Best Documentary Movies of 1964


Seven Up!

7.9/10 IMDB

A group of British children aged 7 from widely ranging backgrounds are interviewed about a range of subjects. Director Michael Apted plans to re-interview them at 7 year intervals to determine how their lives and attitudes have changed.

Starring: Lynn Johnson, Tony Walker, Jacqueline Bassett, Bruce Balden, Andrew Brackfield, Neil Hughes, Nicholas Hitchon, Susan Sullivan, John Brisby, Peter Davies ..
Directed by: Paul Almond, Michael Apted
Release date: 1964-05-05
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Culloden


7.8/10 IMDB

Culloden, Scottish Highlands, April 16th, 1746. It was one of the most mishandled and brutal battles ever fought in Great Britain. Its aftermath was tragic. The men responsible for such a disaster must be exposed. The men, women and children who suffered because of it must be remembered.

Starring: Olivier Espitalier-Noel, George McBean, Robert Oates, Tony Cosgrove, Don Fairservice, Patrick Watkins, Peter Watkins ..
Directed by: Peter Watkins
Release date: 1964-12-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : The Pink Auto

The Pink Auto

6.7/10 IMDB

The Pink Auto, screened using two projectors, is one of the very first examples of expanded cinema. Jeff Keen walks as a zombie and carry his dead bride through brown English fields.

Directed by: Jeff Keen
Release date: 1964-01-01

The T.A.M.I. Show

8.2/10 IMDB

Hailed by one music reviewer as "the grooviest, wildest, slickest hit ever to pound the screen," "The T.A.M.I. Show" is an unrelenting rock spectacular starring some of the greatest pop performers of the 60s. These top recording idols - representing the musical moods of London, Liverpool, Hollywood and Detroit - packed the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium with 2,600 screaming fans and virtually brought down the house. This is the cinematic record of that electrifying event.

Starring: The Barbarians, Chuck Berry, The Blossoms, James Brown, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Lesley Gore, Jan Berry, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Toni Baker ..
Directed by: Steve Binder
Release date: 1964-12-29
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Dog Star Man: Part IV

Dog Star Man: Part IV

6.3/10 IMDB

A man is supine on a mountain side. Images rush past of nature and a stained glass saint. An infant is born. We see a lactating nipple. Images include a mountain peak, farm buildings, a tree stump, a fire, a crawling baby, and the sun. The man falls and rolls. Then, later, he swings his ax.

Starring: Stan Brakhage, Jane Brakhage ..
Directed by: Stan Brakhage
Release date: 1964-09-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Of Stars and Men

Of Stars and Men

6.9/10 IMDB

Of Stars and Men is a 1964 animated film from the Hubley family of animators, based on the 1959 book of the same name by astronomer Harlow Shapley, who also narrates. Made in the style of a documentary, it tells of humankind's quest (in the form of a child) to find its place in the universe, through themes such as outer space, physical matter, the meaning of life and the periodic table. There are no character voices; instead, they "talk" through their actions. It has been cited as an example of an "animated documentary".

Starring: Harlow Shapley, Mark Hubley, Ray Hubley ..
Directed by: John Hubley, Faith Hubley
Release date: 1964-04-27


7.4/10 IMDB

Short doc by Maurice Pialat. The first film in the series set at Turkey, Bosphore, is also the only one that was shot in color.

Starring: Pierre Asso ..
Directed by: Maurice Pialat
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Maître Galip

Maître Galip

7.3/10 IMDB

Maître Galip is the most poetic and powerful of Pialat's Turkish Chronicles, using the poems of Nazim Hikmet to accompany a series of evocative images of ordinary working class people in Istanbul. This was the film that Pialat himself claimed was the most complete realization of what he was aiming for with his Turkish documentaries. It's not difficult to see why this was his favorite: here he abandons the historical commentary and documentary observation of the other shorts in favor of an emotional emphasis on the lives of the poor and the unemployed.A short doc by Maurice Pialat.

Starring: André Reybaz ..
Directed by: Maurice Pialat
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : The Finest Hours

The Finest Hours

7.3/10 IMDB

A biography of Winston Churchill, shown through re-creations and actual film footage and told by Orson Welles.

