Best Documentary Movies of 1950
Land of Tradition
This Traveltalk series short visits an array of locations associated with England's heritage. Included are Runnymede, Windsor, Ascot, Lincoln, Wells, Salisbury, Glastonbury, and the ancient Stonehenge site.
Produced by Walt Disney as part of the "True-Life Adventures" series of nature documentaries (1948–60). The film depicts a young male beaver who must defend his new family against hungry predators, mischievous river otters, and the ever-impending threat of winter.
The Hollywood Ten
A brief look at The Hollywood Ten, a group of screenwriters and directors charged with contempt of court after challenging the House Un-American Activities Committee and their controversial and self-incriminatory questions during the red scare. With that act of defiance, they were sentenced to one year in prison simply for speaking their minds and exercising their constitutional rights as concerned citizens. This is their story, their version of the facts, and their opinions.
The Titan: Story of Michelangelo
The life and works of the great artist Michelangelo Buonarroti are shown against the historical background of his time. It begins with his earliest artworks, and follows his life and career as he achieves lasting fame. The documentary includes detailed looks at some of the artist's most renowned creations.
1950 short film portrait of the octogenarian folk artist. Nominated for an Oscar in the category "Best Short Subject, One-reel".
Touring Northern England
This Traveltalk series short takes the viewer to several locations in the Lake Country of northern England. The first stop is Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England. Hawkshead, the second stop, is known for its connection to poet 'William Wordsworth', who is buried there. Next is a vacation resort on the shore of Morecambe Bay. The final destination is the ancient city of York, where we see the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey.
In preparation for the celebration of the 1951 Festival of Britain, this short film was released to assure British citizens of their nation's place in the world and of their own places within that nation. Illustrative scenes of farming, science, political, and social life are juxtaposed to present a familiar and reassuring image of Britain.
Jeanne, a high school girl, dumps her dull boyfriend Larry for Nick, a local thug and hot-rodder she finds exciting. Nick terrifies everyone with his dangerous and reckless driving, but that only turns Jeanne on even more. One night as Nick and Jeanne are out zooming around the countryside and terrorizing motorists, Nick smashes into another car. Fortunately for Jeanne she wasn't killed, although everybody else was. Unfortuantely for Jeanne, however, her face now looks like something out of a Fellini movie. As she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror, she wails, "I've had my last date!"
Grandad of Races
Grandad of Races is a 1950 American short documentary film about the Palio di Siena held in the Piazza del Campo in Siena, directed by André de la Varre. It won an Oscar at the 23rd Academy Awards in 1951 for Best Short Subject.
My Country 'Tis of Thee
My Country 'Tis of Thee is a 1950 short documentary supervised by Gordon Hollingshead. It is a panoramic view of American history from the coming of the pilgrims all the way through to 1950. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Subject, Two-Reel.
The expedition that shot this film was sponsored by the French Government and the Museum of Man, for the purpose of making a lasting record of the native tribes in French Equatorial Africa.
The Dangerous Stranger
In this film, a police officer tells children about the dangers of accepting rides or presents from strangers, and relates the unfortunate stories of several children who did and were never seen again.
Shapes and Forms
An expressive short film in which examples of early and modern art are juxtaposed to reveal correspondences.
Looking at how soldiers injured and disabled during WWII would be helped to live as normal a life as possible in the post war years.
Documentary on the making of King Solomon's Mines (1950), highlighting the seven custom-bodied Dodge trucks used for the transportation of cast and crew.
From the Ground Up
Documentary short about how Britain is improving after WWII and what the populace can do to help.
So You Want to Hold Your Husband
Fed up with Joe's indifference toward her, Alice McDoakes takes her troubles to a marriage counselor. None of the courses of action she is advised to take have any impact on Joe, until she is advised to create the impression that she has left Joe for another man.
Life on the Thames
This Traveltalks short visits cities and towns along the Thames River. It begins in London, with views of Cleopatra's Needle and the Tower Bridge. We then visit the Trout Inn at Oxford, a favorite gathering place for students at the university. After a short look at Eton, it's off to Henley-on-Thames and the world-famous regatta.
The Golden Twenties
Feature-length compilation of 1920s newsreel footage, with commentary about news, sports, lifestyles, and historical figures.
A short which presents water-based activities popular in various locations around the United States.
This Traveltalk series short visits four villages in the Netherlands.
This Traveltalk series short highlights rural areas of England. We stop at the village of Bradford-on-Avon, with its thatched roofs, also Stoke Poges, the burial place of British poet Thomas Gray.
This Pete Smith Specialty shows newsreel footage events that live up to the title. They include, among others, a diaper derby (the father who puts a diaper on his child fastest wins), a fireman's ball (two teams of fire fighters use high-pressure water hoses to move a large ball to score goals), and a basket race (men run a footrace while balancing a "tower" of ten baskets on their heads).
This short on movie sound men starts with a short history of sound in the movies. We then see how the different jobs in the sound department contribute to the finished film. They start with the technicians, who record the original sounds, and end with the re-recording mixer who takes several different tracks and blends them into a single soundtrack.
West of England
The people, the scenery and the industrial traditions of the Stroud valley and the growth of the woollen industry.
To the Coast of Devon
The first half of this Traveltalk entry is spent in the town of Bath, where we learn about the long history and architecture of the area. We then go to the coastal resort towns of Teignmouth and Torquay.
