Best Documentary Movies of 1957
Toccata for Toy Trains
An interesting look at the world of toy trains, shot from the perspective of the little world itself. Originally created for model train enthusiasts, this short film transcends it's intended audience to delight viewers of all ages and interests!
Lively holiday in Blackpool, with jazz accompaniment.
Rembrandt, Painter of Man
In Rembrandt, Haanstra shows that it is possible to make a fascinating film only with images from paintings. He had to travel though all over Europe to numerous museums and private owners in order to film the works of art. In the work of the great painter, Haanstra recognizes his particular interest in man as an individual human being, cutting straight through all the religious motives. And Haanstra also wants to see Rembrandt as an individual.
The Golden Age of Comedy
A compilation featuring comedic stars of the silent era including Will Rogers, Laurel and Hardy, and the Keystone Cops.
After the Ball
The life and loves of Music hall singer Vesta Tilley, who married into the nobility
On the Bowery
A mix of documentary and scripted footage on the Bowery, New York City's skid row. Against a backdrop of men (and a few women) drinking in bars, talking and arguing, and sleeping on sidewalks, we have the story of Ray.
A day in the life of the city and citizens of New York as seen through the fantastic eye, and the incredibly distorted optic lenses, of filmmaker Francis Thompson.
A montage of the night-life of Piccadilly Circus across the hours, from early evening to the last lingering passers-by.
An ethnographic film that documents the efforts of four !Kung men (also known as Ju/'hoansi or Bushmen) to hunt a giraffe in the Kalahari Desert of Namibia. The footage was shot by John Marshall during a Smithsonian-Harvard Peabody sponsored expedition in 1952–53. In addition to the giraffe hunt, the film shows other aspects of !Kung life at that time, including family relationships, socializing and storytelling, and the hard work of gathering plant foods and hunting for small game.
This biographical drama/part-time documentary, narrative written by Dr. Albert Schweitzer and spoken by Frederic March, traces the life of Dr. Schweitzer (with actors playing the characters), from his birth in France up to about the age of 30 when he makes the decision to go to French Equatorial Africa and build his jungle hospital. The latter half of the film encompasses a full day in the hospital-village following the 80s-plus Samaritan in his daily rounds.