Documentaries

by jason-l-parker | created - 16 Apr 2013 | updated - 06 Jun 2013 | Public
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1. New York: A Documentary Film (1999– )

600 min | Documentary, History

Ric Burns (brother of the famed documentarian Ken Burns) presents an exhaustive history of New York City from the settling of the area by the Dutch to the attack by terrorists nearly 400 ... See full summary »

Stars: David Ogden Stiers, John Steele Gordon, Kenneth Jackson, Robert A.M. Stern

Votes: 832

2. American Masters (1985– )
Episode: Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011)

Not Rated | 192 min | Documentary, Biography

A documentary on Woody Allen that trails him on his movie sets and follows him back to Brooklyn as he visits his childhood haunts.

Director: Robert B. Weide | Stars: Woody Allen, Letty Aronson, Marshall Brickman, Josh Brolin

Votes: 4,908

3. Jazz (1992)

95 min | Drama

Lithuania, 1968. After serving in the Soviet Army, Lukas comes back from Prague to his friends: Andrius, a state prosecutor's son, Julius, an unsuccessful artist, and Beatrice, who is attractive to all of her friends in her purity.

Director: Raimundas Banionis | Stars: Rolandas Kazlas, Dainius Kazlauskas, Kestutis Stasys Jakstas, Liubomiras Laucevicius

Votes: 61

4. The Shock of the New (1982– )

60 min | Documentary

A definitive eight part series on the rise and fall of the modern art movement presented by critic Robert Hughes.

Stars: Robert Hughes, Joseph Beuys, Stuart Brisley, Lorraine Chase

Votes: 124

5. From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale (2006 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary

A former symbol of urban decay, the South Bronx is also known as a creative breeding ground and for its enduring cultural spirit.

Director: Henry Chalfant | Stars: Ray Barretto, Willie Colón, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri

Votes: 19

6. The Civil War (1990)

TV-14 | 680 min | Documentary, History, War

A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.

Stars: David McCullough, Sam Waterston, Julie Harris, Jason Robards

Votes: 12,292

7. A History of Britain (2000–2002)

60 min | Documentary, History

A comprehensive historical survey of the British Isles.

Stars: Simon Schama, Michael Kitchen, Samuel West, Lindsay Duncan

Votes: 748

8. Satchmo (I)

Biography, Drama, Music | Announced

A chronicle of the life of jazz legend Louis Armstrong from his early years in New Orleans through his acclaimed career as a trumpeter and improvisational singer.

9. Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh (1987)

105 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

This documentary, on the life of artist Vincent Van Gogh, is told through his letters to his brother Theo, from 1872 until his tragic death. We gain first hand insight into the man, his motivations, and his humanity.

Director: Paul Cox | Stars: John Hurt, Marika Rivera, Gabriella Trsek

Votes: 353 | Gross: $1.58M

10. Baseball (1994–2010)

TV-PG | 1,140 min | Documentary, History, Sport

A documentary on the history of the sport with major topics including Afro-American players, player/team owner relations and the resilience of the game.

Stars: John Chancellor, Daniel Okrent, Ossie Davis, Paul Roebling

Votes: 3,477

11. Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives (2003)

75 min | Documentary

When the Civil War ended in 1865, more than four million slaves were set free. Over 70 years later, the memories of some 2,000 slave-era survivors were transcribed and preserved by the ... See full summary »

Directors: Ed Bell, Thomas Lennon | Stars: Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Michael Boatman, Roscoe Lee Browne

Votes: 206

12. American Masters (1985– )
Episode: Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About (2009)

TV-14 | 120 min | Documentary, Biography

Born Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz, Jerome Robbins was a dancer and choreographer. Starting his career as a modern dancer, he began to appreciate the technique involved in ballet, the two which ... See full summary »

Director: Judy Kinberg | Stars: Ib Andersen, William Archibald, Fred Astaire, Mikhail Baryshnikov

Votes: 60

13. Style Wars (1983 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 69 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary that exposes the rich growing subculture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late '70s and early '80s, specifically focusing on graffiti art and breakdancing.

