Best Documentary Movies of 1975


Henry Miller Asleep & Awake

8.1/10 IMDB

Filmed when the Henry Miller was 81, is a voyage of ideas about life, writing, sex, spirituality, nightmares, and New York that captures the warmth, vigor and high animal spirits of a singular American artist.

Starring: Henry Miller ..
Directed by: Tom Schiller
Release date: 1975-02-14
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Yessongs


7.5/10 IMDB

Filmed live at London's Rainbow Theatre in December 1972, the innovative group Yes performs its progressive rock symphonies -- epic compositions that influenced new trends in contemporary music. "Yessongs" provides a visual record of the concert tour that became a groundbreaking tour de force in rock music. This unique concert video of Yes was filmed during their record-breaking tour and features the talents of the five original band members. The massively popular band defined the prog rock movement with their mystical epics which infused both a Medieval and Classical sound into rock music. Titles performed include "Close to the Edge," "All Good People," and "Roundabout."

Starring: Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White, Rick Wakeman ..
Directed by: Peter Neale, Peter Neal
Release date: 1975-03-10
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Inside Marilyn Chambers

Inside Marilyn Chambers

7.4/10 IMDB

In 1976, Marilyn Chambers was one of the most famous porn movie stars following her success in Behind the Green Door and the Resurrection of Eve. This film explores her offscreen life.

Starring: Marilyn Chambers, Johnnie Keyes, George S. McDonald, Artie Mitchell, Jim Mitchell, Tyler Reynolds ..
Directed by: Artie Mitchell
Release date: 1975-05-21
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Welfare


8.2/10 IMDB

WELFARE shows the nature and complexity of the welfare system in sequences illustrating the staggering diversity of problems that constitute welfare: housing, unemployment, divorce, medical and psychiatric problems, abandoned and abused children, and the elderly. These issues are presented in a context where welfare workers as well as clients struggle to cope with and interpret the laws and regulations that govern their work and life.

Directed by: Frederick Wiseman
Release date: 1975-09-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Conversation with Fritz Lang

Conversation with Fritz Lang

7.7/10 IMDB

American director William Friedkin interviewed Austrian director Fritz Lang on February 21st and 24th, 1975. Lang died August 2nd, 1976.

Starring: William Friedkin, Fritz Lang ..
Directed by: William Friedkin
Release date: 1975-02-24
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Queen: A Night at the Odeon

Queen: A Night at the Odeon

8.0/10 IMDB

Queen’s legendary Hammersmith Odeon show on Christmas Eve 1975 is one of the best recorded and dynamic early shows available. It occurs a month after A Night At The Opera was released and soon after it hit number one and was video taped for The Old Grey Whistle Test hosted by Bob Harris for BBC television. Most of the show was taped, but the BBC cameras were turned off when Queen came back onstage after the “Jailhouse Rock” encore to play a few more songs. The cameramen couldn’t capture this part of the show so after thirty-five years it remains unseen.

Starring: Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon ..
Directed by: Tom Corcoran
Release date: 1975-12-24
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Lautrec


7.2/10 IMDB

Toulouse-Lautrec's sketchbooks are turned into an animated short.

Directed by: Geoff Dunbar
Release date: 1975-09-08
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Organism


7.4/10 IMDB

Academy Award winning film maker Hilary Harris’ epic vision of New York City shot over 15 years [1959-74] during which time Mr. Harris pioneered and contemporized time-lapse film making techniques to achieve this unique experiential view of the world we inhabit: chaos and confusion seem to multiply in every corner of the Big Apple. Yet there seems to be some order in all that chaotic and relentless system and things seem to work just fine. The same can be said about the human body. Director Hilary Harris proves with this short documentary that cities and organisms are all-alike.

Directed by: Hilary Harris
Release date: 1975-05-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Cracked Actor

Cracked Actor

7.7/10 IMDB

The documentary depicts Bowie on tour in Los Angeles, using a mixture of vérité sequences filmed in limousines and hotels, and concert footage. Most of the concert footage was taken from a show at the Los Angeles Universal Amphitheatre on 2 September 1974 (Also featured are excerpts from D.A. Pennebaker's concert film shot at London's Hammersmith Odeon on 3 July 1973). Cracked Actor is notable for being a source for footage of Bowie's ambitious Diamond Dogs tour, and also for showing Bowie's fragile mental state during this period.