Starring: George Baker, Faith Brook, David Healy, Orson Welles, George Westbury, Patrick Wymark ..
Directed by: Peter Bayliss, Peter Baylis
Release date: 1964-09-29
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : What's Happening! The Beatles in the USA

What's Happening! The Beatles in the USA

7.2/10 IMDB

New York, USA, February 1964. Five grueling days in the life of George, John, Paul and Ringo, the Fab Four, The Beatles: the hysterical fan reception at JFK airport; several press conferences; in their rooms at the Plaza Hotel; in the backstage at the Ed Sullivan Show; hanging out with the legendary DJ Murray the K; and the frantic return home.

Starring: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Brian Epstein, Murray the K, Ed Sullivan, Cynthia Lennon, Mal Evans ..
Directed by: Albert Maysles, David Maysles
Release date: 1964-10-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Pehlivan


7.2/10 IMDB

Pehlivan focuses on a three-day wrestling competition, an ancient tradition that dates back over a thousand years to the time of the Ottoman Empire, originating in the games the soldiers would play to entertain themselves in between battles. Maybe that's why there's more than a hint of homoeroticism in the way the wrestlers oil themselves up with grease, making sure to cover every inch of their bodies so that their opponents will be unable to get a grip. Pialat's closeups emphasize the men's muscular bodies jammed together and sliding off one another, posed in intimate, twisted arrangements, struggling desperately for a grip on each other's bodies. Arms are jammed down pants, one of the only places there's some potential for a handhold, and the whole thing is very suggestive and sensual, a form of intimate male contact that's sanctioned as a show of strength and masculinity.

Starring: Jacques Gripel ..
Directed by: Maurice Pialat
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Beyond the Fringe

Beyond the Fringe

7.8/10 IMDB

A TV version of the stage show originally performed at the Edinburgh Fringe (August 1962) and in London (Fortune Theatre, May 1961) and Broadway (October 1962).

Starring: Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller ..
Directed by: Duncan Wood
Release date: 1964-12-12
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : The March

The March

6.7/10 IMDB

The March, also known as The March to Washington, is a 1964 documentary film by James Blue about the 1963 civil rights March on Washington. It was made for the Motion Picture Service unit of the United States Information Agency for use outside the United States – the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act prevented USIA films from being shown domestically without a special act of Congress. In 1990 Congress authorized these films to be shown in the U.S. twelve years after their initial release. In 2008, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". (Wikipedia)

Starring: Carl Rowan, Marian Anderson, James Farmer, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, A. Philip Randolph, Walter Reuther, Bayard Rustin, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young ..
Directed by: James Blue
Release date: 1964-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Point of Order!

Point of Order!

7.8/10 IMDB

Point of Order is compiled from TV footage of the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings, in which the Army accused Senator McCarthy of improperly pressuring the Army for special privileges for Private David Schine, formerly of McCarthy's investigative staff. McCarthy accused the Army of holding Schine hostage to keep him from searching for Communists in the Army. These hearings resulted in McCarthy's eventual censure for conduct unbecoming a senator.

Starring: Joseph McCarthy, Roy M. Cohn ..
Directed by: Emile de Antonio
Release date: 1964-01-14
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : To Be Alive!

To Be Alive!

7.0/10 IMDB

"To Be Alive!" was designed to celebrate the common ground between different cultures by tracing how children in various parts of the world mature into adulthood.

Starring: Robert Fields ..
Directed by: Francis Thompson, Alexander Hammid
Release date: 1964-04-22
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Faces of November

Faces of November

7.2/10 IMDB

Robert Drew shows the sights and sounds from the funeral of President John F. Kennedy in November, 1963.

Starring: Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Jacqueline Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Peter Lawford, Caroline Kennedy ..
Directed by: Robert Drew
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Four Days In November

Four Days In November

7.5/10 IMDB

1964 American documentary film about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Starring: Richard Basehart, John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson ..
Directed by: Mel Stuart
Release date: 1964-10-07
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : I Think They Call Him John

I Think They Call Him John

7.0/10 IMDB

The life of an old man, John Cartner Ronson, living alone in a huge block of flats in London since his wife died nine years earlier.

Starring: Bessie Love, Victor Spinetti ..
Directed by: John Krish
Release date: 1964-06-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : A Study in Wet

A Study in Wet

6.4/10 IMDB

Montage of water related subjects.

Directed by: Homer Groening
Release date: 1964-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : The Land Burns

The Land Burns

6.8/10 IMDB

A short film describing the bleak reality of life in the rural regions in Brazil through the story of thirty-five-year-old farmer Juan Amaro.

