Best Documentary Movies of 1970

1.

Gimme Shelter

5.0
7.9/10 IMDB

The landmark documentary about the tragically ill-fated Rolling Stones free concert at Altamont Speedway on December 6, 1969. Only four months earlier, Woodstock defined the Love Generation; now it lay in ruins on a desolate racetrack six miles outside of San Francisco.

Starring: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor, Marty Balin, Sonny Barger, Melvin Belli, Dick Carter, Jack Casady ..
Directed by: Albert Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, David Maysles
Release date: 1970-12-06
2.

Elvis: That's the Way It Is

4.2
8.1/10 IMDB

This 1970 concert documentary captures Elvis Presley midway through a fateful transition, seeking to reclaim his musical primacy after a decade of self-imposed exile from concert stages. Sidelined by his big-screen career, eclipsed by rock's mid-'60s transformations, the King had begun his return two years earlier with the relatively lean attack of his fabled network television appearance, '68 Comeback Special. Now the Memphis legend was poised to reposition his performing profile by pursuing the top rungs of headliner status in Las Vegas, a career choice that seems even more ephemeral in hindsight than it already did at the time. Elvis: That's the Way It Is follows the show's genesis from rehearsal to stage, with the performance footage that provides its inevitable climax shot over six nights. The rehearsal footage, expanded for this special edition, offers further proof that Presley's band was simply superb...

Starring: Elvis Presley, James Burton, John Wilkinson, Jerry Scheff, Glen D. Hardin, Ronnie Tutt, Cary Grant ..
Directed by: Denis Sanders
Release date: 1970-11-11
Best Documentary Movies of 1970 : 7 Plus Seven
3.

7 Plus Seven

4.1
8.0/10 IMDB

After a 7 year wait, director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born children from Seven Up! The subjects are interviewed as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the last seven years.

Starring: Lynn Johnson, Tony Walker, Jacqueline Bassett, Charles Furneaux, Bruce Balden, Andrew Brackfield, Neil Hughes, Nicholas Hitchon, Susan Sullivan, John Brisby ..
Directed by: Michael Apted
Release date: 1970-12-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1970 : The Eye of the Storm
4.

The Eye of the Storm

3.5
8.7/10 IMDB

The very first documentary about Jane Elliott's educational experiment about discrimination, which was originally produced for ABC News, in which she conducts an unforgettable lesson with her third-grade class in Riceville, Iowa.

Starring: Jane Elliott ..
Release date: 1970-12-22
5.

Sean

3.4
7.9/10 IMDB

Filmmaker Ralph Arlyck interviews his neighbor, Sean Farrell, a 4-year-old living on San Francisco's Haight Street in 1969. Sean gives his thoughts on life in his home, a hippie crash pad, and casually mentions that he smokes pot, which caused this short film to become a national sensation.

Directed by: Ralph Arlyck
Release date: 1970-02-25
Best Documentary Movies of 1970 : Original Cast Album: Company
6.

Original Cast Album: Company

3.3
8.1/10 IMDB

Stephen Sondheim's musical "Company" opened on Broadway in the Spring of 1970, and tradition dictates that the cast recording is done on the first Sunday after opening night. D.A. Pennebaker, the now-legendary documentarian, filmed the production of the original cast recording, the back and forth between Sondheim and the performers, and the dynamic of trying to record live performance. The film climaxes with Elaine Stritch's performance of "The Ladies Who Lunch". The show won 6 Tony Awards including "Best Musical" and ran for two years on Broadway. A plan to make a series of "Original Cast Album" films never materialized.

Starring: Stephen Sondheim, Hal Prince, Elaine Stritch, Dean Jones, Pamela Myers, Beth Howland, Barbara Barrie, Charles Braswell, Susan Browning, George Coe ..
Directed by: D. A. Pennebaker
Release date: 1970-01-01
7.

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis

3.2
7.5/10 IMDB

A 1970 American documentary film biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., presented in the form of newsreel footage and segments of recordings by Dr. King, framed by celebrity narrators, including Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Ruby Dee, James Earl Jones, Clarence Williams III, Burt Lancaster, Ben Gazzara, Charlton Heston, Harry Belafonte, The movie was produced by Richard Kaplan and Ely Landau.

Starring: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Ruby Dee, James Earl Jones, Clarence Williams III, Burt Lancaster, Ben Gazzara, Charlton Heston, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier ..
Directed by: Sidney Lumet, Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Release date: 1970-03-24
8.

Black Roots

3.2
7.1/10 IMDB

Black Roots is the fourth feature-length film produced and directed by American independent filmmaker Lionel Rogosin. The film gathers a number of African American folk and blues musicians in a room, where they share stories and songs about the black experience in America.

Starring: Jim Collier, Gary Davis, Larry Johnson, Florynce Kennedy, Wende Smith ..
Directed by: Lionel Rogosin
Release date: 1970-02-25
Best Documentary Movies of 1970 : Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther
9.

Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther

3.1
5.7/10 IMDB

The portrait of Eldridge Cleaver, the "Minister of Information" for the Black Panthers movement, in exile in Algiers.

Starring: Eldridge Cleaver, Kathleen Cleaver ..
Directed by: William Klein
Release date: 1970-08-24
Best Documentary Movies of 1970 : Bukowski at Bellevue
10.

Bukowski at Bellevue

3.1
7.7/10 IMDB

In the spring of 1970 Charles Bukowski took his first plane trip for a poetry reading at Bellevue Community College in Washington state. That he was videotaped by two students apparently was later forgotten, but the tapes were recently rediscovered and have been released by Black Sparrow press. "Bukowski at Bellevue" gives us a fascinating glimpse of the man before he had to be concerned with how celebrity and financial security were affecting him. (It is said that this was only his fourth public reading.) This is Bukowski, then about 50, taken straight. No games, no irony, no self-consciousness--just an ordinary-looking guy, maybe hung over, sitting before a small group of students reading his work with gusto, humor and sensitivity. A man who clearly had lived the marginal life he wrote about with passion and at times a lyrical, even mystical beauty.

Starring: Charles Bukowski ..
Release date: 1970-11-11

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