Best Documentary Movies of 1987


Queen: Hungarian Rhapsody - Live in Budapest '86

8.6/10 IMDB

On 27th July 1986, British stadium rock band Queen broke new ground by playing for the first time in Hungary, a country which was still under a communist dictatorship behind the Iron Curtain.

Starring: Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Spike Edney ..
Directed by: János Zsombolyai
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Metallica - Cliff 'Em All

Metallica - Cliff 'Em All

8.4/10 IMDB

Originally released as "The $19.98 Home Vid: Cliff 'Em All," Metallica's first video is a tribute to late original bassist Cliff Burton. James Hetfield describes it as "a compilation of bootleg footage shot by sneaky Metallifux, stuff shot for TV that was never used, but we've held onto, home footage, personal fotos and us drunk. But most important, it's really a look back at the 3-1/2 years that Cliff was with us and includes his best bass solos and the home footage and pix that we feel best capture his unique personality and style." 1987.

Starring: Cliff Burton, Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Dave Mustaine, Lars Ulrich ..
Directed by: Doug Freel, Jean Pellerin
Release date: 1987-11-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam

7.9/10 IMDB

Real-life letters written by American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines during the Vietnam War to their families and friends back home. Archive footage of the war and news coverage thereof augment the first-person "narrative" by men and women who were in the war, some of whom did not survive it.

Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Tom Berenger, J. Kenneth Campbell, Richard Chaves, Josh Cruze, Willem Dafoe, Robert De Niro, Brian Dennehy, Kevin Dillon, Matt Dillon ..
Directed by: Bill Couturié
Release date: 1987-10-01

Chuck Berry - Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll

7.7/10 IMDB

St. Louis, 1986. For Chuck Berry's 60th, Keith Richards assembles a pickup band of Robert Cray, Joey Spampinato, Eric Clapton, himself and long-time Berry pianist, Johnnie Johnson. Joined on stage by Etta James, Linda Ronstadt and Julian Lennon, Berry performs his classic rock songs. His abilities as a composer, lyricist, singer, musician and entertainer are on display and, in behind-the-scenes interviews, are discussed by Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bruce Springstein, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison and others. There's even a rarity for Berry—a rehearsal. Archival footage from the early 1950s and a duet with John Lennon round out this portrait of a master.

Starring: Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Ingrid Berry, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Bo Diddley, Don Everly, Phil Everly, Etta James, Johnnie Johnson ..
Directed by: Taylor Hackford
Release date: 1987-10-09

Jimi Plays Monterey

8.1/10 IMDB

It's no exaggeration to say this might be the most intense and groundbreaking 45-minute performance in the history of rock. Jimi Hendrix's debut American set at 1967's Monterey Pop Festival is generally considered one of the most radical and legendary live shows ever. Virtually unknown to American audiences at the time, even though he was already an established entity in the UK, Hendrix and his two-piece Experience explode on stage, ripping through blues classics "Rock Me Baby" and Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor," interpreting and electrifying Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," debuting songs from his yet-to-be-released first album and closing with the now historic sacrificing/burning of his guitar during an unhinged version of "Wild Thing" that even its writer Chip Taylor would never have imagined. Hendrix uses feedback and distortion to enhance the songs in whisper-to-scream intensity, blazing territory that had not been previously explored with as much soul-frazzled power.

Starring: Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, John Phillips, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Paul McCartney ..
Directed by: D. A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus
Release date: 1987-10-16

Prince: Sign o' the Times

8.0/10 IMDB

In 1987, to capitalize on his growing success in Europe, Prince toured extensively to promote the album of the same name and sales increased accordingly. However, the United States remained resistant to his latest album, and sales began to drop; it was at this point that Prince decided to film a live concert promoting the new material, for eventual distribution to theaters in America. Featuring the band that accompanied Prince on his 1987 Sign o' the Times Tour, including dancer Cat Glover, keyboardist Boni Boyer, bassist Levi Seacer, Jr., guitarist Miko Weaver, drummer Sheila E. and former member of The Revolution keyboardist Dr. Fink, the film sees the group perform live on stage (although "U Got the Look" is represented by its promotional music video).

Starring: Prince, Sheila E., Levi Seacer Jr., Miko Weaver, Dr. Fink, Boni Boyer, Eric Leeds, Atlanta Bliss, Cat Glover, Wally Safford ..
Directed by: Prince
Release date: 1987-11-20
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : The Other Israel

The Other Israel

7.5/10 IMDB

Compiled after 15 months filming and editing, this fast-moving, professional video documentary will give you a unique education on the inner teachings of Judaism and the Talmud. Through the television camera "The Other Israel" takes you where few Christian scholars have gone before.