Directed by: Raymundo Gleyzer
Release date: 1964-08-18
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Bartók


7.3/10 IMDB

A portrait of the life and work of the great Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, exploring both his music and his passionate interest in his country's folklore.

Starring: Boris Ranevsky, Pauline Boty, Sandor Elès, Peter Brett, Rosalind Watkins, Huw Wheldon ..
Directed by: Ken Russell
Release date: 1964-05-24
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Byzance


6.8/10 IMDB

Byzance uses a text by Stefan Zweig to describe the Ottoman conquest of the city in 1453. Before he turned to feature filmmaking in 1968 with Naked Childhood, Pialat worked on a series of short films, many of them financed by French television. Byzance is one of Pialat’s six Turkish shorts.

Starring: André Reybaz ..
Directed by: Maurice Pialat
Release date: 1964-01-01

Nine from Little Rock

7.0/10 IMDB

The Arkansas school integration crisis and the changes wrought in subsequent years. This film profiles the lives of the nine African-American students who integrated Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas, during the fall of 1957. The film documents the perspective of Jefferson Thomas and his fellow students seven years after their historic achievement. Central to this story is their quiet but brave entrance into Little Rock High, escorted by armed troops under the intense pressure of the on looking crowd. We learn first hand their impressions of the past and present and their hopes for the future. Their selfless heroism broke the integration crisis and pioneered a new era. This film went on to win an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short in 1964.

Starring: Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed ..
Directed by: Charles Guggenheim
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Meat Joy

Meat Joy

5.8/10 IMDB

"Meat Joy is an erotic rite — excessive, indulgent, a celebration of flesh as material: raw fish, chicken, sausages, wet paint, transparent plastic, ropes, brushes, paper scrap. Its propulsion is towards the ecstatic — shifting and turning among tenderness, wildness, precision, abandon; qualities that could at any moment be sensual, comic, joyous, repellent. Physical equivalences are enacted as a psychic imagistic stream, in which the layered elements mesh and gain intensity by the energy complement of the audience. The original performances became notorious and introduced a vision of the 'sacred erotic.' This video was converted from original film footage of three 1964 performances of Meat Joy at its first staged performance at the Festival de la Libre Expression, Paris, Dennison Hall, London, and Judson Church, New York City."

Starring: Carolee Schneemann, Jacques Seiler, Claudia Hutchins ..
Directed by: Carolee Schneemann
Release date: 1964-05-29
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Bethune


6.8/10 IMDB

A film biography of Dr. Norman Bethune, the Canadian doctor who served with the loyalists during the Spanish Civil War and with the North Chinese Army during the Sino-Japanese War. In Spain he pioneered the world's first mobile blood-transfusion service; in China his work behind battle lines to save the wounded has made him a legendary figure. This hour-long documentary film pieces together his remarkable career.

Starring: Michael Kane, Lister Sinclair ..
Directed by: Donald Brittain
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Truth and Illusion: An Introduction to Metaphysics

Truth and Illusion: An Introduction to Metaphysics

6.5/10 IMDB

A meditation or film-essay on metaphysics, perception, and the purpose and progress of mankind.

Starring: King Vidor ..
Directed by: King Vidor
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : 140 Days Under the World

140 Days Under the World

5.9/10 IMDB

140 Days Under the World is a 1964 New Zealand short documentary film about Antarctica. It depicts one summer's work by New Zealand scientists in the Ross Dependency in the Antarctic and the exploration of some of the last unmapped regions. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

Starring: Bernard Kearns ..
Directed by: Kell Fowler
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Eskimo Artist: Kenojuak

Eskimo Artist: Kenojuak

6.5/10 IMDB

This documentary shows how an Inuit artist's drawings are transferred to stone, printed and sold. Kenojuak Ashevak became the first woman involved with the printmaking co-operative in Cape Dorset. This film was nominated for the 1963 Documentary Short Subject Oscar.

Starring: Kenojuak Ashevak, Alma Houston ..
Directed by: John Feeney
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Learning to Live

Learning to Live

4.3/10 IMDB

The film twice states that it doesn't intend a moral injunction, but it clearly does with comments such as "our society... regards sexual intercourse outside marriage as irresponsible and possibly disastrous" and "you can use your knowledge with responsibility and real love or you can use it wantonly and with mere animal appetite". This is clearly marriage education not sex education.

