Best Documentary Movies of 1965


Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music Part I

8.3/10 IMDB

The first-ever Sinatra television special in color, this 1965 performance showcases the Chairman in peak form to mark the occasion of Frank Sinatra's 50th birthday.. The Nelson Riddle arrangements sparkle, opening with a classic rendition of I've Got You Under My Skin and continuing on with other favorites such as I Get A Kick Out Of You, Come Fly With Me and The Lady Is A Tramp.

Starring: Frank Sinatra ..
Release date: 1965-11-24


7.8/10 IMDB

The unusual short story of a Canadian Judoka Doug Rogers, who developed, in Japan, a talent for Judo that led him into competition for the world championships at the Tokyo Olympics and subsequent competition at the Pan American Games. The short film shows the intensive training he took at a Tokyo college as well as glimpses of his life in Japan while studying with legendary Judoka Kimura Sensei.

Starring: Doug Rogers ..
Directed by: Josef Reeve
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Screen Test: Edie Sedgwick

Screen Test: Edie Sedgwick

6.4/10 IMDB

Andy directs Edie for a screen test.

Starring: Edie Sedgwick ..
Directed by: Andy Warhol
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : The Debussy Film

The Debussy Film

7.7/10 IMDB

An actor is playing Claude Debussy in a film about the composer's life, and finds himself identifying with his subject very closely.

Starring: Oliver Reed, Vladek Sheybal, Annette Robertson, Vernon Dobtcheff, Izabella Telezynska, Penny Service, Stephanie Randall, Jane Lumb, Yvonne Antrobus, Verity Edmett ..
Directed by: Ken Russell
Release date: 1965-05-18
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Hollywood My Home Town

Hollywood My Home Town

7.6/10 IMDB

Ken Murray narrates his 16mm home movies shot over 35 years in Hollywood.

Starring: Ken Murray, Armin Hoffman, Ben Alexander, Mary Astor, Lew Ayres, John Barrymore, Ralph Bellamy, Edgar Bergen, Sally Blane, Pat Boone ..
Directed by: William Martin
Release date: 1965-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : It Happened In Hualfin

It Happened In Hualfin

7.9/10 IMDB

This three-part documentary on Indian peasant life in the Catamarca region of Argentina is an emotionally moving examination of the generational cycle of poverty in underdeveloped countries.

Directed by: Raymundo Gleyzer, Jorge Prelorán
Release date: 1965-03-12
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen

7.3/10 IMDB

A 1964 documentary portrait of Cohen in his pre-musician days as a poet and stand-up comedian.

Starring: Leonard Cohen, Donald Brittain, Derek May, Mort Rosengarten ..
Directed by: Donald Brittain, Don Owen
Release date: 1965-01-01

Buster Keaton Rides Again

7.3/10 IMDB

In the fall of 1964, just over a year before his death, Buster Keaton traveled to Canada to make The Railrodder, a short subject that now enjoys a small cult following. Documenting this mobile production in fascinating and unexpected detail, Buster Keaton Rides Again offers a rare glimpse of the comedy legend’s temperament, philosophies, hobbies, marriage (his third), and the occasionally combative creative process behind the scenes. An intimate look at one of cinema’s most enduring legends.

Starring: Buster Keaton, Eleanor Keaton, Gerald Potterton, Michael Kane ..
Directed by: John Spotton
Release date: 1965-10-30
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : High Steel

High Steel

7.3/10 IMDB

A dizzying view of Manhattan in the 1960s, the tallest town in the world, and the men who work cloud-high to keep it growing. They are the Mohawk Indians from Kahnawake, near Montréal, famed for their skill in erecting the steel frames of skyscrapers. The film shows their nimble work, high above the pavement, but there are also glimpses of the quieter community life of the old Kahnawake Reserve.

Starring: Don Francks ..
Directed by: Don Owen
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

5.4/10 IMDB

Andy Warhol is a lyrical exploration of Warhol's creative process by filmmaker, painter, and actress Marie Menken. Using a hand-held camera, Menken captures Warhol and his assistants, including Gerard Malanga, as they work at the Factory. The result is an intimate portrait of the artist in the process of creating some of his most famous works, including the Brillo boxes, the Jackie series, and the Flowers silkscreens.

