Best Documentary Movies of 1979


The Who: The Kids Are Alright

8.1/10 IMDB

Through concert performances and interviews, this film offers us an "inside look" at this famous rock group, "The Who". It captures their zany craziness and outrageous antics from the initial formation of the group to its major hit "Who Are You", and features the last performance of drummer Keith Moon just prior to his death.

Starring: Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, Steve Martin ..
Directed by: Jeff Stein
Release date: 1979-06-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1979 : Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia

Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia

8.3/10 IMDB

John Pilger vividly reveals the brutality and murderous political ambitions of the Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge totalitarian regime which bought genocide and despair to the people of Cambodia while neighboring countries, including Australia, shamefully ignored the immense human suffering and unspeakable crimes that bloodied this once beautiful country.

Starring: John Pilger ..
Release date: 1979-10-30
Best Documentary Movies of 1979 : UFOs: It Has Begun

UFOs: It Has Begun

7.1/10 IMDB

A documentary exploring the existence of UFOs and extra-terrestrial beings. Hosted by the LEGENDARY Rod Serling. This was considered his "coming out the closet" in regards to his deep belief in UFOs just before his death from cancer.

Starring: Rod Serling, Burgess Meredith, José Ferrer, Jacques Vallée ..
Directed by: Ray Rivas
Release date: 1979-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1979 : The Patriot Game

The Patriot Game

7.5/10 IMDB

The film's introduction covers Ireland's history from British colonization to the territory's division in 1922. THE PATRIOT GAME then details the events of the decade that began in 1968. Through powerful portraits of rebellion and eyewitness accounts of killings and such massacres as the infamous "Bloody Sunday," the film shows the IRA at work - much of it filmed clandestinely - as they argue their cause which, in this country and in most of the world, has gone unheard.

Directed by: Arthur MacCaig
Release date: 1979-06-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1979 : The Secret Life of Plants

The Secret Life of Plants

7.3/10 IMDB

The story is a documentary of research that shows fairly conclusively that plants are actually aware of what goes on around them, even miles away. It is somewhat humorous in the methods it uses to prove the secret life of plants, but thought-provoking in the conclusions it arrives at. The most wonderful thing about the film is the soundtrack. This is original music composed by Stevie Wonder. There is even a scene in the film of Stevie singing one of his songs in a boat on a river. This scene is very moving, as Stevie is blind and yet able to know where he is going. The scene is the climax to the movie, and metaphoric as to what has been presented about plants, that although they don't seem to have senses as human beings and animals do, they are quite well aware of what is going on around them and where they fit into this in the evolutionary process.

Starring: Ruby Crystal, John Ashley Hamilton, Eartha Robinson, Peter Tompkins, Elizabeth Vreeland ..
Directed by: Walon Green
Release date: 1979-12-09
Best Documentary Movies of 1979 : Best Boy

Best Boy

7.9/10 IMDB

In this documentary, the director follows the day-to-day activities of his retarded, middle-aged cousin Philly, over a three-year period.

Directed by: Ira Wohl
Release date: 1979-10-05
Best Documentary Movies of 1979 : The Horror Show

The Horror Show

8.9/10 IMDB

A history of horror movies.

Starring: Anthony Perkins ..
Directed by: Richard Schickel
Release date: 1979-02-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1979 : New York Portrait, Chapter I

New York Portrait, Chapter I

7.3/10 IMDB

Hutton's most impressive work ... the filmmaker's style takes on an assertive edge that marks his maturity. The landscape has a majesty that serves to reflect the meditative interiority of the artist independent of any human presence. ... New York is framed in the dark nights of a lonely winter. The pulse of street life finds no role in NEW YORK PORTRAIT; the dense metropolitan population and imposing urban locale disappear before Hutton's concern for the primal force of a universal presence. With an eye for the ordinary, Hutton can point his camera toward the clouds finding flocks of birds, or turn back to the simple objects around his apartment struggling to elicit a personal intuition from their presence. ... Hutton finds a harmonious, if at times melancholy, rapport with the natural elements that retain their grace in spite of the city's artificial environment. The city becomes a ghost town that the filmmaker transforms into a vehicle reflecting his personal mood.

Directed by: Peter B. Hutton
Release date: 1979-01-01

80 Blocks from Tiffany's

7.7/10 IMDB

This 1979 documentary depicts the daily life of gangs in the South Bronx. It deals primarily with two African American and Puerto Rican gangs known as the "Savage Skulls" and the "Savage Nomads".

Starring: Louis Gigante ..
Directed by: Gary Weis
Release date: 1979-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1979 : The Wobblies

The Wobblies

7.8/10 IMDB

Solidarity! All for One and One for All!" With that slogan, the Industrial Workers of the World, aka the Wobblies, took to organizing unskilled workers into one big union and changing the course of history. This award-winning film airs a provocative look at the forgotten American history of this most radical of unions, screening the unforgettable and still-fiery voices of Wobbly members--lumberjacks, migratory workers, and silk weavers--in their 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Starring: Charles Rydell, Anthony Bouza ..
Directed by: Stewart Bird, Deborah Shaffer
Release date: 1979-09-15

Also check Best documentary movies of 1980.

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