Best Documentary Movies of 1958
The Incredible Turk
This film is about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the modernization of the Turkish Republic.
Use of a helicopter to transport an oil-drilling rig to a prospecting site deep in the New Guinea jungle.
Grand Canyon is a 1958 American short documentary film directed by James Algar and produced by Walt Disney Productions. It is a pictorial interpretation of Ferde Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite. Grand Canyon is one of Walt Disney's more unconventional and experimental works, as it has musical accompaniment, but no dialogue or narration. The short won an Oscar at the 31st Academy Awards in 1959 for Best Short Subject (Live Action).
Journey Into Spring
Journey into Spring is a 1958 British short documentary film directed by Ralph Keene, and made by British Transport Films. The film -- partly a tribute to the work of the pioneering naturalist and ornithologist Gilbert White (1720-1793), author of The Natural History of Selborne -- features a commentary by the poet Laurie Lee, and camerawork by the wildlife cinematographer Patrick Carey. The journey suggested by the title is through time rather than space. In fact, two such journeys are made: the first back to the eighteenth century to pay tribute to the work of White, and the second studies the changing natural landscape near White's home town of Selborne in Hampshire between a typical March and May. It was nominated for two Academy Awards -- one for Best Documentary Short, and the other for Best Live Action Short.
Broadway by Light
William Klein’s first film is an impressionistic study of late-fifties Broadway, an ominous city-symphony lit by bright flickering light. Orson Welles would delcare it "the first film I've seen in which colour was absolutely necessary".
New York City's various bridges transform into an urban jungle (jazz version) or an alien landscape (electro-acoustic version).
Orson Welles at Large: Portrait of Gina
1958 documentary film by Orson Welles. It was funded by ABC TV. Around 30 minutes long, it follows a similar style to F for Fake and The Fountain of Youth.
Between the Tides
Between the Tides is a 1958 short documentary directed by Ralph Keene for British Transport Films.It is a study of the animal and plant life of Britain's shores. The film show the fascinating and colourful marine life of shoreline and rock pool, filmed in the inter-tidal zone of a typical and attractive rocky shore of southwest England. The amazing diversity of creatures must be seen to be believed; periwinkles, top-shells, starfish and lump suckers, the self-concealing flatfish, the gaper and razor fish and the commuting and breeding seabirds. Beautifully photographed in glorious Technicolor by resident cameraman Ron Craigen, the film was awarded fifteen international film honours, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.
Oscar winning documentary short from 1958
Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich
Windjammer, the first presentation in CINEMIRACLE, is the record of a training cruise of the full-rigged S/S Christian Radich from Oslo across the Atlantic, through the Caribbean, to New York and back home again.
A promotional film touting RCA Victor's new stereo Victrola while introducing viewers to the science behind the sound made from stereophonic phonograph records.
The Secret Life of Adolf Hitler
1950's television documentary special that includes interviews with Hitler's sister Paula Wolf and a fellow prisoner who was incarcerated with Hitler, actual footage shot by the Nazi's and Eva Braun's rare home movies.
Film of the expedition.
Living in a Reversed World
Fascinating -- and unintentionally funny -- experiments at Austria's famed Institute for Experimental Psychology involve a subject who for several weeks wears special glasses that reverse right and left and up and down. Unexpectedly, these macabre and somehow surrealist experiments reveal that our perception of these aspects of vision is not of an optical nature and cannot be relied on, while the unfortunate, Kafkaesque subject stubbornly struggles through a morass of continuous failures.
Spatiodynamisme is six-minute silent color 16mm record of Nicolas Schöffer’s interactive robotic sculpture, CYSP 1, which reacted in unpredictable ways to light and color.
A fabulous new adventure in exciting entertainment.
Power of Decision
This documentary shows the early ideas about how nuclear war between the USA and the USSR could look like. It is made purely from the US side and takes place mostly in the US military command and control bunkers. The movie tries to be serious, however it is overly optimistic about the USAF chances to win the nuclear war.
Slippery When Wet
Surfers Henry Ford, Freddy Pfhaler, Kemp Aaberg, Del Cannon, and Dick Thomas decide to leave California so they can embark on a dream trip to Hawaii. While in Hawaii the carefree quintet ride all kinds of waves at various top Hawaiian surfing spots and live together in a rundown shack on the North Shore of Oahu on only a hundred dollars a day.
The misbehaving public performs for the camera in a half-hour miscellany of misdeeds. In a behind-the-scenes look at the hour-by-hour operation of a large metropolitan police force, this film presents a fair sampling of what keeps Toronto's police officers busy twenty-four hours a day.
A 200-ton transformer is moved by road from Hayes, Middlesex, to Iver, Bucks. Behind the story of the journey there is another tale: the problems which had to be solved before the task could be undertaken. This background story is told by the voices of those responsible for the various aspects of the operation, until the transformer is placed within a 'bee's wing' of its intended position.
Birthright, which presents the work of the Family Planning Association, is a valuable record of the organisation of contraception and fertility services before the introduction of the contraceptive pill. But, more than this, in its filmmaking style it conveys much about the social attitudes of this era, and the spirit in which those services were conceived and delivered.