Starring: Andy Warhol, Gerard Malanga ..
Directed by: Marie Menken
Release date: 1965-09-10
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Yeats Country

Yeats Country

6.5/10 IMDB

Yeats Country is a lyrical film commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs to commemorate the centenary of the birth of William Butler Yeats. The first Irish film by cinematographer and director Patrick Carey celebrates the landscape of Yeats’ poetry through stunning photography, narrated by Tom St. John Barry. Evocative images of the west of Ireland illustrate the poet’s life including Thoor Ballylee Castle where he lived, Coole Park, home of Lady Gregory where literary figures of the period socialised, Lissadell House, Knocknarea Mountain, the slopes of Ben Bulben, the waterfall at Glencar and finally Yeats’ grave at Drumcliffe. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short in 1966.

Starring: Tom St. John Barry ..
Directed by: Patrick Carey
Release date: 1965-06-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : A Cinderella Named Elizabeth

A Cinderella Named Elizabeth

6.2/10 IMDB

Describes how Elizabeth Hartman was auditioned and chosen for the part of Selina in "A Patch of Blue."

Starring: Elizabeth Hartman, Guy Green, Pandro S. Berman, Sidney Poitier ..
Directed by: Guy Green
Release date: 1965-01-01

Dali In New York

7.3/10 IMDB

Filmmaker Jack Bond and Salvador Dali got together at Christmas 1965 to make Dali in New York, a highly entertaining film. Dali devoted two weeks of his life to creating extraordinary scenes for the film, performing "manifestations" with a plaster cast. A thousand ants and one million dollars in cash. When he confronts the feminist writer, Jane Arden, sparks fly. "You are my Slave! I am not your slave. Everybody is my slave." Dali recalls his meeting with Freud, "The last human relationship ever" About his wife, 'But for Gala I would be lying in a gutter somewhere covered with lice" Jim Desmond's dazzling cinematography captures the great artist painting as Flamenco virtuoso Manitas de Plata performs. Dali in New York is a rare treat for anyone who loves film and the living theatre of Dali's surreal universe.

Starring: Salvador Dalí, Jane Arden ..
Directed by: Jack Bond
Release date: 1965-02-21
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : The Love Goddesses

The Love Goddesses

7.0/10 IMDB

This insightful documentary features some of the major and most beautiful actresses to grace the silver screen. It shows how the movie industry changed its depiction of sex and actresses' portrayal of sex from the silent movie era to the present. Classic scenes are shown from the silent movie 'True Heart Susie,' starring Lillian Gish, to 'Love Me Tonight' (1932), blending sex and sophistication, starring Jeanette MacDonald (pre-Nelson Eddy), and to Elizabeth Taylor in 'A Place in the Sun' (1951), plus much , much more.

Starring: Carl King, Agnes Ayres, Theda Bara, Brigitte Bardot, Richard Barthelmess, Ingrid Bergman, Clara Bow, Clive Brook, Louise Brooks, Horst Buchholz ..
Directed by: Saul J. Turell
Release date: 1965-03-03
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : A Trip Down Memory Lane

A Trip Down Memory Lane

7.1/10 IMDB

A Trip Down Memory Lane is a 1965 experimental collage film by Arthur Lipsett, created by editing together images and sound clips from over fifty years of newsreel footage. The film combines footage from a beauty contest, religious procession, failed airflight, automotive and science experiments, animal experimentation, skyscraper construction, military paraphernalia, John D. Rockefeller and scenes of leisure, Richard Nixon and scenes of war, blimps and hot air balloons, and a sword swallower. Lipsett envisioned his film as a kind of cinematic time capsule for future generations.

Directed by: Arthur Lipsett
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : The Incredible World of James Bond

The Incredible World of James Bond

7.1/10 IMDB

This promotional film was aired on American television on 26 November 1965, one month before the release of Thunderball (1965). Narrated by Alexander Scourby, the 48 minute documentary aired as a one hour special. It included footage of the filming at Silverstone Racetrack, Northamptonshire and of the fight aboard the Disco Volante at Pinewood Studios; media coverage of Martine Beswick, Luciana Paluzzi and Claudine Auger; and archive footage of Ian Fleming at 'Goldeneye', Jamaica.

Directed by: Jack Haley Jr.
Release date: 1965-11-26

Cut Piece

6.5/10 IMDB

Filmed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Cut Piece documents one of Yoko Ono’s most powerful conceptual pieces. Performed by the artist herself, Ono sits motionless on the stage after inviting the audience to come up and cut away her clothing in a denouement of the reciprocity between victim and assailant.

