Best Documentary Movies of 1977

1.

Pumping Iron

5.2
7.4/10 IMDB

Pumping Iron is a 1977 documentary film about the run-up to the 1975 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition. The film focuses on Arnold Schwarzenegger and his competitors, Lou Ferrigno and Franco Columbu. The documentary was co-directed by Robert Fiore and George Butler. It was based on the book of the same name by Charles Gaines and George Butler (Simon and Schuster, 1974).

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno, Roger Callard, Serge Nubret, Mike Katz, Bud Cort, Joe Weider, Ken Waller, Robbie Robinson ..
Directed by: Robert Fiore, George Butler
Release date: 1977-01-18
2.

Harlan County U.S.A.

4.2
8.3/10 IMDB

This film documents the coal miners' strike against the Brookside Mine of the Eastover Mining Company in Harlan County, Kentucky in June, 1973. Eastovers refusal to sign a contract (when the miners joined with the United Mine Workers of America) led to the strike, which lasted more than a year and included violent battles between gun-toting company thugs/scabs and the picketing miners and their supportive women-folk. Director Barbara Kopple puts the strike into perspective by giving us some background on the historical plight of the miners and some history of the UMWA.

Starring: Norman Yarborough, Houston Elmore, Phil Sparks, Bessie Lou Cornett, Lois Scott, Sudie Crusenberry, Mary Lou Fergerson, Basil Collins, Florence Reece ..
Directed by: Barbara Kopple
Release date: 1977-01-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1977 : Powers of Ten
3.

Powers of Ten

4.1
8.0/10 IMDB

A scientific film essay, narrated by Phil Morrison. A set of pictures of two picnickers in a park, with the area of each frame one-tenth the size of the one before. Starting from a view of the entire known universe, the camera gradually zooms in until we are viewing the subatomic particles on a man's hand.

Starring: Philip Morrison ..
Directed by: Charles Eames, Ray Eames
Release date: 1977-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1977 : La Soufrière
4.

La Soufrière

4.0
7.6/10 IMDB

Werner Herzog takes a film crew to the island of Guadeloupe when he hears that the volcano on the island is going to erupt. Everyone has left, except for one old man who refuses to leave.

Starring: Werner Herzog, Edward Lachman, Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein ..
Directed by: Werner Herzog
Release date: 1977-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1977 : Dressing for Pleasure
5.

Dressing for Pleasure

3.7
7.4/10 IMDB

Documentary about London's notorious fetish/punk store SEX.

Starring: Jordan, Malcolm McLaren, Helen Wellington-Lloyd ..
Directed by: John Samson, Mike Wallington
Release date: 1977-01-01
6.

The Real Jesus of Nazareth

3.5
8.6/10 IMDB

Actor Robert Powell, star of the TV miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth," is on a journey across the Holy Land to discover the real story of the role he played decades ago. Guided by the Gospels and the latest archaeological and historical research, Powell will travel to Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. With the help of scholars and theologians, he will examine Jesus's lost adolescent years, the start and growth of his ministry, and his death and believed resurrection, which would spark the birth of one of the largest religions on the planet.

Starring: Robert Powell, Judd Hirsch, Anne Bancroft, Olivia Hussey, Ernest Borgnine, Valentina Cortese, James Farentino, James Earl Jones, Stacy Keach, Tony Lo Bianco ..
Directed by: Nigel Levy
Release date: 1977-01-03
7.

ABBA: The Movie

3.4
6.4/10 IMDB

A radio DJ in pursuit of an exclusive interview follows ABBA during their mega-successful tour of Australia.

Starring: Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Robert Hughes, Tom Oliver, Bruce Barry, Stig Anderson, Calvin Cross, Ivar Dahlbom ..
Directed by: Lasse Hallström
Release date: 1977-12-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1977 : Frost/Nixon: The Original Watergate Interviews
8.

Frost/Nixon: The Original Watergate Interviews

3.3
8.0/10 IMDB

This program, culled from the over 28 hours of interview footage between Sir David Frost and U.S. President Richard M. Nixon, was originally broadcast in May of 1977. Never before, nor since, has a U.S. President been so candid on camera. Even more intriguing is the fact that Nixon agreed to appear on camera with no pre-interview preparation or screening of questions.

Starring: David Frost, Richard Nixon ..
Directed by: Jorn H. Winther
Release date: 1977-05-04
9.

The Grateful Dead Movie

3.3
8.0/10 IMDB

Released in 1977 and directed by Jerry Garcia, is a film that captures performances from the Grateful Dead's October 1974 five-night stand at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. This end-of-tour run marked the beginning of an extended hiatus for the band, with no shows planned for 1975. The movie also faithfully portrays the burgeoning Deadhead scene. The film features the "Wall of Sound" concert sound system that the Dead used for all of 1974.

Starring: Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Donna Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh ..
Directed by: Jerry Garcia, Leon Gast
Release date: 1977-06-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1977 : Charleen or How Long Has This Been Going On?
10.

Charleen or How Long Has This Been Going On?

3.3
7.4/10 IMDB

In Charleen, documentarian Ross McElwee looks at the life of a North Carolina poet and teacher who acts as a muse to a motley crew of artists and musicians.

Starring: Ross McElwee, Charleen Swansea ..
Directed by: Ross McElwee
Release date: 1977-01-01

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