Starring: David Bowie ..
Directed by: Alan Yentob
Release date: 1975-01-26

Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer

7.4/10 IMDB

Thom Andersen's remarkable and sadly neglected hour-long documentary adroitly combines biography, history, film theory, and philosophical reflection. Muybridge's photographic studies of animal locomotion in the 1870s were a major forerunner of movies; even more interesting are his subsequent studies of diverse people, photographed against neutral backgrounds.

Starring: Dean Stockwell, Eadweard Muybridge ..
Directed by: Thom Andersen
Release date: 1975-09-28
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Love Letter to Edie

Love Letter to Edie

8.0/10 IMDB

A documentary about actress Edith Massey in which she talks about her life and her career in film.

Starring: Edith Massey, John Waters, Pat Moran, Mink Stole, Dolores DeLuce, Vincent Peranio, Ed Peranio, Mary Vivian Pearce ..
Directed by: Robert Maier
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : The United States of America

The United States of America

7.1/10 IMDB

A conceptual bicentennial film dealing with spatial and temporal relationships between two travelers, their car, and the geographic, political, and social changes from NY to Los Angeles.

Directed by: Bette Gordon, James Benning
Release date: 1975-03-05
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : James Dean: The First American Teenager

James Dean: The First American Teenager

7.9/10 IMDB

Stacy Keach narrates this documentary that chronicles the abbreviated life and career of iconic brooding bad boy James Dean, from his obscure early days working in television to his rise to stardom in films such as Rebel Without a Cause. Clips from Dean's movies are intermingled with candid interviews with the star's friends and Hollywood colleagues, including Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dennis Hopper.

Starring: James Dean, Stacy Keach, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Sammy Davis Jr., Leslie Caron, Carroll Baker, Maila Nurmi, Corey Allen, Dennis Hopper ..
Directed by: Ray Connolly
Release date: 1975-09-30
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : The California Reich

The California Reich

7.0/10 IMDB

A documentary on the roots of nazism In America.

Directed by: Keith Critchlow, Walter F. Parkes
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : In Search of Dracula

In Search of Dracula

6.1/10 IMDB

A documentary exploring the legends of vampires, using books, paintings and early films on the subject.

Starring: Solveig Andersson, Tor Isedal, Christopher Lee ..
Directed by: Calvin Floyd
Release date: 1975-05-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Don't


7.1/10 IMDB

Oscar Winning documentary short film following the life cycle of the monarch butterfly.

Directed by: Robin Lehman
Release date: 1975-10-03

The Man Who Skied Down Everest

7.2/10 IMDB

This Oscar-winning documentary tells the story behind Japanese daredevil Yuichiro Miura's 1970 effort to ski down the world's tallest mountain.

Starring: Y?ichir? Miura, Douglas Rain ..
Directed by: Bruce Nyznik, Lawrence Schiller
Release date: 1975-09-19
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Windows


6.7/10 IMDB

A sort of documentary on the people known to have fallen out of windows in a certain time frame in a certain geographical location. One of Greenaway's early short films.

Starring: Peter Greenaway ..
Directed by: Peter Greenaway
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Milestones


7.1/10 IMDB

A portrait of those individuals who sought radical solutions to social problems in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. Cutting back and forth between six major story lines and more than fifty characters. Exploring the lifestyles and attitudes of the American left during the period following the Vietnam War.

Starring: Mary Chapelle, Sharon Krebs, Jim Nolfi, Grace Paley, Elizabeth Dear, Bobby Büchler, Paul Zimet, Susie Solf, David C. Stone, Joe Stork ..
Directed by: Robert Kramer, John Douglas
Release date: 1975-10-08
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : A Recollection... Hanging Rock 1900

A Recollection... Hanging Rock 1900

6.7/10 IMDB

A documentary about the disappearance of school girls on St. Valentine's Day, 1900 at Australia's Hanging Rock.