Starring: Theodore Winston Pike ..
Directed by: Elizabeth Alynn Pike
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Santa Cruz Skateboards - Wheels of Fire

Santa Cruz Skateboards - Wheels of Fire

8.9/10 IMDB

Santa Cruz Skateboards video from 1987.

Starring: Christian Hosoi, Claus Grabke, Jeff Grosso, Jeff Kendall, Natas Kaupas, Steve Alba, Rob Roskopp, Rick De Montrond, Mike Goldman, Troy Slitter ..
Directed by: Scott Dittrich
Release date: 1987-04-12

Swimming to Cambodia

7.6/10 IMDB

Spalding Gray sits behind a desk throughout the entire film and recounts his exploits and chance encounters while playing a minor role in the film 'The Killing Fields'. At the same time, he gives a background to the events occurring in Cambodia at the time the film was set.

Starring: Spalding Gray ..
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Release date: 1987-03-13
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : The Cure In Orange

The Cure In Orange

8.7/10 IMDB

A concert video of The Cure filmed in Orange, France. 1. Intro 2. Shake Dog Shake 3. Piggy In The Mirror 4. Play For Today 5. A Strange Day 6. Primary 7. Kyoto Song 8. Charlotte Sometimes 9. Inbetween Days 10. The Walk 11. A Night Like This 12. Push 13. One Hundred Years 14. A Forest 15. Sinking 16.Close To Me 17. Let's Go To Bed 18. Six Different Ways 19. Three Imaginary Boys 20. Boys Don't Cry 21. Faith 22. Give Me It 23. 10.15 Saturday Night 24. Killing An Arab

Starring: Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Boris Williams, Porl Thompson, Laurence Tolhurst ..
Directed by: Tim Pope
Release date: 1987-10-13
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Vincent Price: The Sinister Image

Vincent Price: The Sinister Image

8.3/10 IMDB

This tribute to Hollywood legend Vincent Price sheds light on his career in film, television, radio and theater, and includes Price's fascinating hour-long interview with film historian David Del Valle. Taking place near the end of Price's career in 1987, the interview illuminates many of the horror icon's experiences. Also included are two complete television shows from the 1950s and '60s, along with "Three Skeleton Key," a 1958 radio drama.

Starring: Vincent Price, David Del Valle, Vincent Price ..
Directed by: Stanley Sheff
Release date: 1987-12-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Kiss Exposed

Kiss Exposed

7.2/10 IMDB

Ah, the '80s! A time of hair bands and their ludicrous MTV videos filled with spandex-clad band members and skimpily clad bimbos. Kiss: Exposed returns us to that forgettable era, as Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons show how to desperately try to remain cock rock's elder statesmen. This 1987 compilation serves up several now-hilarious video clips from Kiss's '80s "unmasked" period, including "Tears Are Falling," "Heaven's on Fire," "Lick It Up," and "I Love It Loud." (Count the fires burning in these classic video relics of days gone by!) Also on hand are Stanley and Simmons themselves, looking properly embarrassed as they act out rock's biggest fantasy: lounging by the pool with a bevy of (mostly) bare beauties. The saving grace is the generous selection of vintage live performances: hearing the band do "Strutter," "Detroit Rock City," "Ladies Room," and "Deuce" in its late-'70s prime is worth wading through the outdated '80s-style power pop... if you're a real Kiss fan, of course.

Starring: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Carr, Bruce Kulick, KISS, Kymberly Herrin, Candie Evans, Blondi ..
Release date: 1987-05-18
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Athens, GA Inside/Out

Athens, GA Inside/Out

7.5/10 IMDB

Led by the success of the B-52's and R.E.M., Athens, Georgia was the most happening music scene in the country by the mid 80's. Following several different bands from different genres, this film paints Athens as a magical artistic environment where bands are not in competition, but co-exist in harmony and share the ideals of the land. Live performances of R.E.M.'s "Swan Swan H" and "Dream (All I Have To Do)" at the Lucy Cobb Institute chapel are included. Also featured are performances and interviews frm the B-52's, Pylon, B-B-Que Killers, Time Toy, Jim Herbert, Flat Duo Jets, Love Tractor, Kilkenny Cats, Squalls and more

Starring: Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe ..
Directed by: Tony Gayton
Release date: 1987-05-29
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend

Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend

7.5/10 IMDB

Her story is well-known - the lonely child who yearned for affection and approval which she finally seemed to find as Hollywood's greatest love goddess. But even though she scaled heights few could even dream of, she was one of the loneliest of stars. And yet, in spite of the breakdowns, the failed marriages, the sordid rumors surrounding her life -- and her death.

Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Shelley Winters, Susan Strasberg, Robert Mitchum, Richard Widmark, Don Murray, Celeste Holm, Joshua Logan, Sheree North, John Springer ..
Directed by: Gene Feldman, Suzette Winter
Release date: 1987-11-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Notebook from China

Notebook from China

7.3/10 IMDB

In 1984 Jørgen Leth, cinematographer Dan Holmberg and sound recordist Niels Torp travelled some 6,000 kilometres by train through China. The result is a very calm, beautifully perceived travelogue borne by unprejudiced curiosity and observational ability.

Directed by: Jørgen Leth
Release date: 1987-02-12

Death of a Porn Queen

8.3/10 IMDB

A young woman from Minnesota moves to Hollywood in search of a dream and gets caught up in a world of X-rated movies and drugs.

Starring: Shauna Grant, Alan Austin, Wendy Apple, Amber Lynn, Jamie Gillis, Jerry Butler, Francis Ford Coppola ..
Directed by: Paul Henschel
Release date: 1987-06-08


7.3/10 IMDB

First broadcast in 1987 on the UK's Channel 4, Bombin' is a documentary about Afrika Bambaataa's Zulu nation bringing American hip-hop culture to the UK for first time. The main focus is the graffiti art of Brim and the variety of reactions he is faced with from the British public and press.

Starring: Afrika Bambaataa, Goldie, Brim ..
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Wigstock: The Movie

Wigstock: The Movie

7.6/10 IMDB

The original documentary on the Wigstock festival, back in the day when it was a much smaller affair in Thompkins Square Park. A full day of peace, love, and wigs…

Directed by: Tom Rubnitz
Release date: 1987-01-01

The Beer Drinker's Guide to Fitness and Filmmaking

8.0/10 IMDB

"My father says if people don't come and see this movie, we'll starve," says Tate Sullivan, introducing his father's "The Beer Drinker's Guide to Fitness and Filmmaking." (Send canned goods to Auteur-Aid, care of Fred G. Sullivan, Saranac Lake, N.Y. 12983.) "The Guide" is the Sullivan family album, a grandiose home movie focused on the days and nights, life and times of "Adirondack" Fred. And you thought Molly Dodd was a schlemiel. Fred, the most self-obsessed creature since Garfield the Cat, produces, directs, writes, edits and stars in this offbeat, low-budget work. Fred's four children, Fred's tiresome wife Polly, Fred's business partners, psychiatrist, internist, teachers, neighbors, creditors, sommelier and so forth comment on the 42-year-old ne'er-do-well. -- Rita Kempley, Washington Post, 10 February 1989

Starring: Fred G. Sullivan, Polly Sullivan ..
Directed by: Fred G. Sullivan
Release date: 1987-01-01

Shake! Otis at Monterey

7.9/10 IMDB

Renowned documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker captures Otis Redding in his ascendancy, singing at the historic Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967. Comedian Tom Smothers introduces Redding to a crowd that is leaving -- until Redding grabs them with his charged rendition of "Shake." Redding's performance also includes "Respect" (which he wrote), "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "Satisfaction," and "Try a Little Tenderness." Tragically, Redding died in a plane crash six months later. An innovative filmmaker who started in the 1950s making experimental films, Pennebaker garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 1993 for The War Room, his behind-the-scenes look at Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. His other subjects have included Norman Mailer, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie.

Starring: Otis Redding, Steve Cropper, Donald 'Duck' Dunn, Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. Jones, Tom Smothers ..
Directed by: D. A. Pennebaker
Release date: 1987-10-16


6.7/10 IMDB

A series of interviews are conducted concerning people's beliefs towards the possibility of an afterlife. The interviews are filmed against a set of strange backdrops, and are intercut with clips from classic films and a variety of stock footage.