Starring: Claire Rayner, Vernon Greeves ..
Directed by: Guy Fergusson, Phillip Sattin
Release date: 1964-11-08
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : The Child Molester

The Child Molester

5.4/10 IMDB

Produced by the Highway Safety Foundation in 1964, this shocking film deals with a subject quite taboo for its time. The short serves as a dramatized warning, ending with graphic case studies.

Directed by: Herbert J. Leder
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Window


6.0/10 IMDB

The moving camera shapes the screen image with great purposefulness, using the frame of a window as fulcrum upon which to wheel about the exterior scene. The zoom lens rips, pulling depth planes apart and slapping them together, contracting and expanding in concurrence with camera movements to impart a terrific apparent-motion to the complex of the object-forms pictured on the horizontal-vertical screen, its axis steadied by the audience's sense of gravity. The camera's movements in being transferred to objects tend also to be greatly magnified (instead of the camera the adjacent building turns). About four years of studying the window-complex preceded the afternoon of actual shooting (a true instance of cinematic action-painting). The film exists as it came out of the camera barring one mechanically necessary mid-reel splice

Directed by: Ken Jacobs
Release date: 1964-12-21
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Zen for Film

Zen for Film

5.1/10 IMDB

In an endless loop, unexposed film runs through the projector. The resulting projected image shows a surface illuminated by a bright light, occasionally altered by the appearance of scratches and dust particles in the surface of the damaged film material. This a film which depicts only its own material qualities; An "anti-film", meant to encourage viewers to focus on the lack of concrete images.

Directed by: Nam June Paik
Release date: 1964-03-21

Fist Fight

5.8/10 IMDB

Breer's extraordinary autobiographical film combines personal and family photos with intense colors, textures and geometric abstractions. Originally presented as part of Karlheinz Sotckhausen's 1964 premiere of Originale. - Harvard Film Archive

Directed by: Robert Breer
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Casals Conducts: 1964

Casals Conducts: 1964

5.2/10 IMDB

While at his workshop in Puerto Rico, Pablo Casals prepares to conduct a Bach suite for a concert performance. Oscar Winner for the category "Best Short Subject, Live Action Subjects"

Starring: Pablo Casals ..
Directed by: Larry Sturhahn
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Song 5

Song 5

5.2/10 IMDB

SONG 5: A childbirth song (the Songs are a cycle of silent color 8mm films by the American experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage produced from 1964 to 1969).

Starring: Jane Brakhage ..
Directed by: Stan Brakhage
Release date: 1964-03-20

Die Borussen kommen

8.3/10 IMDB

It's the first Bundesliga season, and we accompany the team of Borussia Dortmund.

Directed by: Wilhelm Bittorf
Release date: 1964-02-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Blow Job

Blow Job

4.6/10 IMDB

Andy Warhol directs a single 35-minute shot of a man's face to capture his facial expressions as he receives the sexual act depicted in the title.

Starring: DeVeren Bookwalter, Willard Maas ..
Directed by: Andy Warhol
Release date: 1964-07-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Portrait of Queenie

Portrait of Queenie

8.4/10 IMDB

Film profiling actress and singer, Queenie Watts as she entertains at her London pub.

Starring: Queenie Watts, Slim Watts ..
Directed by: Michael Orrom
Release date: 1964-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : The Inheritance

The Inheritance

8.4/10 IMDB

The Inheritance shows what life was really like for immigrants and working Americans from the turn of the century through the fight for civil rights in the 1960s. This stirring history of our country shows their struggle to put down roots, form labor unions, survive wars, and finally, create a new and better life for themselves and our nation. The film explores a landscape largely unknown to the present generation - the dim sweatshops, coal mines and textile mills filled with children; the anxious years of the depression and labor's bloody struggle for the right to organize; the battlefields of WW I and II; the seldom seen newsreel footage of the Memorial Day massacre at The Republic Steel strike in Chicago; the civil rights struggle - as every generation fights again to preserve and extend its freedoms. This is the film's theme. Judy Collins sings this theme song, as well as more great music sung by Judy, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton and others.

Starring: Robert Ryan ..
Directed by: Harold Mayer
Release date: 1964-11-08

Lambert & Co.

7.3/10 IMDB

Jazz vocalist Dave Lambert auditions a new group of singers at RCA Studios in 1964.

Starring: Dave Lambert, Mary Vonnie, Sarah Boatner, Leslie Dorsey, David Lucas ..
Directed by: D. A. Pennebaker, Richard Leacock
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Flavio


7.0/10 IMDB

Documentary about a boy living with his family in extreme poverty in Rio de Janeiro.