Starring: Y?ko Ono ..
Directed by: Albert Maysles, David Maysles
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : A King's Story

A King's Story

7.0/10 IMDB

A King's Story is a 1965 British documentary film directed by Harry Booth about the life of King Edward VIII, from his birth until abdication in 1936. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Starring: King Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson, Orson Welles ..
Directed by: Harry Booth
Release date: 1965-01-01

Satan's Choice

6.7/10 IMDB

A rare "inside" view of a motorcycle club in Toronto, one of the network of such fraternal groups in the large centers across North America. The names they adopt (Satan's Choice is only one) are as individual as their special ethics and views of life, all freely expressed in this film.

Directed by: Donald Shebib
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Wild Wings

Wild Wings

6.7/10 IMDB

Exploration of the Slimbridge Wild Fowl Trust in Gloucestershire, England, which boasts the largest collection of living wild fowl in the world.

Starring: Peter Scott ..
Directed by: John Taylor, Patrick Carey
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Pigs!


5.8/10 IMDB

This eleven-minute documentary from 1965 follows the daily lives of pigs on a farm.

Directed by: Carroll Ballard
Release date: 1965-07-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : The Eleanor Roosevelt Story

The Eleanor Roosevelt Story

6.4/10 IMDB

An intimate and moving portrait of one of the most remarkable women in American history. It is the story of a lonely, unhappy child who became the most admired and respected woman in the world. Richard Kaplan's lively documentary reveals the human face behind the American icon, beginning with the emotional deprivation suffered by this plain, awkward little girl born into a socially prominent and powerful family. Though she would eventually marry a man who would look beyond her awkwardness, Eleanor was not content to be the proper, silent wife to her husband Franklin's extraordinary political career. Instead, she began a lifelong crusade to speak out about injustice and oppression in any form.

Directed by: Richard Kaplan
Release date: 1965-11-08
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Dog Star Man

Dog Star Man

6.2/10 IMDB

Experimental film following a cycle of seasons as well as the stretch of a single day as a man and his dog slowly ascend a mountain.

Starring: Stan Brakhage, Jane Brakhage ..
Directed by: Stan Brakhage
Release date: 1965-02-22
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Poor Little Rich Girl

Poor Little Rich Girl

6.0/10 IMDB

A young, jobless woman stays in bed, reads, talks on the phone, smokes cigarettes, makes fresh coffee, and tries on some clothes from a large wardrobe.

Starring: Edie Sedgwick, Chuck Wein ..
Directed by: Andy Warhol
Release date: 1965-06-19

George Dumpson's Place

6.0/10 IMDB

Employing experimental techniques, Emshwiller magically moved through a collection of objects and artifacts in order to capture the spirit of George Dumpson and his backyard museum.

Starring: George Dumpson ..
Directed by: Ed Emshwiller
Release date: 1965-07-19
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Felicia


6.7/10 IMDB

This 13-minute short subject, marketed as an educational film, records a slice of life in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles prior to the rebellions of 1965. Filmmakers Trevor Greenwood, Robert Dickson and Alan Gorg were UCLA film students when they crafted a documentary from the perspective of the unassuming-yet-articulate teenager Felicia Bragg, a high-school student of African-American and Hispanic descent. Felicia’s first-person narrative reflects her hopes and frustrations as she annotates footage of her family, school and neighborhood, creating a time capsule that’s both historically and culturally significant. Its provenance as an educational film continues today as university courses use "Felicia" to teach documentary filmmaking techniques and cite it as an example of how non-traditional sources, as well as mainstream television news, reflect and influence public opinion.

Starring: Felicia Bragg ..
Directed by: Bob Dickson, Alan Gorg, Trevor Greenwood
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Look at Life

Look at Life

6.0/10 IMDB

Look at Life is a short student film by George Lucas, produced for a course in animation while Lucas was a film student at USC Film School. The film's running time of exactly one minute was required by the course. This was the first film made by George Lucas and was heavily influenced by Canadian filmmaker Arthur Lipsett.

Directed by: George Lucas
Release date: 1965-01-01


6.6/10 IMDB

Using still pictures and newsreel footage, this short film tells the life story of Russian author Boris Pasternak, who was forced by the Russian government to refuse the 1958 Nobel Prize in literature for his novel Dr. Zhivago.

Starring: David Lean, Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, Geraldine Chaplin, Julie Christie ..
Directed by: Thomas Craven
Release date: 1965-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Jean-Luc Godard ou Le cinéma au défi

Jean-Luc Godard ou Le cinéma au défi

5.5/10 IMDB

A 1965 film by Hubert Knapp.

