Best Documentary Movies of 1962
Prelude: Dog Star Man
A creation myth realized in light, patterns, images superimposed, rapid cutting, and silence. A black screen, then streaks of light, then an explosion of color and squiggles and happenstance. Next, images of small circles emerge then of the Sun. Images of our Earth appear, woods, a part of a body, a nude woman perhaps giving birth. Imagery evokes movement across time. Part of the Dog Star Man series of experimental films.
Dog Star Man: Part I
From a murky landscape, a wooded mountain emerges. We watch the sun. We see a bearded man climbing up the mountain through the snow. He carries an ax, and he's accompanied by a dog. His labors continue. There is no soundtrack. Images rush past - water, trees, and surfaces too close up to distinguish. He struggles. A fire burns. Nature, in long shots and magnified, is formidable and silent. It's tough going; he carries on. In a capillary, blood flows.
Elgar: Portrait of a Composer
A partly dramatised account of the life of Sir Edward Elgar classical composer. Huw Wheldon narrates the life story over backdrops of beautiful mountain scenery, especially memorable is the image of young Elgar riding his horse around Malvern Hills.
In the film, we see subjects instructed to administer electric shocks of increasing severity to another person, and observe both obedient and defiant reactions. After the experiment, we witness subjects explain firsthand their actions. Obedience is as relevant today as it was at its publication. As we as a society witness suicide bombings, torture, and gang atrocities, we wonder just how far people will go. Fifty years later, this experiment still resonates as people ask themselves, “Would I pull that lethal switch?” This is the only authentic film footage of Milgram’s famous experiment and is essential to all foundational work in social psychology at the graduate, undergraduate, and high school level.
Documentary focusing on 25 year-old actress Jane Fonda as she and her director Andreas Voutsinas prepare a stage play called The Fun Couple for Broadway.
Here I Am
A sensitive, low-key portrait of the East Bay Activity Center, a school in Oakland, California, started in the 1950s to help emotionally disturbed children. The atmospheric documentary opens with hilly East Bay streets shrouded in fog. The mist lifts as the film moves to children at play. Often shown in unobtrusive close-up, the youngsters appear as thinking individuals, enjoying the swings, puzzling out problems, or interacting with their teacher in the classroom.
Government propaganda film about the erection of the Berlin Wall.
Discovered in summer of 1985, of a set of “haiku-imagistic films” I did before coming to my characteristic style, as in Ray Gun Virus; I thought I’d destroyed all these pre-pure films, in about 1969-1970, the time of my separation from my first marriage. The film concerns my marriage, which lasted seven years; it was shot during its first year, when I was a painting student at the University of Denver. It is full of apprehensions, in a montage style which counterposes “opposites”: sexuality and religion; seasonal opposites; hopefulness undercut by fears of eventual separation (the image of a statue of two women, arm in arm, reading a book). I find it visually and kinetically interesting, after all these years. (Paul Sharits) —Canyon Cinema
Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy
Hilarious scenes from his silent and sound films as compiled and produced by Harold Lloyd himself.
This short film portrays the story of singer Paul Anka, who rose from obscurity to become the idol of millions of adolescent fans around the world. Taking a candid look at both sides of the footlights, this film examines the marketing machine behind a generation of pop singers. Interviews with Anka and his manager reveal their perspective on the industry.
Francis Combe County Secondary School in Hertfordshire.
Visit to a Foreign Country
They come in high-powered convertibles, with cameras and curiosity, to look at French Canada and French-Canadians. Their usual objective is Québec City, where they can soak up a bit of French culture without a trip to France. With an eye for humour, VISIT TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY shows the people of Québec taking a look at American tourists who have come to Québec to take a look at them.
Black Fox: The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler
The rise and fall of Nazi Germany in part through the use of classical allegory.
The John Glenn Story
John Glenn's first flight ushered in the modern era of space exploration for America. His landmark return to space represented the final chapter of space exploration in the 20th century.
Day After Day
A film that looks at life in a small paper-mill town in Québec where most of the 6,500 inhabitants derive their livelihood from the one industry. Day after day, the same work, the same hours, the same machines, the same product, until the entire routine of living becomes but a reflection of the dominant routine of the mill.
The Road to the Wall
A brief summary on Comumunism, its origins with Marx, passing through two world wars which leads all the way to the Berlin Wall. Oscar nominated documentary narrated by James Cagney.
In this short documentary we learn the back story of the Buddha – the religion he founded and how it is manifested today. Travel through Southeast Asia to India, Burma, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Thailand, Japan, China and many other countries to discover the history and ideas behind Buddhism.
A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy
Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy was a television special featuring the First Lady of the United States, Jacqueline Kennedy on a tour of the recently renovated White House. It was broadcast on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1962, on both CBS and NBC, and broadcast four days later on ABC. The program was the first ever First Lady televised tour of the White House, and has since been considered the first prime-time documentary specifically designed to appeal to a female audience.
The "Fellini of Foam's" fifth and last film before "The Endless Summer," "Water Logged" is made up of highlights from Bruce Brown's four previous films: "Slippery When Wet," "Surf Crazy," "Barefoot Adventure" and "Surfing Hollow Days." This film features the best of four years of surf photography.
Four People: A Ballad Film
Story of four sufferers from polio.
Impressions of a typical weekend in Blackburn in the early 1960s.
From First to Last
Car manufacture at a Ford factory.
Hollywood: The Fabulous Era
Henry Fonda reminisces about the stars and pictures of the glory days of Tinseltown.
