29 Must See Documentariesby willowdada | created - 10 Jun 2011 | updated - 06 Jul 2016 | Public
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3. Style Wars (1983 TV Movie)
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.
4. Salesman (1969)
G | 85 min | Documentary, Drama
Four relentless door-to-door salesmen deal with constant rejection, homesickness and inevitable burnout as they go across the country selling very expensive bibles to low-income Catholic families.
5. Marjoe (1972)
PG | 88 min | Documentary, Biography
Part documentary, part expose, this film follows one-time child evangelist Marjoe Gortner on the "church tent" Revivalist circuit, commenting on the showmanship of Evangelism and "the ... See full summary »
7. Burden of Dreams (1982)
Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary
A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »
8. Grey Gardens (1975)
PG | 94 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama
An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton.
Votes: 9,488 | Gross: $0.03M
9. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.
Votes: 17,902 | Gross: $1.21M
11. Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)
Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama
German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as an American naval pilot in the Vietnam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Vietcong, recreating many events for the camera.
Different Drummer (1989–1991)
Not Rated | 29 min | Documentary
This documentary short, produced for West Virginia public TV's "Different Drummer" series, introduces us to Jesco White, a hard-living, tap-dancing Boone County resident whose repeated ... See full summary »
13. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography
Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.
Votes: 20,878 | Gross: $3.12M
14. Hands on a Hardbody: The Documentary (1997)
PG | 98 min | Documentary
Twenty-four contestants compete in an endurance/sleep deprivation contest in order to win a brand new Nissan Hardbody truck. The last person to remain standing with his or her hand on the ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,400 | Gross: $0.49M
15. The Cruise (1998)
PG-13 | 76 min | Documentary
Affectionate portrait of Tim "Speed" Levitch, a tour guide for Manhattan's Gray Line double-decker buses. He talks fast, is in love with the city, and dispenses historical facts, ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,449 | Gross: $0.24M
18. Roger & Me (1989)
R | 91 min | Documentary
Votes: 23,905 | Gross: $6.71M
20. American Movie (1999)
R | 107 min | Documentary, Comedy
Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.
Votes: 14,633 | Gross: $1.16M
21. Hoop Dreams (1994)
PG-13 | 170 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport
A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.
Votes: 20,872 | Gross: $7.83M
23. Samsara (I) (2011)
PG-13 | 102 min | Documentary, Music
Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders.
Votes: 26,558 | Gross: $2.60M
24. Gui tu lie che (2009)
Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Drama
A couple embarks on a journey home for Chinese new year along with 130 million other migrant workers, to reunite with their children and struggle for a future. Their unseen story plays out as China soars towards being a world superpower.
Votes: 3,057 | Gross: $0.29M
25. Poto and Cabengo (1980)
Not Rated | 77 min | Documentary
Two young twins in the USA have invented their own shared language. Scientists are wanting to study the language but social workers are trying to get the twins to leave their secret ... See full summary »
27. Louie Bluie (1985)
Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary, Music
About the obscure country-blues musician and idiosyncratic visual artist Howard "Louie Bluie" Armstrong, member of the last known black string band in America.
28. Hell House (2001)
Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary
A look at the "Hell House" performed annually in October by the youth members of Trinity Church (Assemblies of God) in Cedar Hill, Texas (a Dallas suburb) - seen by over 10,000 visitors ... See full summary »
29. Sherman's March (1985)
Not Rated | 157 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy
Ross McElwee sets out to make a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War, but is continually sidetracked by ... See full summary »