Starring: Flavio da Silva, Peter Martinez ..
Directed by: Gordon Parks
Release date: 1964-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair

Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair

8.2/10 IMDB

Walt Disney shows the viewing audience dinosaurs that will be used at the 1964 New York World's Fair in which Disneyland will play an important part at.

Starring: Walt Disney, Blaine Gibson, Pat McNalley ..
Directed by: Hamilton Luske
Release date: 1964-05-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Sophia Loren in Rome

Sophia Loren in Rome

8.4/10 IMDB

Sophia Loren, who was born in Rome and lived there as a child, returns to the city that will forever be in her blood and gives her impressions of and reactions to the mosaic of Rome and the people she encounters there during her visit. She meets Marcello Mastroianni and Vittorio de Sica as she visits the sights, affectionately commenting on the grandeur of the Eternal City and the irrepressible nature of its people.

Starring: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio De Sica ..
Directed by: Sheldon Reynolds
Release date: 1964-11-12

London in the Raw

5.2/10 IMDB

Influenced by the worldwide success of Italian 'Mondo' movies, British low-budget movie mogul Arnold Louis Miller concocted this exploitation-style documentary. Peering behind the grimy net curtains of London life into seedy bars and clubs, and burrowing beneath the glittering façade of the capital's glamorous cocktail lounges and casinos, "London in the Raw" presents a cynical, sometimes startling, vision of life in 1960s London.

Starring: David Gell, Caron Gardner, Noel Harrison ..
Directed by: Arnold L. Miller, Norman Cohen
Release date: 1964-07-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Around the Beatles

Around the Beatles

8.2/10 IMDB

The show opens on an image of the Globe Theatre, with Ringo Starr unfurling a flag with the legend "Around The Beatles". The studio setting is arranged as a theater in the round, (hence the show's name) echoing the seating arrangement of the Globe. The opening act is a humorous rendition of the "play within a play", Pyramus and Thisbe (Act V, Scene I) from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with Paul McCartney as Pyramus, John Lennon as his lover Thisbe, George Harrison as Moonshine, and Starr as Lion.

Starring: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Millie Small ..
Release date: 1964-05-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : A Talk with Hitchcock

A Talk with Hitchcock

7.7/10 IMDB

"Master of Suspense" Alfred Hitchcock speaks candidly in this one-on-one interview with director and host Fletcher Markle, filmed in 1964 for the television documentary series "Telescope." During the discussion, Hitchcock talks about his early career as a silent-film editor, offers his take on the building blocks of his works and relates his theories on the impact of horror films on society and human behavior.

Starring: Alfred Hitchcock, Fletcher Markle, Bernard Herrmann, Norman Lloyd, Joan Harrison ..
Directed by: Fletcher Markle
Release date: 1964-02-21
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : The Poet's Eye

The Poet's Eye

6.5/10 IMDB

A tribute to William Shakespeare devised by Geoffrey Buckland-Smith and made in connection with the quatro-centenary celebrations. Spoken extracts from Shakespeare's works (read by Stephen Murray) blend with visuals of scenes in Britain today which illustrate his references to countryside or childhood, and the sea or to the taverns and trades of London. Includes sequence of Olivier as Henry V and is accompanied by period music on the lute by Desmond Dupré.

Starring: Stephen Murray ..
Directed by: Gordon Hales
Release date: 1964-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Horror!!!


7.5/10 IMDB

Horror stars are interviewed about their craft and films. Included on Severin Films' "Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Vol. 1" collection.

Starring: Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Roger Corman, Vincent Price, Roy Ashton, Kiwi Kingston, Prudence Hyman, Katy Wild ..
Directed by: Pierre Koralnik
Release date: 1964-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : Today in Britain

Today in Britain

6.5/10 IMDB

Some of the many facets of life in Britain today showing recent developments in industry, atomic power, sport and education, as well as her participation in the United Nations and contribution to the development of the multi-racial Commonwealth.

Starring: James Cameron ..
Directed by: Peter Hopkinson
Release date: 1964-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1964 : The Guns of August

The Guns of August

7.4/10 IMDB

Traces the origins and actions of World War I, from the funeral of Britain's King Edward VII to the Versailles Treaty.

Starring: Fritz Weaver, Manfred von Richthofen, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Winston Churchill, Vladimir Lenin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Czar Nicholas II of Russia, Tsarina Alexandra ..
Directed by: Nathan Kroll
Release date: 1964-12-24

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