Documentary: Biography

by JamieBigham | created - 01 Jul 2012 | updated - 03 Sep 2012 | Public
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1. Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (2004– )

220 min | Documentary, Biography, History

8.2
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From a small Italian community in 15th-century Florence, the Medici family would rise to rule Europe in many ways. Using charm, patronage, skill, duplicity and ruthlessness, they would ... See full summary »

Stars: Massimo Marinoni, Peter Guinness, Ross King, Ian Bustard

Votes: 345

2. The Private Life of a Masterpiece (2001– )

50 min | Documentary

8.7
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Stars: Samuel West, Richard Cork, Jonathan Jones, John House

Votes: 172

3. Michelangelo: A Self Portrait (1989)

85 min | Documentary, Biography

8.1
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Director: Robert Snyder

Votes: 22

4. Rembrandt: A Self-Portrait (1954)

26 min | Documentary, Short

6.5
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Paintings and etchings of Rembrandt are used in revealing his life and career. Describes Rembrandt's early success as a fashionable portrait painter in Amsterdam and explains how his ... See full summary »

Votes: 6

5. The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci (1971– )

60 min | Biography

8.1
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He was the creator and artist of the Mona Lisa portrait

Stars: Philippe Leroy, Giulio Bosetti, Bruno Piergentili, Giampiero Albertini

Votes: 265

6. Vermeer: Master of Light (2001 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

6.8
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Meryl Streep narrates this technologically complex profile of Vermeer.

Director: Joe Krakora | Star: Meryl Streep

Votes: 31

7. The Impressionists (2001– )

200 min | Documentary, Biography

8.9
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Stars: Edward Herrmann, Victor Garber, Josef Sommer, Amy Irving

Votes: 79

8. The French Revolution (1989– )

Documentary

7.4
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Stars: Alan Ereira, Colin Lucas

Votes: 11

9. Post-Impressionists: Van Gogh (2000 Video)

50 min | Documentary

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Vincent Van Gogh remains the ultimate example of the tortured artistic genius. His whole life was a struggle against poverty, loneliness and mental disorder. In a feverish spell of painting... See full summary »

10. Post-Impressionists: Gauguin (2000 Video)

50 min | Documentary

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Paul Gauguin was thirty-five when he made the momentous decision to abandon his lucrative career as a Paris stockbroker and devote himself full-time to painting. Gauguin's bold use of flat,... See full summary »

11. Jackson Pollock: Love and Death on Long Island (1999 Video)

46 min | Documentary, Biography

6.8
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A documentary about the life of artist Jackson Pollock.

Director: Teresa Griffiths | Stars: Jackson Pollock, Ed Harris, Ruth Kligman, Lee Krasner

Votes: 87

12. Samuel Bak: Painter of Questions (2003)

48 min | Documentary

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In 2001, on the occasion of a retrospective exhibit of his work, painter Samuel Bak returned to his hometown of Vilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania). There, he walked the streets of the Vilna ... See full summary »

Director: Christa Singer

13. Alberto Giacometti (1966)

Short

6.9
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Directors: Peter Munger, Ernst Scheidegger | Star: Jacques Dupin

Votes: 16

14. Picasso: The Man and His Work Part 1 (1881-1937) (1976)

45 min | Documentary

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Director: Edward Quinn

15. Picasso: The Man and His Work Part 2 (1937-1973) (1976)

Documentary

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Director: Edward Quinn

16. Matisse: Voyages (1988 Video)

Not Rated | 58 min | Documentary, Biography

8.0
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Director: Nick Havinga | Star: Henri Matisse

Votes: 5

17. Miró (1949)

Documentary, Short

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Director: Jean-Claude Sée | Star: Joan Miró

18. Kandinsky (1958)

Documentary

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19. Great Women Artists: Georgia O'Keeffe (2000 Video)

