Best Documentary Movies of 1949


Let's Go to the Movies

6.3/10 IMDB

What goes in to the phrase, "Let's go to the movies"? An off-screen narrator takes us back to the earliest days of film: clips remind us of early stars and blockbusters. He explains how sound came to motion pictures: we see Jolson singing "Mammy" and John Barrymore playing Richard III. Next is a salute to the 30,000 people working in Hollywood at 272 different crafts. A montage shows us some of those jobs. It ends with a look at the physical production of celluloid (cotton and silver) and the many aspects of movie making. The narrator promises more short films about each step in production.

Starring: Warner Anderson ..
Directed by: Tholen Gladden
Release date: 1949-05-13
Best Documentary Movies of 1949 : Savage Splendor

Savage Splendor

6.8/10 IMDB

The film tells of the Armand Denis/Lewis Cotlow expedition that had the two men cover 22,000 miles through Tanganyika, Belgian Congo, and British East Africa. The high points of their ten-month trip are an impressive elephant hunt by the Pygmies of Belgian Congo, the crowning of King Mbofe Mabiashe and the capture of a rhino.

Starring: Lewis Cotlow, Armand Denis, Carr Hartley, King Mbofe Mabinshe ..
Directed by: Lewis Cotlow, Armand Denis
Release date: 1949-11-02

Meditation on Violence

6.0/10 IMDB

Chao-Li Chi shadow boxes indoors and practices with a sword outdoors. Theoretically, the film describes in a single continuous movement three degrees of traditional Chinese boxing, Wu-tang, Shao-lin, and Shao-lin with a sword. A long sequence of the ballet-like, sinuous Wu-tang becomes the more erratic Shao-lin; in the middle, there is an abrupt change to leaping sword movements, in the center of which, at the apogee of the leap, there is a long held freeze-frame.

Starring: Chao Li Chi ..
Directed by: Maya Deren
Release date: 1949-04-24
Best Documentary Movies of 1949 : The Dim Little Island

The Dim Little Island

6.9/10 IMDB

Osbert Lancaster, James Fisher, John Ormston and Ralph Vaughn Williams meditate on the history and culture of England.

Starring: James Fisher, Osbert Lancaster, John Ormston, Ralph Vaughan Williams ..
Directed by: Humphrey Jennings
Release date: 1949-01-02

Haunted Palace

4.7/10 IMDB

This short film purports to be a documentary (a semi-documentary?) featuring Shaw Desmond, founder of the International Institute for Psychical Research. Desmond relates several famous British hauntings.

Release date: 1949-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1949 : So Much for So Little

So Much for So Little

6.1/10 IMDB

Little Johnny Jones, to be born in the next year, is shown growing to a ripe, healthy old age, thanks to the efforts of his local public health officers. But without them, he might be one of the 5% or so that dies in the first year. The price for the public health service: about 3 cents a week.

Starring: Mel Blanc, Frank Graham ..
Directed by: Chuck Jones
Release date: 1949-01-01

Conjuror's Party

0.0/10 IMDB

Buck Hurst, conjurer and illusionist, entertains at a children's party.

Starring: Buck Hurst ..
Directed by: Arthur C. Stevens
Release date: 1949-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1949 : Roaming Through Northern Ireland

Roaming Through Northern Ireland

6.5/10 IMDB

A look primarily at the beauty of the countryside and seacoast, starting at Carrick-a-Rede Island then on to Enniskillen, the cathedral at Downpatrick, an appreciation of Medieval Irish craft and architecture, visits to a peat farm and the ruins of Castle Dunluce, and the pastoral beauty of County Down. There we visit the resort seacoast town of Bangor. It's on to Cushendun in County Antrim and finishing at the Giant's Causeway as we examine fascinating rock formations and the mysteries of creation.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Release date: 1949-07-09

Mining Review 2nd Year No 11

0.0/10 IMDB

Part of BFI collection "Land of Promise".

Starring: Paul Robeson ..
Directed by: Peter Pickering
Release date: 1949-01-02

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