1950s Documentary Movies

Public list by WPS with 59 movies or TV shows/series

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59 movies found (page 1/2):

Day of the Fight(1951)

13min | Documentary
3.0/5 (with 36 votes)

American short subject documentary film in black-and-white, which is notable as the first picture directed by Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick financed the film himself, and it is based on an earlier photo feature he had done as a photographer for Look magazine in 1949. 'Day of the Fight' shows Irish-American middleweight boxer Walter Cartier during the height of his career, on the day of a fight with black middleweight Bobby James, which took place on April 17, 1950.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick - With Walter Cartier, Alexander Singer, Nat Fleischer, Stanley Kubrick, Judy Singer

Secrets of Life(1956)

| 1h 10min | Documentary
4.2/5 (with 3 votes)

A feature-length documentary showing the changing world of nature, the sky, the sea, the sun, planets, insects and volcanic action. A story of nature's strange and intricate designs for survival and her many methods of perpetuating life.

Directed by James Algar

The Artist and the City(1956)

26min | Documentary
3.7/5 (with 5 votes)

The painter António Cruz wanders around the city of Porto painting what he sees: old and modern buildings, people arriving and leaving work in the factories, children playing. The impressionist realism of Cruz’s drawings dissolves into Oliveira’s vision of Porto, which at the same time portrays the painter and his work.

Directed by Manoel de Oliveira

Mirror of Holland(1950)

3.1/5 (with 8 votes)

In this short film Bert Haanstra gives his vision - from the water – of a tranquil Holland. During filming he held the camera upside down and afterwards put the images ‘up right’ again in the film. By doing this, we see the ‘usual’ waterfront, but transformed by the rippling of the water. In this way Mirror of Holland became a modern looking experimental film. However this did not devalue the Dutch sentiment regarding waterfronts that are so trusted to so many.

Directed by Bert Haanstra

London to Brighton in Four Minutes(1952)

3.2/5 (with 4 votes)

London to Brighton in 4 minutes BBC interlude. From the days when TV was all live and programming was hectic. Often when one program finished, the next one was not ready yet, and the gap had to be filled. So the BBC developed a number of interludes to fill these gaps, this being the most famous one.

All My Babies ...A Midwife's Own Story(1953)

55min | Documentary
2.4/5 (with 2 votes)

- No description / details available yet. -

Directed by George C. Stoney

The Augustas(1950)

16min | Documentary
2.9/5 (with 2 votes)

Scott Nixon, a traveling salesman based in Augusta, Ga., was an avid member of the Amateur Cinema League who enjoyed recording his travels on film. In this 16-minute silent film, Nixon documents some 38 streets, storefronts and cities named Augusta in such far-flung locales as Montana and Maine.

The Seine Meets Paris(1957)

31min | Documentary
3.6/5 (with 3 votes)

This movie follows the river Seine from the countryside to the heart of Paris.

Directed by Joris Ivens

Trance and Dance in Bali(1952)

22min | Documentary
2.7/5 (with 3 votes)

Explores the themes of trance and dance in the rituals and religion of Bali. The famous Kris Dance is performed.

The Conquest of Everest(1953)

3.5/5 (with 3 votes)

A documentary of the first successful expedition to the summit of Mount Everest. New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay climb Mount Everest in 1953.

Directed by George Lowe

O Dreamland(1953)

3.1/5 (with 8 votes)

Lindsay Anderson's early documentary film of a British amusement park, the irony of its manufactured fun on full display.

Directed by Lindsay Anderson

The Titan: Story of Michelangelo(1950)

1h 10min | Documentary
3.1/5 (with 2 votes)

The life and works of the great artist Michelangelo Buonarroti are shown against the historical background of his time. It begins with his earliest artworks, and follows his life and career as he achieves lasting fame. The documentary includes detailed looks at some of the artist's most renowned creations.

Directed by Robert J. Flaherty, Richard Lyford, Curt Oertel - With Fredric March
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We Are the Lambeth Boys(1959)

53min | Documentary
3.0/5 (with 2 votes)

Seminal piece of documentary filmmaking by New Wave director Karel Reisz follows the daily activites of members of the Lambeth Youth club in late 1950's London.

Directed by Karel Reisz

Disneyland Dream(1956)

35min | Documentary
3.0/5 (with 4 votes)

A home movie made by Robbins and Meg Barstow that documents their family's free trip to the newly opened Disneyland. The one-week trip was a prize that they won in a contest sponsored by Scotch tape.

The House in the Middle(1954)

13min | Documentary
2.9/5 (with 5 votes)

Short film that emphasizes the importance of keeping a tidy home when facing an atomic bomb.

