Best Documentary Movies of 1978

1.

The Last Waltz

5.8
8.2/10 IMDB

Martin Scorsese's documentary intertwines footage from "The Band's" incredible farewell tour with probing backstage interviews and featured performances by Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and other rock legends.

Starring: Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell ..
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Release date: 1978-05-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1978 : George Carlin: On Location at Phoenix
2.

George Carlin: On Location at Phoenix

4.2
8.2/10 IMDB

Performing at the Celebrity Star Theater in Phoenix on July 23, 1978, Carlin mesmerizes his audience in the second of his 12 HBO specials. The show was originally planned as part of a concert/sketch movie, The Illustrated George Carlin, that never came to fruition.The routines include: Death, Kids & Parents, Newscast #2, Time and Al Sleet, the Hippy-Dippy Weatherman. -- From Amazon.com

Starring: George Carlin, Brenda Carlin ..
Directed by: Marty Callner
Release date: 1978-07-23
Best Documentary Movies of 1978 : American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince
3.

American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince

3.7
7.3/10 IMDB

Martin Scorsese spends an evening with larger-than-life raconteur Steven Prince—a former drug addict, road manager for Neil Diamond, and actor who memorably played Easy Andy, the gun salesman in TAXI DRIVER—as he recounts stories from his colorful life (one of which later inspired a key scene in PULP FICTION).

Starring: Martin Scorsese, George Memmoli, Steven Prince ..
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Release date: 1978-09-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1978 : Grand Opera: An Historical Romance
4.

Grand Opera: An Historical Romance

3.4
6.8/10 IMDB

Grand Opera marks a stock-taking of Benning's work and his life, presenting a personal and artistic autobiography woven together with a series of events dealing with the historical development of the number pi, Benning's travels, and homages to Michael Snow, Hollis Frampton, George Landow (Owen Land), and Yvonne Rainer.

Starring: Hollis Frampton, Owen Land, Michael Snow, Yvonne Rainer, Stan Brakhage ..
Directed by: James Benning
Release date: 1978-01-07
Best Documentary Movies of 1978 : She Had Her Gun All Ready
5.

She Had Her Gun All Ready

3.4
6.1/10 IMDB

Two women- one passive and resigned, the other aggressive and domineering - interact in various locations in New York city. The film explores the dynamic between them before ending with a showdown at the roller-coaster on Coney Island.

Starring: Pat Place, Lydia Lunch ..
Directed by: Vivienne Dick
Release date: 1978-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1978 : Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood
6.

Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood

3.3
7.5/10 IMDB

Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood, also known as Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision, is a documentary film produced by BBC in 1978 on the subject of Hunter S. Thompson, directed by Nigel Finch. The road trip/film pairs Thompson with Finch's fellow Briton the illustrator Ralph Steadman. The party travel to Hollywood via Death Valley and Barstow from Las Vegas, scene of the pair's 1971 collaboration. It contains interviews with Thompson and Steadman, as well as some short excerpts from some of his work.

Starring: Hunter S. Thompson, Ralph Steadman, Edward Judd, John Dean, Bill Murray, Audrey Hepburn, Richard Nixon, Brian Doyle-Murray, Mel Ferrer, Dean Martin ..
Directed by: Nigel Finch
Release date: 1978-11-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1978 : Claymation: Three Dimensional Clay Animation
7.

Claymation: Three Dimensional Clay Animation

3.2
6.2/10 IMDB

A look inside the Will Vinton Studio, with specializes in stop-motion animations with clay.

Starring: Susan Shadburne ..
Directed by: Will Vinton
Release date: 1978-05-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1978 : Tom Waits: A Day in Vienna
8.

Tom Waits: A Day in Vienna

3.2
8.2/10 IMDB

Short documentary film on the great and powerful Tom Waits, including clips from live performances and interviews.

Starring: Tom Waits ..
Directed by: Rudi Dolezal, Hannes Rossacher
Release date: 1978-01-01
9.

Scared Straight!

3.2
7.8/10 IMDB

The filmed depiction of a program where convicts tell troubled kids about the horrors of prison life.

Starring: Peter Falk ..
Directed by: Arnold Shapiro
Release date: 1978-11-02
Best Documentary Movies of 1978 : Always for Pleasure
10.

Always for Pleasure

3.2
7.5/10 IMDB

An intense insider's portrait of New Orleans' street celebrations and unique cultural gumbo: Second-line parades, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest. Features live music from Professor Longhair, the Wild Tchoupitoulas, the Neville Brothers and more. This glorious, soul-satisfying film is among Blank's special masterworks.

Directed by: Les Blank
Release date: 1978-05-02

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