Starring: Patricia Lovell, Joan Lindsay, Peter Weir, Rachel Roberts, Jacki Weaver, Helen Morse ..
Directed by: Patricia Lovell
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Whistling Smith

Whistling Smith

7.0/10 IMDB

This film is a revealing portrait of a tough cop with a big heart. Sergeant Bernie "Whistling" Smith walks the beat on Vancouver's Eastside, the hangout of petty criminals, down-and-outs and a variety of characters. His policing is unorthodox. To many drug users, petty thieves and prostitutes in this economically depressed area he is more than the iron hand of the law, he is also a counsellor and a friend.

Starring: Bernie Smith, Donald Brittain ..
Directed by: Marrin Canell, Michael J.F. Scott
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Great


6.7/10 IMDB

An animated film about the British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who spearheaded numerous engineering marvels of the early 19th century - including the Thames Tunnel, the Great Western Railway, and the Great Eastern steamship (for 40 years the world's largest steamship). Various styles of animation are used to depict events in his colorful life.

Starring: Richard Briers, Harry Fowler, Barbara Moore, Angus Lennie, Peter Hawkins, Dick Graham, Imogen Claire, Cyril Shaps ..
Directed by: Bob Godfrey
Release date: 1975-03-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : I'm a Stranger Here Myself

I'm a Stranger Here Myself

6.9/10 IMDB

A portrait of legendary filmmaker Nicholas Ray while he is working as a film professor at a college in upstate New York.

Starring: Howard Da Silva, Nicholas Ray, François Truffaut, John Houseman, Leslie Levinson, Natalie Wood, Tom Farrell ..
Directed by: David Helpern
Release date: 1975-01-17

Trobriand Cricket

7.0/10 IMDB

An anthropological documentary about the people of the Trobriand Islands and their unique innovations to the game of cricket.

Starring: Jerry Leach ..
Directed by: Gary Kildea
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Who's Out There?

Who's Out There?

6.7/10 IMDB

Orson Welles — with contributions from scientists George Wald, Carl Sagan, and others — examines the possibility and implications of extraterrestrial life. In examining our perceptions of alien 'martians' from his "War of the Worlds" broadcast, to then-modern explorations of Mars, this film from NASA provides a unique glimpse at life on earth, and elsewhere in the universe.

Starring: Orson Welles, Carl Sagan, Ashley Montagu ..
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Heading For Glory

Heading For Glory

6.0/10 IMDB

The 1974 finals in West Germany saw the emergence of "Total Football" in the shape of the classy Dutch led by the legendary Johan Cruyff. The Dutch swept all before them until they came up against the solid hosts in the final. Beckenbauer led West Germany to a tense 2-1 victory.

Starring: Joss Ackland ..
Directed by: Michael Samuelson
Release date: 1975-01-30
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

7.1/10 IMDB

Period music, film clips and newsreel footage combined into a visual exploration of the American entertainment industry during the Great Depression.

Starring: Laverne Andrews, Maxene Andrews, Patty Andrews, Fred Astaire, Warner Baxter, Wallace Beery, Brooks Benedict, Constance Bennett, Jack Benny, Busby Berkeley ..
Directed by: Philippe Mora
Release date: 1975-08-06


6.6/10 IMDB

Florence is a contemplative study of light and shadows, textures and planes, that makes beautiful use of the tonal qualities of black and white film. (

Directed by: Peter B. Hutton
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Night Lunch

Night Lunch

7.7/10 IMDB

This is Poe and Král's first effort, shot on small-gauge stock, before their more well-known endeavor The Blank Generation (1976) came to be. A "DIY" portrait of the New York music scene, the film is a patchwork of footage of numerous rock acts performing live, at venues like Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the dive bars of Greenwich Village and, of course, CBGB.

Starring: David Bowie, Jayne County, George Harrison, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Patti Smith, Johnny Thunders, Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone ..
Directed by: Amos Poe, Ivan Král
Release date: 1975-12-09
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : One By One

One By One

7.3/10 IMDB

Intended to be about the passing of the torch from Stewart to Cevert; One By One is a documentary chronicling the lives of Formula 1 racers in the seventies.

Starring: François Cévert, Mike Hailwood, Niki Lauda, Peter Revson, Jackie Stewart, Stacy Keach ..
Directed by: Claude Du Boc
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : A Historical Sketch of Indian Women

A Historical Sketch of Indian Women

7.4/10 IMDB

A documentary on the role of women in India.