Starring: Don King, Victoria Sellers, Kenny Ostin, Michael Agabian, James Allport, Swami Prem Amitabh, Lazaro Aruizu, Steven Augustine, Tracy Bauer, Richard Gordon ..
Directed by: Diane Keaton
Release date: 1987-04-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : In Bed with an Elephant

In Bed with an Elephant

7.7/10 IMDB

This feature documentary provides a gripping retrospective of United States-Canada relationships through a study of successive presidents and prime ministers. Using archival film footage, it demonstrates that Canadian prime ministers, from John A. Macdonald down, all began their tenures by making overtures to their American counterparts. Attitudes and outcomes have varied widely. The almost comic antipathy between Kennedy and Diefenbaker, for instance, is as palpable here as is the folksy camaraderie of Reagan and Mulroney.

Starring: James Laxer ..
Directed by: Kent Martin
Release date: 1987-10-30
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Chasing a Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker

Chasing a Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker

7.6/10 IMDB

The story of Josephine Baker takes us on a fascinating tour of 20th-century race relations on both sides of the Atlantic, yet it leads to no conclusion, and black girls in search of a role-model tend to look elsewhere. Part of her appeal is her startlingly unique appearance. Simply nobody has ever looked or acted like her. She fits no black stereotype. Nor does she look like any recognizable strain of Afro-American. I'd always heard she was half-white, but it seems that her paternity is unknown, and her contradictory claims on the subject don't do much to enlighten us. (We are tempted to imagine quite an exotic mix.) Her origins in sharply-segregated St. Louis, where she is said to have witnessed a lynching, do not seem to have left her embittered. Perhaps she had too much to give. There is a special innocence about that smile, and when she performs her cross-eyed gag, we are lifted into a strange pixie-world, all its own.

Starring: Todd Olivier, Josephine Baker ..
Directed by: Christopher Ralling
Release date: 1987-03-24

Tales of the Brothers Quay

8.2/10 IMDB

This compilation by the Bother Quay is a montage of several of their stop-motion short films.

Directed by: Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay
Release date: 1987-07-04
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : The Hero's Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell

The Hero's Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell

8.1/10 IMDB

One of the greatest storytellers of our time, and arguably the greatest mythologist, Joseph Campbell spent most of his long, rich career explaining how ancient myths like the Hero’s Journey are relevant to modern life. In understanding the importance of myth as a vital, vibrant source of "mankind’s one great story," Campbell inspired others to embark on a quest for the meaning of myth in their own lives. This biographical portrait, filmed shortly before his death in 1987, follows Campbell’s personal quest—a pathless journey of questioning, discovery, and ultimately of delight and joy in a life to which he said, "Yes."

Starring: Joseph Campbell ..
Directed by: Janelle Balnicke
Release date: 1987-03-22

American Tongues

7.4/10 IMDB

A sociolinguistic documentary examining American English dialects and accents and perceptions thereof.

Directed by: Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker
Release date: 1987-11-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Signed: Lino Brocka

Signed: Lino Brocka

7.9/10 IMDB

Documentary filmmaker Christian Blackwood profiles controversial Filipino director Lino Brocka, detailing his rags-to-riches rise in the mainstream film industry of the Philippines. Primarily using interviews with the effusive director himself, Blackwood allows Brocka to describe, in his own terms, the common thematic threads tying together his work, from his own homosexuality to the political repression suffered by Filipinos at the hands of Ferdinand Marcos' dictatorial government.

Starring: Lino Brocka, Lorna Tolentino, Christopher de Leon, Dina Bonnevie, Jay Ilagan, Sharon Cuneta, Manfred Romero ..
Directed by: Christian Blackwood
Release date: 1987-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Radium City

Radium City

8.8/10 IMDB

Documentary about the Radium Dial Company and the aftereffects experienced by its workers from repeated exposure to radioactive paint.

Directed by: Carole Langer
Release date: 1987-09-26
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Hammer: The Studio That Dripped Blood

Hammer: The Studio That Dripped Blood

7.5/10 IMDB

A retrospective of the films of Britain's Hammer Studios, renowned for making stylish horror films in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. Included are clips from Hammer productions and interviews with actors, actresses, directors and producers who worked on these films.

Starring: Charles Gray, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Martin Scorsese, James Bernard, Michael Carreras, Anthony Hinds, Jimmy Sangster, David Pirie, Aida Young ..
Directed by: David Thompson
Release date: 1987-01-01

Nobody Listened

8.1/10 IMDB

A documentary about the Cuban Revolution's transition into an authoritarian dictatorship, including repression, imprisonment, torture, and execution of political dissidents, while the rest of the world turned a blind eye.

