Best Documentary Movies of 1951


Day of the Fight

6.3/10 IMDB

American short subject documentary film in black-and-white, which is notable as the first picture directed by Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick financed the film himself, and it is based on an earlier photo feature he had done as a photographer for Look magazine in 1949. 'Day of the Fight' shows Irish-American middleweight boxer Walter Cartier during the height of his career, on the day of a fight with black middleweight Bobby James, which took place on April 17, 1950.

Starring: Vincent Cartier, Walter Cartier, Nat Fleischer, Bobby James, Judy Singer, Stanley Kubrick, Alexander Singer, Douglas Edwards ..
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Release date: 1951-04-26
Best Documentary Movies of 1951 : David


7.0/10 IMDB

Told with authenticity and perception, David looks back on the life of a school caretaker in a Welsh mining town, from the marriage and birth of his son to the trauma of a pit accident. David was the first film produced by the BFI, in 1951, and the Welsh selection for the same year’s Festival of Britain screenings in London.

Starring: David Rees Griffiths, Rachel Thomas ..
Directed by: Paul Dickson
Release date: 1951-07-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1951 : Flying Padre

Flying Padre

5.6/10 IMDB

Two days in the life of priest Father Fred Stadtmuller whose New Mexico parish is so large he can only spread goodness and light among his flock with the aid of a mono-plane. The priestly pilot is seen dashing from one province to the next at the helm of his trusty Piper Club administering guidance (his plane, the Flying Padre) to unruly children, sermonizing at funerals and flying a sickly child and its mother to a hospital.

Starring: Bob Hite, Fred Stadtmueller, Bob Hite ..
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Release date: 1951-03-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1951 : Notes on the Port of St. Francis

Notes on the Port of St. Francis

6.0/10 IMDB

Experimental, impressionistic documentary of San Francisco with narration based on a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson and narrated by Vincent Price

Starring: Vincent Price ..
Directed by: Frank Stauffacher
Release date: 1951-04-12
Best Documentary Movies of 1951 : The Singing Street

The Singing Street

6.5/10 IMDB

Short film documenting children's street games and songs in 1950s Edinburgh.

Directed by: Nigel McIsaac, James Ritchie, Raymond Townsend
Release date: 1951-01-01

Land of the Zuider Zee

6.4/10 IMDB

This Traveltalks visit to Holland spotlights The Hague and two smaller tourist destinations. We learn that the economy of Holland, which for many centuries has been based on fishing and the growing of tulips, is slowly changing to an agricultural base.

Starring: James A. FitzPatrick ..
Directed by: Ralph Donaldson
Release date: 1951-04-28

Our Cities Must Fight

4.0/10 IMDB

"Our Cities Must Fight" is a civil defense film that was produced for the U.S. government to illustrate the importance of not abandoning urban centers during an atomic bombing. The film cautions that doing so would make it easier for the invading "enemy."

Directed by: Anthony Rizzo
Release date: 1951-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1951 : Of Men and Music

Of Men and Music

8.0/10 IMDB

A documentary featuring musicians including Artur Rubinstein, Jan Peerce-Nadine Conner, and Jascha Heifetz.

Starring: Deems Taylor, Artur Rubinstein, Jan Peerce, Nadine Conner, Jascha Heifetz, Dimitri Mitropoulos, New York Philharmonic, Victor Young, Emanuel Bay ..
Directed by: Alexander Hammid, Irving Reis
Release date: 1951-02-14
Best Documentary Movies of 1951 : Marriage Is a Partnership

Marriage Is a Partnership

3.9/10 IMDB

Flashback on the problems, adjustments and transformations occurring in the first year of a couple's married life. Pretty surprising film coming from Coronet about the "honeymoon is over" drama that newlyweds face. The marriage between Dotty and Pete is pretty traditional--Dotty quits her job to be a homemaker once they are married--but some more modernistic ideas come out, such as the idea that the two newlyweds decide together how the money that Pete earns will be spent, and the small mentions of sex. (!!) The "educational collaborator" listed at the beginning, Lemo Rockwood, was a professor at Cornell University, and her marriage course advocated sexual frankness and pre-marital experimentation, so it's easy to see her stamp on this film.

Directed by: David A Smart
Release date: 1951-01-01

To Be a Woman

7.3/10 IMDB

Documentary arguing the case for equal pay for women. Women are seen employed in their homes, in factories, teaching, nursing, in politics and in the professions. There are also some newsreel shots of marching suffragettes.

Starring: Wendy Hiller, Julian Somers, Dana Wynter ..
Directed by: Jill Craigie
Release date: 1951-01-02

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