6 1/2 Magic Hours
A celebration of transatlantic commercial jet travel: 6.5 hours from New York to London. Columbus took two months, Lindbergh took 33 hours, but by 1954, Pan-Am's Boeing 707 Jet Clipper flew 575 miles per hour at 35,000 feet, crossing the ocean in less than seven hours with twice as many passengers as prop planes. The flight begins at a new terminal at Idlewild; cargo and mail go on first; the flight is comfortable, vibration and anxiety free, with good food, capacious restrooms, and little noise. The result is a more restful flight and more time at one's destination. After a preview of London, the film ends with a quick visit to Paris, only seven hours from New York.
A Day in June
This short documentary profiles Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day parade in Montreal in 1959. The annual parade takes place every June 24th in memory of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the patron saint of Québec. Candid shots of youngsters preparing their costumes for the festivities are partnered with a lively jazz soundtrack. All the Montrealers and out-of-town tourists featured in this film avidly participate in a public festivity that is dear to their hearts.
The Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant
A behind-the-scenes look at the building of the bridge in the film The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and the preparations for its destruction.
T Is for Tumbleweed
T Is for Tumbleweed is a 1958 English-language short film directed by Louis Clyde Stoumen, starring Anne Lockhart. It features some tumbleweed that moves through a small town in the desert and interacts with people and animals.
Behind the Great Wall
A travelogue of China.
Miss Thompson Goes Shopping
Adaptation of Martin Armstrong's poem about an elderly lady who becomes perturbed by something we can't see. It becomes apparent that she is looking for her past, lost in a memory or the clutches of nostalgia. Miss Thompson's shopping trip to town is in chaotic contrast to the tranquil nature of her lonely home, which on return seems like paradise.
Mystery in the Kitchen
Why does a housewife concerned for her family's welfare feed them so inadequately that she endangers their very lives? The film is a humorous and satirical attempt to remind the average housewife that it is not enough to be aware of modern food facts; they must also be applied in daily food purchasing and preparation. (NFB)
A film about winter railroading in the Canadian Rockies and the men who keep the lines clear. The stretch between Revelstoke and Field, British Columbia, is a snow-choked threat to communications. The film shows the work of section hands, maintenance men, train crews and telegraph operators.
My Milkman, Joe
Educational short film featuring a milkman and his puppet
A documentary feature explaining the principles of Schlieren photography, which makes any phenomenon that changes the refractive index of transparent substances visible.
A BAFTA award nominated documentary featuring native African musicians and dancers.
A documentary feature with Basil Spence explaining, with the aid of a model, the concepts behind the design of the new Coventry Cathedral to replace the one destroyed during WWII.
Wonders of Chicago
A BAFTA award nominated documentary taking a satirically narrated look at the "Windy City".
A Foreign Language
This film observes, in a Montréal public school, the teaching of English to immigrant children. To thousands of children arriving in Canada from Greece, Italy, France, Germany or Japan, English is "a foreign language." Under able coaching they begin to understand and even enjoy the vagaries of the English language.
A BAFTA award documentary about the threats of floods in Australia, the special water schemes devised and the forerunner of these projects, the Snowy Mountains scheme.
Memory of Summer
An attempt to recapture the magic of childhood as the cameras follow children at play.
Documentary film recounting the travels of Captain Hassoldt Davis and his wife, Ruth Staudinger Davis, across the Ivory Coast. The Davises filmed their exploits, seeking out in particular evidence of the beginnings and native practices of witchcraft and sorcery, and culminating in a visit to the village of YHO, ostensibly a village of sorcerers.
The Hidden World
The Hidden World is a 1958 American science documentary film produced by Robert Snyder and narrated by Gregory Peck. The film is about insects. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Psychiatric Nursing: The Nurse-Patient Relationship is a 1958 American documentary film directed by Lee R. Bobker. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
The Great Achievement
A documentary about New Zealanders in Antarctica: researching International Geophysical Year, and supporting the Trans-Antarctic Expedition by laying supply depots for Vivian Fuchs’ overland crossing.
People Like Maria
A BAFTA award nominated documentary paying tribute to the World Health Organisation on it's tenth anniversary in 1958.
First colour documentary about Seville's Holy Week, filmed for NO-DO
The film shows how if people in the village act as good citizens, villages are sure to undergo transformation for the better.
The Railroad Story
The story of the railroad in Illinois and the train's role in moving product out of the states to the rest of America.
Vues animées de l'Atelier et Collection Richard Winther
An overview of the art collection of Richard Winther.
Islands of the Frozen Sea
This short documentary offers a look at the life forms on the Queen Elizabeth Islands within the Arctic Circle. Even in this frigid zone of icebergs and glaciers a surprising variety of wildlife and vegetation is seen. Writings from the logbooks of early explorers provide vivid descriptions of scenes as arresting to them in their century as to today's explorer.
Ergot: The Story of a Parasitic Fungus
This educational film is an introduction to the ergot fungus, including lifecycle, cultivation, medicinal uses, and toxic effects. The film also summarises methods for the chemical extraction of ergoline compounds.
This short documentary records the rural sights and sounds of the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The day of the big stationary threshing machine is almost over, as the machine is pushed into obscurity by the combine harvester. But there are still parts of Canada where crops are gathered in the old-fashioned way as the men work out in the fields and the women manage the kitchen. This film offers a rare and charming glimpse into mid-20th-century rural and family life in Canada.
Wales prides herself in her wealth of natural resources, foundries, mills, and factories. Beyond this modern facade lies another treasure—a rich historical background and ancient lore. The great granite fortresses still remain as reminders that from the struggle and strife was born a pure and distinctive national culture.