45 min | Documentary

6.6
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Georgia O'Keeffe was an American abstract painter, famous for the purity and lucidity of her still-life compositions. O'Keeffe moved to New Mexico in 1949, and is best known for her large ... See full summary »

Director: Dominique Mougenot

Votes: 7

20. Miller Brittain (1981)

58 min | Documentary

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Director: Kent Martin | Star: John Dunsworth

21. Drawing Out the Demons: A Film About the Artist Attila Richard Lukacs (2004)

78 min | Documentary

6.6
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Notorious bad-boy painter Attila Richards Lukacs got the lyrics to Leonard Cohen's famous song backwards when he moved from Berlin to take over Manhattan. But if conquering New York was on ... See full summary »

Director: David Vaisbord | Star: Attila Richard Lukacs

Votes: 14

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

100 min | Documentary

7.6
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An in depth study of Adams's life and work.

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

Votes: 93

23. Helmut Newton: Frames from the Edge (1989)

95 min | Documentary, Biography

7.2
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A camera crew follows Helmut Newton, the fashion and ad photographer whose images of tall, blond, big-breasted women are part of the iconography of twentieth-century erotic fantasy. He's on... See full summary »

Director: Adrian Maben | Stars: Adrian Maben, Candice Bergen, Tina Brown, Catherine Deneuve

Votes: 147

24. Gore Vidal (1995 TV Movie)

7.0
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Director: John-Paul Davidson | Star: Gore Vidal

Votes: 6

25. Christo in Paris (1990)

58 min | Documentary

7.6
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This is the story of the quest of the artist Christo to wrap the famous Pont Neuf in France in fabric. It took Christo and his wife ten years to get permission from the Parisian government,... See full summary »

Directors: Deborah Dickson, Susan Froemke, Albert Maysles, David Maysles | Stars: Jacques Chirac, Christo, Jeanne-Claude

Votes: 68

26. Joseph Conrad (1991– )

52 min | Biography, Drama

7.8
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Stars: Franck Laigneau, Mikolaj Radwan, Kamil Gewartowski, Jacques Spiesser

Votes: 5

27. Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend (1987)

60 min | Documentary

8.3
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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 ... See full summary »

Directors: Gene Feldman, Suzette Winter | Stars: Lauren Bacall, Scotty Beckett, Eric Blore, Clara Bow

Votes: 163

28. Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001)

Not Rated | 142 min | Documentary, Biography

8.0
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The career and life of Stanley Kubrick is explored through pictures, clips from his films, his old home movies, comments from his colleagues and a narration by Tom Cruise.

Director: Jan Harlan | Stars: Katharina Kubrick, Malcolm McDowell, Stanley Kubrick, Barbara Kroner

Votes: 8,979

29. Hitchcock: Shadow of a Genius (1999 TV Movie)

101 min | Documentary, Biography

7.9
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This documentary is a fascinating look at the cinematic genius of Alfred Hitchcock. Briefly covering much of his early British works, the film primarily focuses on his American classics, ... See full summary »

Director: Ted Haimes | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Demme, Alfred Hitchcock, Joseph Stefano

Votes: 489

30. The Seinfeld Story (2004 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 60 min | Comedy, Documentary

8.2
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The origins of the "Seinfeld" TV series.

Director: Morgan Sackett | Stars: Jason Alexander, Ty Copeman, Larry David, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Votes: 268

31. TVography: The Wonder Years - Comedy Coming of Age (2002 TV Movie)

Documentary

9.2
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Stars: Bob Brush, Olivia d'Abo, Dan Lauria, Danica McKellar

Votes: 17

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

30 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

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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

33. Will Shakespeare (1978– )

60 min | Biography

7.7
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Stars: Tim Curry, Paul Freeman, John Normington, Ron Cook

Votes: 78

34. Anne Frank Remembered (1995)

PG | 117 min | Documentary, Biography, War

8.1
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Using previously unreleased archival material in addition to contemporary interviews, this academy award-winning documentary tells the story of the Frank family and presents the first ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Blair | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Glenn Close, Janny Brandes-Brilslijper, Rose De Liema