Director: Tony Silver | Stars: Demon, Kase 2, Eric Haze, Spank

Votes: 2,534

14. Wild Style (1983)

R | 82 min | Drama, Music

Zoro, the city's hottest and most elusive graffiti writer. The actual story of the movie concerns the tension between Zoro's passion for his art and his personal life, particularly his ... See full summary »

Director: Charlie Ahearn | Stars: 'Lee' George Quinones, Lady Pink, Fab 5 Freddy, Patti Astor

Votes: 2,127

15. Da Vinci and the Code He Lived By (2005 TV Movie)

91 min | Documentary

The film follows Renaissance towering figure through conspiracy of palaces, blasphemy accusations, and whispers of betrayal and romance.

Director: Robert H. Gardner | Star: Sam Mercurio

Votes: 27

16. Planet B-Boy (2007)

Unrated | 95 min | Documentary, History, Music

63 Metascore

Jumping continents and crossing cultures, "Planet B-Boy" looks at the history of breakdancing and its vibrant resurgence in urban cultures around the world.

Director: Benson Lee | Stars: Stephane Fiossanangaye, Mr. Freeze, Luis Mateo, Skwall

Votes: 954 | Gross: $0.28M

17. Russia, Land of the Tsars (2003– )

120 min | Documentary

The history of the Russian Tsars.

Stars: Edward Herrmann, Michelle Maryk, Ronnie Farer, Henry Strozier

Votes: 161

18. Ancient Mysteries (1994–1998)
Episode: The Incredible Monuments of Ancient Rome (1996)

Documentary, History, Mystery

They stand today as testaments to the glory and grandeur of ancient Rome. But what brutal and murderous price was paid to build and maintain these imperial monuments?

Star: Leonard Nimoy

19. Great Russian Writers: Leo Tolstoy (2006 Video)

30 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

Leo Tolstoy, novelist and moral thinker, was one of the great writers of realistic fiction. Tolstoy was born on Sept. 9, 1828 at Yasnaya Polyana, south of Moscow. He was orphaned at the age... See full summary »

20. Great Russian Writers: Fyodor Dostoevsky (2006 Video)

30 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

Fyodor Dostoevsky, one of the greatest novelists of all time, penetrated the human mind and heart with insight. His fiction has had a profound and enduring influence on the modern ... See full summary »

Star: Tony Naumovski

21. Modern Marvels (1993– )
Episode: The Real National Treasure (2010)

TV-PG | Documentary, History

This program describes the services provided by the Library of Congress and the diverse items that comprise its unrivaled collections including; books in hundreds of languages, original ... See full summary »

Stars: Melissa Bethel, James H. Billington, Mark Dimunation, Fenella France

Votes: 18

22. Ballets Russes (2005)

Not Rated | 118 min | Documentary, History, Music

81 Metascore

Ballets Russes is an intimate portrait of a group of pioneering artists -- now in their 70s, 80s and 90s -- who gave birth to modern ballet.

Directors: Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine | Stars: Irina Baronova, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Yvonne Chouteau, Yvonne Craig

Votes: 628 | Gross: $0.82M

23. Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks (2000 TV Movie)

91 min | Documentary, Biography

An intimate look at the life and career of Gordon Parks a true Renaissance man who has excelled as a photographer, novelist, journalist, poet, musician and filmmaker.

Director: Craig Laurence Rice | Stars: Philip Brookman, Avery Brooks, Flavio da Silva, Nelson George

Votes: 115

25. Catching Salinger (2009)

Documentary

Three buddies set out to connect with the reclusive J.D. Salinger by following in the footsteps of Holden-Caulfield.

Directors: Charles Moore, James Renner | Stars: Sam Gingsurg, Charles Moore, James Renner

26. Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film (2002 TV Movie)

100 min | Documentary

An in depth study of Adams's life and work.

Director: Ric Burns | Stars: Ansel Adams, Josh Hamilton, Barbara Feldon, John Szarkowski

Votes: 117



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