Directed by: Hubert Knapp
Release date: 1965-07-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : España insólita

España insólita

5.6/10 IMDB

"España insólita" is that different, unknown and humble Spain that does not appear on postcards or tourist itineraries. Aguirre embarked on a trip to the most remote villages of the country to witness the existence of a legend, an ancient custom, an unknown dance.

Starring: María Cuadra, Manuel Dicenta, Julia Gutiérrez Caba, Carlos Lemos, Francisco Rabal, Fernando Rey, Paquita Rico, José María Rodero, Lina Rosales ..
Directed by: Javier Aguirre
Release date: 1965-05-13

The Responsive Eye

5.9/10 IMDB

Before Brian De Palma became a narrative film maker he made documentaries. Among them is The Responsive Eye, which chronicles the Museum of Modern Art’s 1965 exhibition of op-art. Curated by William Seitz, this was the first significant exhibit of optical art synchronous with and in some cases arising out of the early days of psychedelic culture. It’s amusing to watch the stuffed shirts within the art world attempt to describe what they are looking at in conventional terms or resorting to psychological mumbo jumbo without ever mentioning mescaline or LSD.

Starring: David Hockney ..
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Release date: 1965-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Fire of Waters

Fire of Waters

5.0/10 IMDB

Black atmosphere, with depth-enhancing points of light, broken into shades of dim silhouettes by the ephemeral cloud-glow of lightning. - IMDb

Directed by: Stan Brakhage
Release date: 1965-10-25
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Empire


3.7/10 IMDB

Experimental film consisting of a single static shot of the Empire State Building from early evening until nearly 3 am the next day.

Starring: Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol ..
Directed by: Andy Warhol
Release date: 1965-03-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Primitive London

Primitive London

5.5/10 IMDB

The sensational follow-up to "London in the Raw," "Primitive London" sets out to reflect society's decay through a sideshow spectacle of 1960s London depravity—and manages to outdo its predecessor. Here, we confront mods, rockers and beatniks at the Ace Café, cut some rug with obscure beat band The Zephyrs, smirk at flabby men in the sauna and goggle at sordid wife-swapping parties as we discover a pre-permissive Britain still trying to move on from the post-war depression of the 1950s.

Starring: David Gell, MacDonald Hobley, Billy J. Kramer, Vickie Gray, Beatrice Kotter, Emmett Hennessy ..
Directed by: Arnold L. Miller
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : The Raw Ones

The Raw Ones

5.2/10 IMDB

Sun-kissed Floridians enjoy volleyball, jumping rope, trampolines, and relaxing in the sun.

Starring: Charlotte, Cathy Crowfoot, Kellie Everts, Ann Richards, Ron Gans ..
Directed by: John Lamb
Release date: 1965-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Chained Girls

Chained Girls

4.2/10 IMDB

This exploitation classic purports to expose the secrets of the 1960s lesbian underworld.

Starring: Joel Holt, Marlene Eck, June Roberts, Marlene Starr ..
Directed by: Joseph P. Mawra
Release date: 1965-03-25
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : The Music of Lennon & McCartney

The Music of Lennon & McCartney

8.3/10 IMDB

A 1965 British television special honouring the songwriting partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It was produced by Granada Television and aired on that network on 16 December 1965 before receiving a national broadcast the following evening. The programme mainly consisted of other artists miming to their recordings of the songs. The Beatles performed Day Tripper and We Can Work It Out, and Peter Sellers delivered a comedic interpretation of A Hard Day's Night, in the style of stage actor Laurence Olivier's portrayal of Richard III.

Starring: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Peter Sellers, Lulu, Cilla Black, Henry Mancini, Marianne Faithfull, Billy J. Kramer ..
Directed by: Philip Casson
Release date: 1965-12-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Turkey: The Bridge

Turkey: The Bridge

7.4/10 IMDB

This travelogue tells the story of Turkey from 200BC, including the attack by the Greeks, Romans, the origination of the first seven religions, the Crusades, the creation of the Turkish State and the modern tourist industry. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.

Starring: Gönül Turgut ..
Directed by: Derek Williams
Release date: 1965-01-01

Pro Football: Mayhem on a Sunday Afternoon

7.6/10 IMDB

Mayhem on a Sunday Afternoon was the last of three documentaries William Friedkin made for producer David Wolper. It concerned the world of pro football.