Votes: 871 | Gross: $1.31M

35. Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider (1994)

Not Rated | 57 min | Documentary, Biography, History

8.3
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Directors: Catherine Warnow, Regina Weinrich | Stars: Paul Bowles, Edouard Roditi, Allen Ginsberg, Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno

Votes: 26

36. The War Within: A Portrait of Virginia Woolf (1996)

52 min | Documentary

7.5
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Directors: Morten Bruus, John Fuegi | Stars: Anna Massey, Juliet Nicolson, Ian Redford

Votes: 6

37. Alexander the Great (2006 Video)

64 min | Documentary

6.7
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Director: Paul Pissanos | Stars: Anthony Burk, David Bowles, Carolina Liriti, Brian Blessed

Votes: 42

38. Stalin (2003– )

43 min | Documentary

7.4
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Votes: 13

39. Benjamin Franklin (2002– )

210 min | Documentary, Biography, History

8.1
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The story of the renowned American polymath.

Stars: Richard Easton, Dylan Baker, Colm Feore, Gerry Bamman

Votes: 134

40. Elizabeth (1998)

R | 124 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
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75 Metascore

A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.

Director: Shekhar Kapur | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes

Votes: 81,115 | Gross: $30.08M

41. Elizabeth (2000 TV Movie)

200 min | Documentary, Drama

8.3
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The life of Queen Elizabeth I of England

Directors: Steven Clarke, Mark Fielder | Stars: Imogen Slaughter, David Starkey, Saskia Backwell, Karen Archer

Votes: 114

42. Pope John Paul II: His Life and Legacy (2004 TV Movie)

60 min | Biography

6.0
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Star: Bill Blakemore

Votes: 5

43. The Last Royals (2005 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

5.7
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Examines the modern monarchies in Great Britain, Uganda, Tonga and Nepal. contains archival news footage and interviews with some of the monarchs and their subjects.

Directors: Susan Todd, Andrew Young | Star: Keith David

Votes: 17

44. The Magic Flute (2003 TV Movie)

185 min | Fantasy, Romance, Music

9.1
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One of the most iconic operas of all time; "The Magic Flute" (Die Zauberflöte) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is about a Prince, Tamino, conquering all odds to be wise and to rescue the ... See full summary »

Director: Sue Judd | Stars: Will Hartmann, Dorothea Röschmann, Diana Damrau, Franz-Josef Selig

Votes: 108

45. In Search of Beethoven (2009)

Not Rated | 139 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

7.6
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71 Metascore

The first truly comprehensive feature length cinema documentary ever made about Beethoven. With over 60 live performances.

Director: Phil Grabsky | Stars: Emanuel Ax, Jonathan Biss, Riccardo Chailly, Alban Gerhardt

Votes: 314

46. Kiri Te Kanawa (1991 TV Special)

107 min | Biography, Music

8.4
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Director: Nigel Wattis | Stars: Richard Bonynge, Melvyn Bragg, Georg Solti, Joan Sutherland

Votes: 17

47. An Evening with Plácido Domingo (1987 TV Movie)

53 min | Documentary, Music

7.0
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Star: Plácido Domingo

Votes: 7

48. Haendel - Le messie (1991 TV Movie)

140 min | Documentary, Music

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Director: Georges Bessonnet | Stars: Véronique Dietschy, Eliane Tancheff, Alexandre Laiter, Thomas Tomaschke

49. Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (1987 Video)

46 min

8.9
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Star: Anne-Sophie Mutter

Votes: 12

50. The Speeches of Martin Luther King (1995 Video)

Documentary, Biography

7.8
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Star: Martin Luther King

Votes: 13

51. American Masters (1985– )
Episode: Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood (1998)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Biography

7.5
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Director: Michael Epstein | Stars: Gene Hackman, Alfred Hitchcock, David O. Selznick, Peter Bogdanovich

Votes: 304