Best Documentary Movies of 1980


AC/DC: Let There Be Rock

8.4/10 IMDB

1. Live Wire 2. Shot Down In Flames 3. Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be 4. Sin City 5. Walk All Over You 6. Bad Boy Boogie 7. The Jack 8. Highway To Hell 9. Girls Got Rhythm 10. High Voltage 11. Whole Lotta Rosie 12. Rocker 13. Let There Be Rock AC/DC: Let There Be Rock was filmed on 9 December 1979 at the Pavillon de Paris in Paris, France, and also contains interviews with members of the band, including lead vocalist Bon Scott, who died two months after filming. The concert film was re-released on a Blu-ray/DVD double pack along with a collector's tin, concert pictures, a souvenir guitar pick, and a 32-page booklet, or just as Blu-ray or DVD individual sets on 7 June 2011. Only 90,000 of the collectors tins were made, and each labeled with a number out of 90,000 on the base of the tin.

Starring: Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams, Phil Rudd ..
Directed by: Eric Dionysius, Eric Mistler
Release date: 1980-09-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1980 : Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

8.4/10 IMDB

This witty and original film is about the open spaces of cities and why some of them work for people while others don't. Beginning at New York's Seagram Plaza, one of the most used open areas in the city, the film proceeds to analyze why this space is so popular and how other urban oases, both in New York and elsewhere, measure up. Based on direct observation of what people actually do, the film presents a remarkably engaging and informative tour of the urban landscape and looks at how it can be made more hospitable to those who live in it.

Starring: William H. Whyte, William H. Whyte, William H. Whyte ..
Directed by: William H. Whyte
Release date: 1980-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1980 : Making The Shining

Making The Shining

7.6/10 IMDB

Directed and edited by Stanley Kubrick's daughter Vivian Kubrick, this film offers a look behind the scenes during the making of The Shining.

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Stanley Kubrick, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Shelley Duvall, Gert Kubrick, Brian W. Cook, Vivian Kubrick, Terry Needham, Leon Vitali ..
Directed by: Vivian Kubrick
Release date: 1980-10-04
Best Documentary Movies of 1980 : The Silk Road

The Silk Road

9.2/10 IMDB

The NHK Tokushu and China's CCTV documentary series The Silk Road began on April 7, 1980. The program started with the memorable scene of a camel caravan crossing the desert against the setting sun, with Kitaro's music and a sense of timelessness. It was the start of an epic televisual poem. The first journey described in the series began in Chang'an (now Xi'an), at the eastern end of the ancient route. On 450,000 feet of film, the NHK crew recorded the path westward to the Pamir Heights at the Pakistan border and this material was edited to make 12 monthly broadcasts. In response to viewers' requests that the series be extended to cover the Silk Road all the way to Rome, sequels were made over the next 10 years. Seventeen years after the program was conceived, the project was completed.

Release date: 1980-04-07
Best Documentary Movies of 1980 : Heartland Reggae

Heartland Reggae

8.5/10 IMDB

Reggae documentary of the One Love Peace Concert held in Kingston, Jamaica in 1978. In addition to the music, this film features the return to Jamaica of Bob Marley after a 16-month hiatus following an attempt on his life.

Starring: Dennis Brown, Althea Forrest, Natty Garfield, Marcia Griffiths, Jacob Miller, Ras Lee Morris, Judy Mowatt, Lloyd Parkes, Peter Tosh, Junior Tucker ..
Directed by: James P. Lewis
Release date: 1980-03-04
Best Documentary Movies of 1980 : Lightning Over Water

Lightning Over Water

6.7/10 IMDB

Director 'Nicholas Ray' is eager to complete a final film before his imminent death from cancer. Wim Wenders is working on his own film Hammett (1983) in Hollywood, but flies to New York to help Ray realize his final wish. Ray's original intent is to make a fiction film about a dying painter who sails to China to find a cure for his disease. He and Wenders discuss this idea, but it is obviously unrealistic given Ray's state of health.

Starring: Wim Wenders, Nicholas Ray, Susan Ray, Tom Farrell, Ronee Blakley ..
Directed by: Nicholas Ray, Wim Wenders
Release date: 1980-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1980 : The Making of The Empire Strikes Back

The Making of The Empire Strikes Back

8.2/10 IMDB

Even the most devout Star Wars fan might not know that filmmaker and journalist Michel Parbot was once given unprecedented access to the set, stars, and filmmakers behind The Empire Strikes Back. The resulting work, The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, has apparently never been commercially released. Most of the footage has been lost, but 15 minutes has circulated online in recent years. Now, the 1 hour cut of Michel Parbot’s lost documentary has been found.

Starring: Irvin Kershner, Gary Kurtz, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Ben Burtt, Phil Tippett ..
Directed by: Michel Parbot
Release date: 1980-09-22
Best Documentary Movies of 1980 : SPFX: The Empire Strikes Back

SPFX: The Empire Strikes Back

7.7/10 IMDB

Hosted by Mark Hamill, this revealing documentary offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the amazing special effects that transformed George Lucas’ vision for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back into reality!

Starring: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Alec Guinness, Frank Oz, Harrison Ford, Harrison Ford ..
Directed by: Robert Guenette
Release date: 1980-09-22

Dialogue with a Woman Departed

8.1/10 IMDB

A documentary about the film-maker's wife and co-worker, Peggy Lawson, who died in 1971.

Starring: Peggy Lawson, Leo Hurwitz ..
Directed by: Leo Hurwitz
Release date: 1980-12-31

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle

6.4/10 IMDB

A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, whose (arguable) position is that the Sex Pistols in particular and punk rock in general were an elaborate scam perpetrated by him in order to make "a million pounds."

Starring: Malcolm McLaren, Steve Jones, Paul Cook, Sid Vicious, John Lydon, Helen Wellington-Lloyd, Ronald Biggs, Liz Fraser, Jess Conrad, Mary Millington ..
Directed by: Julien Temple
Release date: 1980-09-11

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