Starring: Van Heflin ..
Directed by: William Friedkin
Release date: 1965-11-15

The Stately Ghosts of England

7.4/10 IMDB

A documentary-style TV programme made by NBC in which Margaret Rutherford and her husband Stringer Davis visit three so-called haunted mansions.

Starring: Margaret Rutherford, Stringer Davis, Tom Corbett, Walter Goldsmith, Joseph C. Harsch, Mrs. Walter Goldsmith ..
Directed by: Frank De Felitta
Release date: 1965-01-25
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Jose Torres II

Jose Torres II

7.0/10 IMDB

This is the sequel to Jose Torres (1959), the portrayal of Puerto Rican boxer Jose Torres, who won a silver medal in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. We follow Torres from his training in preparation to challenge world lightweight champion Willie Pastrano, to the match and Torres’ victory in 1965. The contrast between the nervous Torres before the match, filmed in painstaking detail, and the first round, filmed in one shot, is striking.

Starring: Hiroshi Akutagawa ..
Directed by: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Release date: 1965-03-04
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Shellarama


7.1/10 IMDB

A celebration of Shell Petroleum, tracing its manufacture from discovery in oil fields to its eventual use as fuel for modern living across the globe.

Directed by: Richard Cawston
Release date: 1965-01-02


6.6/10 IMDB

A synagogue service in Bohemia, where the Torah scrolls are ceremoniously taken out and read, intercut with images of a Jewish cemetery.

Starring: Jan Ka?er ..
Directed by: Evald Schorm
Release date: 1965-01-01

The Teen-Age Revolution

7.3/10 IMDB

Documentary about teenage life in the mid-60s.

Starring: Van Heflin, Phil Spector, Barry Brown ..
Directed by: Kent MacKenzie
Release date: 1965-10-19

The Flying Alberts

7.2/10 IMDB

The Alberts (Bruce Lacey, Tony Gray and his brother Dougie Gray) attempt to take off. There are two edits of this film, both with their own distinct ending.

Starring: Jill Bruce, Dougie Gray, Tony Gray, Neil Innes, Bruce Lacey, William Rushton, Rodney Slater, John Wells ..
Directed by: Roger Graef
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : The Bus

The Bus

7.1/10 IMDB

The struggle for civil rights has been one of the most important issues of American life for the last fifty years. In August of 1963, groups from all over the country journeyed to Washington D.C. for a massive demonstration, and this film is a fascinating document of this event. Celebrated filmmaker Haskell Wexler ("Medium Cool") traveled with the San Francisco delegation, photographing and conversing candidly with the participants. He has succeeded admirably in capturing the significance and drama of this historic trip.

Starring: Martin Luther King Jr. ..
Directed by: Haskell Wexler
Release date: 1965-04-05
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : The Cincinnati Kid Plays According to Hoyle

The Cincinnati Kid Plays According to Hoyle

6.9/10 IMDB

A promotional short for The Cincinnati Kid (1965) showcasing the card handling skills of magician and one-time gambler Jay Ose who was hired as technical adviser to instruct the actors on the techniques used by professional poker players.

Starring: Dick Tufeld, Joan Blondell, Jay Ose, Steve McQueen ..
Release date: 1965-01-01

The Cincinnati Kid Plays According to Hoyle

6.9/10 IMDB

A promotional short for The Cincinnati Kid (1965) showcasing the card handling skills of magician and one-time gambler Jay Ose who was hired as technical adviser to instruct the actors on the techniques used by professional poker players.

Starring: Jay Ose, Joan Blondell, Dick Tufeld, Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Karl Malden, Edward G. Robinson, Jeff Corey ..
Release date: 1965-01-01

A Look Back at Crossbow

6.8/10 IMDB

A promotional short for Operation Crossbow (1965) giving historical background for the film's plot using archival footage of Robert Goddard's rocket experiments in the 1930s. Nazi Germany bought his patents to start their rocket program.

Starring: Herschel Bernardi ..
Release date: 1965-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1965 : Chelsea Bridge Boys

Chelsea Bridge Boys

6.4/10 IMDB

About a group of "Rockers" who belong to a British motorcycle club. Included are interviews with both male and female bikers. The film is largely based on candid interviews where the bikers respond to questions about politics, society, freedom and independence.

Directed by: Peter Davis, Staffan Lamm
Release date: 1965-12-31

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