The Friendship Train

5.9/10 IMDB

This short film details the history of the 'Friendship Train', created, following the end of World War II, to travel across the United States to collect food for war ravaged countries in Europe.

Starring: Dwight Weist ..
Release date: 1948-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Pattern for Smartness

Pattern for Smartness

5.5/10 IMDB

Do you have that "know how" look? You will after you see this concise short on becoming your very own clotheshorse. You'll definitely have a new pattern for success. Happy sewing to you all!

Directed by: Warren G. Van Horne
Release date: 1948-07-17

Night Life in Chicago

5.6/10 IMDB

This short Traveltalk visit to Chicago looks at some hotels known for their evening entertainment and for the rich and famous people who come to their dining rooms. Featured are the Walnut Room of the Bismarck Hotel, the Ambassador Hotel's Pump Room, and the boardwalk at the Edgewater Beach Hotel.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1948-11-27
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : The Chicken of Tomorrow

The Chicken of Tomorrow

2.8/10 IMDB

Advances in chicken and egg farming.

Starring: Lowell Thomas ..
Directed by: Jack Arnold
Release date: 1948-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Pay-Off In Pain

Pay-Off In Pain

5.0/10 IMDB

The personal and social tragedy of drug addiction with its evil accompaniment, drug traffic. Over the side of the silent liner in the darkness slips the package of smuggled narcotics, introducing us to the complex problem which involves all races and classes of man. We see many aspects of addiction - the addict preparing an injection, a group waiting tensely for their dope peddler; agents preparing and adulterating the illegal product; the police catching a pusher red-handed. International and national authorities are working from two angles - suppression of the illicit traffic; and where possible, rehabilitation of the addict.

Directed by: Robert Anderson
Release date: 1948-08-18

The Airport

5.1/10 IMDB

This educational short shows the operations of a big city airport.

Release date: 1948-07-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Robinson Charley

Robinson Charley

4.9/10 IMDB

No man is an island, but Charley represents his nation in this economical cartoon tale of Britain's economics. Meet Charley, the portrait of a nation. At the end of the 1940s the Central Office of Information commissioned Halas and Batchelor to make seven films about policies of the post-war Labour Government. Charley was cast as the figurehead of the campaign, learning about mining, farming, national insurance, and even schooling via a son at the end of the series. This short looks at the Marshall Plan, and makes the most explicit link between character and country as his life story stands in for 270 years of British economic history.

Directed by: John Halas, Joy Batchelor
Release date: 1948-07-16

Drug Addict

4.7/10 IMDB

This film details how drug traffic operates, how the drug addict is made, and how this grim social reality may be curbed.

Starring: John Scott ..
Directed by: Robert Anderson
Release date: 1948-01-01

Driven to Kill

4.6/10 IMDB

Stresses the necessity for the average American driver to realize fully his responsibility when behind the wheel. Illustrates that violations of safe and sane driving rules produce fatal accidents.

Starring: Lowell Thomas ..
Release date: 1948-07-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Will It Happen Again?

Will It Happen Again?

4.8/10 IMDB

An account of Adolf Hitler's rise and fall, his relationship with Eva Braun and their days of leisure at the Berghof, their Bavarian residence.

Starring: George Bryan, Phillip Stahl, Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels, Julius Streicher, Heinrich Himmler, Benito Mussolini ..
Directed by: Dwain Esper
Release date: 1948-05-15

Operation White Tower

3.7/10 IMDB

Brad and Barbara Washburn were filmed by National Geographic and RKO Pictures on their ascent of Mount McKinley in Alaska. The film is a pictorial record of the first scientific conquest of Mount McKinley, filmed with the cooperation of the Boston Museum of Science. The short is part of the RKO's 'This is America' documentary series.

Starring: Harry Wismer ..
Directed by: William Deeke
Release date: 1948-02-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Capitalism


3.1/10 IMDB

A group of students who put on a radio debate show discuss what capitalism is. While they tend to agree on the general idea, they each have a different emphasis for what is important to capitalism: profit, competition, free enterprise, or something else.

Release date: 1948-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Building An Outline

Building An Outline

3.0/10 IMDB

Part of Coronet's Study Skills series, this film instructs viewers how to use outlines when writing a composition.

Release date: 1948-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Desert Empire

Desert Empire

0.0/10 IMDB

A travelogue, this film provides a guided tour of pre-World War II Utah and of course does not pretend to cinematic greatness. Recommended viewing for those in search of introductory Utah history. Also valuable for persons seeking insight into the state as it would have looked during this time period. Especially informative for those desiring a window into the past for a view of how Utah was in the days of their pre-World War II progenitors living in the state. Those whose Utah ancestors were involved in mining, railroading, sugar beets, and other featured industries; featured towns, sights, recreational attractions, and industries may find this otherwise banal travelogue a quite valuable addition to their family history.

Starring: Manny Nathan, Don Wilson ..
Directed by: Carlton T. Sills
Release date: 1948-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : New Horizons

New Horizons

0.0/10 IMDB

Production for the Seaboard Railroad company outlining their railroad activities in the 1940s and heading into the 1950s

Directed by: Carl Dudley
Release date: 1948-01-01

Pattern for Progress

0.0/10 IMDB

The drama and spectacle of steelmaking at Ebbw Vale.

Starring: Cyril Lloyd ..
Directed by: John Krish
Release date: 1948-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1948 : Misérias e Grandezas de São José do Rio Preto

Misérias e Grandezas de São José do Rio Preto

0.0/10 IMDB

São José do Vale do Rio Preto, 1940. The coffee plantation is depleted, generating consequences for the region: with the decay, commercial houses are closed, railroads are removed and farms are abandoned. The former source of income for that population since the end of the 19th century has given way to poultry farming, which is gradually developing into a new economic cycle, despite the fear of those who still live in the city and in the village of Tristão Câmara.

Directed by: Raul Ramos
Release date: 1948-02-01

De hvide kryds

0.0/10 IMDB

A humorous traffic film in which the sinners of traffic are marked with large white crosses. Mr Statistics, in the form of a mysterious man, crosses out the most common traffic offenses by designating the pedestrians, cyclists or motorists in question. The film was shot in Aarhus.

Starring: Peter Malberg, Gunnar Stryhn ..
Directed by: Erik Fiehn
Release date: 1948-07-23

Le diamant

0.0/10 IMDB

Directed by: Charles Dekeukeleire
Release date: 1948-01-01

On the Track

0.0/10 IMDB

This documentary explores the history of the railroads In America and their potential role in the post war era.

Starring: Art Gilmore ..
Directed by: Carl Dudley
Release date: 1948-07-17

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