Directed by: Néstor Almendros, Jorge Ulla
Release date: 1987-01-08
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : The Ten-Year Lunch

The Ten-Year Lunch

6.6/10 IMDB

The story of the legendary wits who lunched daily at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City during the 1920s. The core of the so-called Round Table group included short story and poetry writer Dorothy Parker; comic actor and writer Robert Benchley; The New Yorker founder Harold Ross; columnist and social reformer Heywood Broun; critic Alexander Woollcott; and playwrights George S. Kaufman, Marc Connelly, Edna Ferber and Robert Sherwood.

Starring: Heywood Hale Broun, Marc Connelly, Margalo Gillmore, Ruth Gordon, Averell Harriman, Helen Hayes, Roberta Maxwell, Marshall Efron, Cynthia Adler, Nat Benchley ..
Directed by: Aviva Slesin
Release date: 1987-09-28
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : The Way Things Go

The Way Things Go

7.6/10 IMDB

Artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss create the ultimate Rube Goldberg machine. The pair used found objects to construct a complex, interdependent contraption in an empty warehouse. When set in motion, a domino-like chain reaction ripples through the complex of imaginative devices. Fire, water, the laws of gravity, and chemistry determine the life-cycle of the objects. The process reveals a story concerning cause and effect, mechanism and art, and improbability and precision, in an extended science project that will mesmerize the mind.

Directed by: Peter Fischli, David Weiss
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Iron Maiden: 12 Wasted Years

Iron Maiden: 12 Wasted Years

8.4/10 IMDB

A documentary of the band's first 12 years with interviews and live footage.

Starring: Steve Harris, Bruce Dickinson, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Nicko McBrain, Paul Di'anno, Clive Burr, Dennis Stratton, Paul Di'Anno ..
Release date: 1987-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Grace Kelly: The American Princess

Grace Kelly: The American Princess

6.8/10 IMDB

Documentary - She came from a wealthy and competitive Philadelphia family, but the life of well-brought up society held little appeal for this acclaimed beauty. She left for New York City and worked hard as a model, stage actor and TV player. And then she was discovered by Hollywood. In less than four years she was acknowledged as one of movie's most sought after stars and an Academy-Award winner, playing opposite some of the greatest leading men of her time. Suddenly, like a modern-day fairy tale, Grace Kelly turned her back on it all - to become Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco.

Starring: Grace Kelly, James Stewart ..
Directed by: Gene Feldman, Suzette Winter
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Islands


7.3/10 IMDB

The Maysles' third film about the artists sees them trying to get three projects off the ground: wrapping the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris; wrapping the Reichstag; and surrounding eleven man-made islands in Florida with pink plastic sheets. As the latter is the only one that gets approval, it gets the bulk of this film.

Starring: Christo, Jeanne-Claude, Jacques Chirac, Willy Brandt ..
Directed by: David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
Release date: 1987-10-16
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Who Killed Vincent Chin?

Who Killed Vincent Chin?

7.4/10 IMDB

This film recounts the murder of Vincent Chin, an automotive engineer mistaken as Japanese who was slain by an assembly line worker who blamed him for the competition by the Japanese auto makers that were threatening his job. It then recounts how that murderer escaped justice in the court system. Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, in association with the Museum of Chinese in America. Restoration funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation, with additional support provided by Todd Phillips.

Starring: Lily Chin, Ronald Ebens, Michael Nitz, Charles Kaufman, Helen Zia ..
Directed by: Christine Choy
Release date: 1987-03-11

Uncle Meat

6.8/10 IMDB

This is a documentary about an unfinished movie. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention try to film the sci-fi epic "Uncle Meat."

Starring: Don Preston, Phyllis Altenhaus, Frank Zappa ..
Directed by: Frank Zappa
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : The Leading Edge

The Leading Edge

7.1/10 IMDB

A bored Colorado ski patrolman comes to New Zealand for the winter season. In between skiing on various North and South Island fields and preparing for the "Ironman' endurance contest, he has a good time with the people he meets. Billy T. James features briefly as an entertainer cum 'fright-a-minute'- aviator. This is a hybrid genre, a semi-dramatized documentary with champion skiers playing themselves.

Starring: Mathurin Molgat, Bruce Grant, Evan Bloomfield, Mark Whetu, Billy T. James ..
Directed by: Michael Firth
Release date: 1987-08-15
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Creepy Classics

Creepy Classics

6.9/10 IMDB

A compilation of trailers for various horror and sci-fi films, narrated and hosted by Vincent Price.