Adventure in Telezonia
A boy's dog has run off and, with the help of unfortunately named marionette Handy, the kid learns to use a telephone to find him. “Adventure in Telezonia” was part of an educational package distributed in grade schools for kids to learn proper telephone usage. More information, and the full film, at http://techchannel.att.com/play-video.cfm/2012/6/8/AT&T-Archives-Adventure-in-Telezonia.
Compilation film about a very German first half of the 20th century.
Let's Make a Sandwich
Sally and her mother make tuna rarebit for visiting guests.
Control Your Emotions
Jeff Moore, a high school student, has trouble controlling his emotions. An expert in the subject (though it's never explained who he is or what he's an expert in) assures the audience that Jeff's problems stem from the fact that he lets his emotions escape, instead of reining them in like everyone is supposed to. At the end, Jeff realizes that he must not let his emotions get in the way of logic and reason, and goes to a marshmallow roast with the gang.
Appreciating Our Parents
A boy realizes that he could help his parents by doing things around the house.
The Land of Auld Lang Syne
This Traveltalk series short takes us to Edinburgh, Scotland. We learn the importance of religion, science and the arts here and see various historic sites including Edinburgh Castle.
This short film takes a look at the off-screen personas of screen actors.
Journey to Banana Land
A propagandistic film about the positive impact the United Fruit Company had on Guatemalan society.
Speech: Using Your Voice
An educational short film about correct speaking methods.
How Bill overcomes his fear of the water through understanding its sources.
Wheels of Progress
Rock Island Railroad documentary on the role the railroad plays in making everyday life possible
Journey for Three
Three Brits travel and settle down in New Zealand, and the film records their hopes, jobs, challenges, and adventures in the new country.
Victory of the Chinese People
Film about the victory of the Chinese people under the leadership of Mao Tse Tung in the war with the puppet regime of Chiang Kai-shek and the establishment in 1949, the People's Republic of China.
Greenland For The Little Ones
Everyday life in Greenland at summer time with the children in focus. There are recordings from several cities: Illulissat (Knud Rasmussen's house), Qasgiannguit (formerly Christianshåb), Sisimiut, Qaqortoq (Julianehåb), Manitsoq and Kangaamiut (formerly Old Sugar Loaf).
The Costume Designer
This short focuses on the job of the costume designer in the production of motion pictures. The costume designer must design clothing that is correct for the film historically and geographically, and must be appropriate for the mood of the individual scene. We see famed costume designer Edith Head at work on a production. The Costume Designer was part of The Industry Film Project, a twelve-part series produced by the film studios and the Academy. Each series episode was produced to inform the public on a specific facet of the motion picture industry.
A compilation reel of local movie theatre trailers for upcoming events, such as a “Bug-o-Rama” festival and a “Marathon of Fright.”
The Screen Writer
This short film focuses on the job of the Hollywood screenwriter.
South African Scenes
Amateur film of scenes in South Africa. Opens on a house (residency), then landscape views from a train, city buildings and streets (possibly Durban), agricultural workers with oxen ploughing a field, group riding on a donkey cart, sunset, views of the Union Buildings at Pretoria, industrial scenes, desert landscapes, coastal scenes, ends on birds flying over the sea.
Works of Calder
The film begins with a sun materializing out of the emptiness of space. In the first of three sequences we see various images from nature against music: the sky, trees, leaves, a bird, water, sand, a beach. A little boy wanders along the beach observing the natural world around him. He walks and presently comes to a house and peers inside. The second sequence has no music. The narrator speaks of sculptor Alexander Calder and his work, as we see Calder in his workshop, cutting and creating unusual shapes, and seeing the resultant artworks. The last sequence has music as we view images of Calder's work. However, now they are intercut with images from nature so that we understand that Calder's inspiration is the natural world around him. The film ends as it began, with an image of the sun, now fading into the sky.
Self-Preservation in an Atomic Bomb Attack
A sergeant in the U.S. military tries to ease three enlisted men's fears of the atom bomb by teaching them ways they can protect themselves in the event of an attack.
Highlights from the 1950 Grand Prix d'Europe at Silverstone which was attended by HM King George V. This was the first ever Formula One World Championship race.
Cavalcade of Girls
A look at the women of 1900 to 1950. Ladies accomplishments through the years, shown with rare footage of different eras. Fashions, famous women, styles, accomplishments, jobs, and the evolution of the bathing suit creates an entertaining, interesting, and fast paced film. Lady lumberjacks, steeplejacks, railroad maintenance during WW1, nurses, suffrage, different dances, aerial daredevils, women police, styles of clothing, hair styles, WW2, and bikinis are just some of the news footage shown.
Bad Habits & How to Change Them -1950s
Habit Patterns - Breaking bad teen habits. How to wash, care for yourself, prepare & dress for the day. Be nice, be social and organised. 1950s teen social skills. Take a good look at yourself. Learn to listen!
The Editor’s Notebook
The Editor’s Notebook is a salute from one titan of Chicago media to another. A sponsored film produced by Wilding Picture Productions on behalf of the Chicago Daily News, The Editor’s Notebook mixes documentary footage, staged recreations, and interviews with the newspaper’s staff to illuminate and explain the work of the Daily News and the importance of a free press in American democracy. As both Wilding and the Daily News are long defunct, The Editor’s Notebook also provides an entertaining and accessible look at media companies whose legacies have no present-day corporate guardian or benefactor.