Directed by: Mani Kaul
Release date: 1975-02-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : A Day in the Life of Bonnie Consolo

A Day in the Life of Bonnie Consolo

6.8/10 IMDB

A Day in the Life of Bonnie Consolo is a 1975 short documentary directed by Barry J. Spinello which presents the daily challenges faced by Bonnie Consolo, an armless woman, and her determination to overcome them. The film shows her driving, cooking, and shopping like anybody else. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.

Starring: Bonnie Consolo ..
Directed by: Barry J. Spinello
Release date: 1975-01-01

He Restoreth My Soul

6.5/10 IMDB

In 1961, a Christian clod named Merrill Womach survived a Thanksgiving plane accident and gas explosion that left his face and body burnt to a crisp. But instead of giving up, he sang and survived, turning tragedy into a lucrative career.

Starring: Edward N. Hamacher, Merrill Womach, Virginia Womach ..
Directed by: Mel White
Release date: 1975-11-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Gable: The King Remembered

Gable: The King Remembered

6.3/10 IMDB

Friends and co-workers recall the life of Hollywood screen star Clark Gable.

Starring: Peter Lawford, Clark Gable, Andy Devine, William A. Wellman, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Yvonne De Carlo, Carole Lombard ..
Directed by: Pat Shields
Release date: 1975-02-26
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : The Nightcleaners

The Nightcleaners

6.7/10 IMDB

“The Nightcleaners” is set in the context of the campaign (1970-1972) to unionize the women who cleaned office blocks at night and were being victimized and underpaid. Intending at the outset to make a campaign film, the Collective was forced to turn to new forms in order to represent the forces at work between the cleaners, the Cleaner's Action Group and the Unions - and the complex nature of the campaign itself.

Directed by: James Scott, Marc Karlin, Berwick Street Film Collective, Mary Kelly, Humphry Trevelyan
Release date: 1975-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Fighting for Our Lives

Fighting for Our Lives

6.2/10 IMDB

Fighting for Our Lives is a 1975 documentary film produced and directed by Glen Pearcy. The film documents the striking of California grape workers from Coachella to Fresno as they negotiate for a United Farm Workers (UFW) contract in 1973. The film also depicts their non-violent struggle against police brutality on the picket lines. It was nominated for the 1976 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Starring: Luis Valdez ..
Directed by: Glen Pearcy
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Four Women

Four Women

6.8/10 IMDB

An imaginatively choreographed dance interpretation of the ballad by Nina Simone explores four common stereotypes of Black women.

Starring: Linda Martina Young ..
Directed by: Julie Dash
Release date: 1975-01-01

The Ax Fight

5.9/10 IMDB

The Ax Fight (1975) is an ethnographic film by anthropologist and filmmaker Tim Asch and anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon about a conflict in a Yanomami village called Mishimishimabowei-teri, in southern Venezuela. It is best known as an iconic and idiosyncratic ethnographic film about the Yanomamo and is frequently shown in classroom settings.

Directed by: Timothy Asch, Napoleon Chagnon
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : The Love Epidemic

The Love Epidemic

4.9/10 IMDB

This Australian educational documentary concerns venereal disease in the pre-AIDS era and reveals that it is a problem that should be taken seriously by everyone — whether young or old, gay or straight. Factual segments are interspersed with humorous skits depicting how people of varying degrees of innocence can contract awful but treatable diseases.

Starring: Michael Laurence, Rosalind Speirs, Peter Reynolds, Grant Page, Tim Lynch, John Ewart ..
Directed by: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Release date: 1975-01-03
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : The ABC's of Sex Education for Trainable Persons

The ABC's of Sex Education for Trainable Persons

5.3/10 IMDB

This training film is meant for professionals who work with the mentally impaired, and is meant to teach them how to help their patients deal with sexual issues.

Starring: William Block, Beverly Camp, Rick Fullerton, Richard Dix ..
Directed by: Max Brecher
Release date: 1975-12-31
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Elizabeth Taylor: An Intimate Portrait

Elizabeth Taylor: An Intimate Portrait

6.4/10 IMDB

Vintage 1975 documentary about the life of movie queen Elizabeth Taylor hosted by Peter Lawford, and featuring appearances by actors Roddy McDowall and Rock Hudson, directors Richard Brooks and Vincente Minnelli, Elizabeth's mother Sara Taylor, costumer Helen Rose, and producer Sam Marx.

Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Brooks, Rock Hudson, Peter Lawford, Samuel Marx, Roddy McDowall, Vincente Minnelli, Helen Rose, Sara Taylor, Conrad Hilton Jr. ..
Directed by: Pat Shields
Release date: 1975-02-27

Australia After Dark

4.9/10 IMDB

An exotic world of eroticism, witchcraft, masochism and strange secret places.

Starring: Hayes Gordon, Gina Allen ..
Directed by: John D. Lamond
Release date: 1975-12-26

Death: The Ultimate Mystery

4.7/10 IMDB

An examination of reincarnation, regression, and other life-after-death subjects.

Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Malti Shetty ..
Directed by: Allan Sandler, Robert Emenegger
Release date: 1975-02-18
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Funny Girl to Funny Lady

Funny Girl to Funny Lady

7.1/10 IMDB

A benefit concert for the Special Olympics and an opportunity to promote Streisand's upcoming film (Funny Lady), this special was a combination of Streisand interview with Dick Cavett and Streisand concert. Attended by President Gerald Ford and a star-studded audience, the concert section features a handful of Funny Lady songs and a couple of Barbra standards. Streisand's Funny Lady co-star James Caan also makes an onstage appearance for a duet of Paper Moon / I Like Him and Muhammed Ali presents Barbra with a special award.

Starring: Barbra Streisand, Dick Cavett, James Caan, Muhammad Ali, Peter Matz ..
Directed by: Dwight Hemion
Release date: 1975-03-09

Condition of Illusion

4.8/10 IMDB

The practice of Structural/Materialist Film is defined in...process, construction, displaced reflexively...not displaced uniformly into the pattern of a narrative bound up for the stable subject-centred image. Structural/Materialist film has no place for the look, ceaselessly displaced, outphased, a problem of seeing, it is anti-voyeuristic.

Directed by: Peter Gidal
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd

The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd

4.7/10 IMDB

A fascinating hybrid of performance and video verité, The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd introduces Carel and Ferd, a couple who allowed Ginsberg to produce an ongoing documentary record of the intimate moments of their relationship. Carel, a porn actress, and Ferd, a drug addict, invite the camera to participate in their wedding, their sex life, and their break-up. Produced before the landmark PBS documentary An American Family introduced television audiences to the live-in camera — and many decades before the ubiquity of reality television — this document raises questions about the relationship between subject and camera, privacy and manipulation. Originally presented as an installation, this one-hour version, which includes interviews with Carel, Ferd and Ginsberg, was distilled from thirty hours of footage recorded from 1970 to 1975. - Electronic Arts Intermix

Starring: Ferd Eggan, Carel Rowe ..
Directed by: Arthur Ginsberg
Release date: 1975-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Boo Hoo

Boo Hoo

9.0/10 IMDB

A cemetery in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada is seen through the eyes of its former superintendent.

Directed by: Grant Munro
Release date: 1975-01-01

The Outer Space Connection

6.3/10 IMDB

This documentary examines the speculation that aliens have visited Earth in ancient times, and built structures to which they will return at a future date.

Starring: Rod Serling ..
Directed by: Fred Warshofsky
Release date: 1975-02-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Great Grand Mother

Great Grand Mother

8.0/10 IMDB

This short film is an ode to the women who settled the Prairies, from the days of early immigration to 1916 - when Manitobans became the first women in Canada to receive the provincial vote - and beyond. Recollections of women are complemented by a series of quotations drawn from letters, diaries, and newspapers of the day, which are spoken over re-enacted scenes and archival photographs.

Starring: Inez Henderson, Pauline Maksymuk, Sarah Laskin, Mary Ann Mawson, Cornelia Wood ..
Directed by: Anne Wheeler, Lorna Rasmussen
Release date: 1975-01-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1975 : Giger's Necronomicon

Giger's Necronomicon

7.9/10 IMDB

Inside the Giger studio creating one of his famous pieces, carving a mountain of clay into the famous "Alien". Experience Giger designing the Alien Eggs and the Derelict ship, as well as rare deleted scenes from the movie itself.

Starring: H.R. Giger ..
Directed by: H.R. Giger, J.J. Wittmer
Release date: 1975-01-11

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