Starring: Vincent Price ..
Directed by: Pamela Page
Release date: 1987-10-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist

Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist

7.4/10 IMDB

This one-hour film, narrated by Actor BURT LANCASTER, explores the lingering effects of The Hollywood Blacklist, which occurred in the late forties and early fifties as part of the Anti-Communist witch-hunts that terrorized the nation. This film is seen through the eyes of the wives and children of the now deceased Hollywood figures whose careers were destroyed when studio bosses, along with guild and union officials capitulated to the demands of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Evelyn Keyes, Jane Wyatt, Sylvia Jarrico, Nikola Trumbo, Sadie Ornitz, Zelma Wilson, Becca Wilson ..
Directed by: Judy Chaikin
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Landscape (for Manon)

Landscape (for Manon)

7.2/10 IMDB

A languid, beautifully shot collection of landscapes, edited into a whimsical and touching film.

Directed by: Peter B. Hutton
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Gap-Toothed Women

Gap-Toothed Women

7.2/10 IMDB

A documentary short by Les Blank about the beauty of gap teeth in women.

Starring: Lauren Hutton, Lauren Moore, Sandra Day O'Connor ..
Directed by: Les Blank
Release date: 1987-02-17
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Seasons


6.7/10 IMDB

Poetry meets technology in this film about the cycle of the seasons. Narrated by William Shatner, and accompanied by a special digital "surround" recording of Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, the film takes audiences on a breathtaking trip through the eruption of spring, the growth of summer, the harvest and festivity of autumn, and the dormancy of winter. The beauty of the seasons is interspersed with a look at the earth as a planet, the sun as a star, and the human quest to understand the relationship between the two.

Starring: William Shatner ..
Directed by: Ben Shedd
Release date: 1987-06-11
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Canyon Dreams

Canyon Dreams

7.3/10 IMDB

The remarkable Grand Canyon film set to the synth music of Tangerine Dream.

Directed by: Jan Nickman
Release date: 1987-01-01

The Houses Are Full of Smoke

7.2/10 IMDB

A powerful three-part documentary studying the US involvement in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The differing factions - Sandinista leaders, Guatemalan campesinos, CIA operatives, Contras and US government apologists - are interviewed and, in the absence of a controlling narration, the audience is encouraged to draw its own conclusions.

Directed by: Allan Francovich
Release date: 1987-09-19
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond

Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond

6.6/10 IMDB

An hour documentary on the history of Bond for the 25th anniversary of the film series.

Starring: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Ursula Andress, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby ..
Directed by: Mel Stuart
Release date: 1987-05-13
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Beirut: The Last Home Movie

Beirut: The Last Home Movie

6.7/10 IMDB

Beirut: The Last Home Movie is a 1987 documentary film directed by Jennifer Fox. It follows the life of Gaby Bustros and her family, who live in in a 200-year old mansion in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. The Bustros family, one of the noble families of Beirut, remain in their ancestral home despite the endless war that surrounds them.

Directed by: Jennifer Fox
Release date: 1987-01-01
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Plain Talk and Common Sense (uncommon senses)

Plain Talk and Common Sense (uncommon senses)

7.3/10 IMDB

Plain Talk is a complex essay-film, a follow-up a decade and some years later to Speaking Directly, and so another State of the Nation discourse, made for Britain's Channel Four in the year 1986-87. The work involved extensive travel around the United States, and poses an examination of just what America is/was, or what do we mean when we speak of it. Done in a series of radically different sections which collide with each other in a manner intended to provoke thinking, Plain Talk, which was made by an American and intended for American viewers, was indeed broadcast in Britain, but somewhat predictably, not in the USA.

Directed by: Jon Jost
Release date: 1987-09-06
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : The China Odyssey: Empire of the Sun

The China Odyssey: Empire of the Sun

6.8/10 IMDB

Documentary about the making of director Steven Spielberg's film Empire of the Sun

Starring: Martin Sheen, Christian Bale, Steven Spielberg, J.G. Ballard, John Malkovich, Joe Pantoliano, Jack Dearlove, Masat? Ibu ..
Directed by: Les Mayfield
Release date: 1987-12-30
Best Documentary Movies of 1987 : Broken Noses

Broken Noses

6.5/10 IMDB

Photographer Bruce Weber profiles boxer Andy Minsker, including his pro career and family relations, and the boys' boxing club Minsker runs.

Starring: Andy Minsker ..
Directed by: Bruce Weber
Release date: 1987-11-04

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