The People vs. Paul Crump
An impassioned plea for the release of a young man sentenced to die in an Illinois prison.
Young long-distance runner Bruce Kidd practices and competes.
The Vanishing Street
Documentary showing life in an East End street shortly before its demolition as part of London's slum clearance programme in the 1960s.
An Indian Story
Still photographs and narration give an overview of the history of the American Indian.
The Hole In The Ground
Made at the height of 'cold war' paranoia, this drama-documentary shows the work of the UK Warning and Monitoring Organisation, who's duties included the issuing of public warnings of any nuclear missile strike and the subsequent fallout.
One of three London sketches directed by Peter Davis, Pub was filmed at the Approach Tavern on Approach Road, leading up to Victoria Park in East London. It was made for Swedish television to give an impression of a typical working-class British pub.
Century 21 Calling…
Two perky teens explore every inch of the telephone exhibit at Seattle's fair.
Return of the General
Some awesome footage of the Famous General 4-4-0 locomotive running in 1962.
A short, comedic documentary showing the contrast between The Twist and other dances that came before it. Not to be confused with Allan David's 1962 short "Twist Craze," both of which are made from footage from the same production.
American Thrift: An Expansive Tribute to the "Woman American"
Chevrolet presents this tribute to the American woman and her thrifty ways with money. The film also salutes the individuality of the Amerian citizen and the variety of choices we have in the marketplace.
Imágenes y versos a la Navidad
Images and verses to Christmas
Declassified pentagon documentary film showing the nuclear test program back in 1962, released to the public in 1998.
The Pitcairn People
A documentary feature telling how then descendants of the crew of HMS Bounty survive today on the remote island of Pitcairn, where their ancestors settled after the mutiny.
The Streets of Greenwood
THE STREETS OF GREENWOOD (1962), looks at voter registration efforts by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)and a concert in a cotton field in the Mississippi Delta. One of the first films made about the southern civil rights movement
Food or Famine
A BAFTA award nominated looking at methods of increasing food production, including improved strains of crops, the use of pesticides, weedkillers and insecticides and land reclamation.
Hands of Inge
The work of sculptor Inge Hardison is the subject of this beautiful short portrait of an artist. Hardison is perhaps best known for "Negro Giants in History," her important series of busts made during the early 1960s. Hands of Inge was edited by Hortense "Tee" Beveridge, a pioneer in her field who worked in the commercial industry and on independent, non-commercial films such as Amiri Baraka's 1968 film "The New-Ark". In the mid-1950s Beveridge became the first Black woman to gain admission to Local 771, the motion picture editors union.
Chile was the venue for the 1962 finals, where holders Brazil were expected to regain their crown. The host, Chile, took them all the way in an epic semi-final, but the classy Brazilians eventually beat Chile 4-2 and went on to beat another surprise package, Czechoslovakia, 3-1 in a one-sided final.
This is Sinatra
1962 charity concert by The Chairman of The Board, in London.
City of the Bees
In the City of the Bees, you'll learn how these amazing insects live and work. And you'll be amazed at the harsh law of the hive, which has no place for sick or unproductive members. Finally, you'll learn why God's design for human relationships is vastly different from His system for bees. For more than fifty years, Moody Science Classics have unfolded the miracles of nature's mysteries while showing how the wonders of creation reveal the majesty of God. School-aged children through teens as well as parents and teachers will gain a fresh appreciation for the Creator and the intricate details of His handiwork, as presented in these award-winning programs. The Moody Science Video series, awarded first place in the Educational Video Series category of the 2001 Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards, are wonderful supplements for teaching scientific principles in an easy-to-understand format and from a biblical perspective.
Space Age Hair Fashions
Pathé visits the hairdressers in Wokingham, Berkshire an establishment owned by Alec Pountney
This short, silent film captures a Sunday afternoon at a community skating rink. Iconic Quebec director Gilles Carle has the camera follow toddlers learning to skate, young girls flashing their skates and boys decked out in the colours of their favourite hockey teams. A picture perfect moment on a bright winter's day.
The Signal Engineers
A film about one of the most responsible and professional jobs on British Railways. Practical work in shop and signal box, on gantry and trackside, coupled with instruction in mechanics, electricity, electronics and draughtsmanship, lead the apprentice intro the intricacies of design, the excitement of research and experiment, and the intense satisfaction of being in on a big changeover from old-style semaphore signalling to a new coloured light system.
Measured for Transport
A transformer weighing 123 tons has to be moved to a remote site in Blaenau Ffestiniog. This documents its movement by rail and road.
Sunday On The River
This short begins with footage of Harlem church congregations, but focuses mainly on a chartered Hudson River boat trip; Disembarking, we see picnicks in the park and dancing in the woods. Director Gordon Hitchens founded Film Comment magazine and believed strongly in film as a marker and influencer of social progress.
Cinépanorama: Alain Delon, 1962
This interview with actor Alain Delon, conducted and directed by François Chalais, first aired on the French television program “Cinépanorama” on November 24, 1962. Delon discusses working with director René Clément, with whom he would make four films: PURPLE NOON (1960), THE JOY OF LIVING (1961), JOY HOUSE (1964), and IS PARIS BURNING? (1966).
The Golden Horseshoe Revue
The 10,000th performance of Disneyland's venerable "Golden Horseshoe Revue," featuring special guest stars.
Wasn't That a Time
A look into those convicted by the House Un-American Activities Committee