Every Day Except Christmas(1957)

37min | Documentary
3.2/5 (with 2 votes)

Every Day Except Christmas is a 37-minute documentary film filmed in 1957 at the Covent Garden fruit, vegetable and flower market, then located in the Covent Garden area of East central London. It was directed by Lindsay Anderson and produced by Karel Reisz and Leon Clore under the sponsorship of Ford of Britain, the first of the company's "Look At Britain" series.

Directed by Lindsay Anderson


1h 11min
2.0/5 (with 1 vote)

The legendary pinup queen Bettie Page stars in a marvelous burlesque show, alongside '50s icons Lili St.Cryr, Bobby Shields, Chris Le Chris Lynn and many others.

The Snowshoers(1958)

15min | Documentary
2.9/5 (with 4 votes)

This short documentary records the celebration and ritual surrounding a snowshoe competition in Sherbrooke in the late 1950s. The film marked the beginning of a new approach to reality in documentary and prefigures the trademark style of the NFB's newly formed French Unit. Today, Les raquetteurs is considered a precursor to the birth of direct cinema.

Crashing the Water Barrier(1956)

2.9/5 (with 2 votes)

The story of Donald Campbell, son of the late Sir Malcolm Campbell, British champion auto-racer, and his efforts to survive driving a jet-powered boat at record speeds on Lake Meade, Nevada. After a number of failures at breaking the water-speed record of 216 mph, Campbell and his boat, the 'Bluebird', set a new record by, at times, breaking 250 mph.

Directed by Konstantin Kalser - With Knox Manning, Donald Campbell, Malcolm Campbell

Beaver Valley(1950)

3.5/5 (with 2 votes)

Short documentary film directed by James Algar. It was produced by Walt Disney as part of the True-Life Adventures series of nature documentaries.

Directed by James Algar

Momma Don't Allow(1956)

22min | Documentary
3.3/5 (with 3 votes)

A night at the Wood Green Jazz Club - an example of 'Free Cinema'.

The Olympic Elk(1952)

27min | Documentary
4.1/5 (with 2 votes)

Part of the "True-Life Adventure Series"; The subject of this two-reel are the elk of Washington state's Olympic Peninsula. We see these deer learning to walk, climbing downhill in a herd, and braving local bears. Those, plus some colorful arctic flowers, are the nice bits. We also see the elk engaging in duels (something amusingly observed and "imitated" by marmots), athletic fights with deadlocks said to often end in death by starvation to both participants. If that brutish behavior isn't enough to turn you off, then wait until you see how the polygamous bull males gather up wives and do battle with another (with wives as a wager) before unmelodically announcing the end of their bachelorhood.

Directed by James Algar

Operation Concrete(1958)

20min | Documentary
2.5/5 (with 3 votes)

Godard returned to Paris briefly before getting a job as a construction worker on a dam project in Switzerland. With the money from the job, he made a short film about the building of the dam called Opération béton (Operation Concrete).

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard - With Jean-Luc Godard

Blaze Busters(1950)

10min | Documentary
2.8/5 (with 1 vote)

A documentary about firemen and some of the spectacular blazes they fight.

Directed by Robert Youngson

Memories of a Mexican(1950)

1h 40min | History, Documentary
2.5/5 (with 1 vote)

Explore the events of the Mexican Revolution as they are recreated through the use of archival material and interviews with participants and scholars.

Directed by Salvador Toscano Barragán

The Living City(1953)

25min | Documentary
2.5/5 (with 1 vote)

Oscar nominated documentary short.

Directed by Haskell Wexler, John Barnes

Journey Into Spring(1958)

28min | Documentary
3.5/5 (with 1 vote)

The journey suggested by the title is through time rather than space. In fact, two such journeys are made: the first back to the eighteenth century to pay tribute to the work of the pioneering naturalist and ornithologist Gilbert White (1720-1793), and the second studies the changing natural landscape near White's home town of Selborne in Hampshire between a typical March and May.

Directed by Ralph Keene

The Lost World(2020)

"Il mondo perduto" collects six documentaries that Vittorio De Seta shot in 1954 in Sicily and four other important short films that he directed between 1958 and 1959 in Sardinia and Calabria. De Seta always turns his eye to realities already then threatened by "development without progress", giving a precious testimony of rituals, customs and knowledge that have now disappeared. Thanks to the contribution of the Cineteca di Bologna and Martin Scorsese, who called De Seta "an anthropologist who expresses himself with the voice of a poet", all these works have been digitized.

Directed by Vittorio De Seta

The Wedding in Monaco(1956)

31min | Documentary
2.3/5 (with 1 vote)

Exclusive footage captures the wedding of American screen star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco.

Directed by Jean Masson - With Grace Kelly, Rainier III, Prince of Monaco

Assignment: Venezuela(1956)

24min | Documentary
2.0/5 (with 1 vote)

An American goes to work in the booming oil industry of Venuzuela.

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