Documentary's about Film Making/Film Makers

by fluffhead34 | created - 18 Apr 2011 | updated - 15 Mar 2017 | Public

These are documentary's from my collection that involve film making in some way. Some are about a single actor, director, etc.. others focus on a certain creative period, or a specific experience or event involving someone from the film community. There are many more doc's in this genre that I have yet to see but am well aware of. I will continue to add them as they become available to me.

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1. Abel Gance: The Charm of Dynamite (1968)

51 min | Documentary

BBC documentary on the long and flamboyant career of French filmmaker Abel Gance.

Director: Kevin Brownlow | Stars: Lindsay Anderson, Albert Dieudonné, Abel Gance

Votes: 54

2. 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 »

Director: Les Blank | Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 5,409

3. Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire (1991 TV Movie)


Sally Field hosts this thorough documentary about actress Barbara Stanwyck. Highlights include Ball of Fire (1941), Double Indemnity (1944) and Sorry, Wrong Number (1948).

Director: Richard Schickel | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Richard Chamberlain, Gary Cooper, Wendell Corey

Votes: 136

4. Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker (1991)

123 min | Documentary, Biography

The life and films of iconic producer. director, and actor Otto Preminger are depicted through clips from his films and interviews with co-workers.

Director: Valerie A. Robins | Stars: Otto Preminger, Burgess Meredith, Saul Bass, Peter Bogdanovich

Votes: 77

5. American Experience (1988– )
Episode: The Battle Over Citizen Kane (1996)

Not Rated | 108 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Documentary about the battle between Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst over Welles' Citizen Kane (1941). Features interviews with Welles' and Hearst's co-workers also as a relative complete bio of Hearst.

Directors: Michael Epstein, Thomas Lennon | Stars: Richard Ben Cramer, William Alland, Thomas Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich

Votes: 1,202

6. Destination Hitchcock: The Making of 'North by Northwest' (2000 Video)

40 min | Documentary, Short

Hosted by Eva Marie Saint, the film's leading lady, this 40-minute documentary of Alfred Hitchcock's only M-G-M film combines interviews (Martin Landau, Patricia Hitchcock, production ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Fitzgerald | Stars: Eva Marie Saint, Patricia Hitchcock, Ernest Lehman, Robert F. Boyle

Votes: 253

7. Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000 TV Movie)

85 min | Documentary, Biography

Lon Chaney, the silent movie star and makeup artist, renowned for his various characterizations and celebrated for his horror films, becomes the subject of this documentary.

Director: Kevin Brownlow | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Forrest J. Ackerman, Michael F. Blake, Teresa Blake

Votes: 345

8. Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song (2001)

100 min | Documentary, Biography

The films, affairs and struggles of the iconic star of The Blue Angel as told by Rosemary Clooney, Roger Corman, Deanna Durbin and many more.

Director: David Riva | Stars: Burt Bacharach, André G. Brunelin, Rosemary Clooney, Buck Dawson

Votes: 303

9. Captured on Film: The True Story of Marion Davies (2001 TV Movie)

57 min | Documentary, Biography

An exploration of actress Marion Davies, including her relationship with newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and her life both before and after her movie career.

Director: Hugh Munro Neely | Stars: Charlize Theron, Jeanine Basinger, Cari Beauchamp, Robert Board

Votes: 169

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

Not Rated | 142 min | Documentary, Biography

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: 9,236

11. Woody Allen: A Life in Film (2002 TV Movie)

90 min | Documentary, Biography

A series of interviews with Woody Allen interlaced with clips from his films.

Director: Richard Schickel | Star: Woody Allen

Votes: 397

12. Cinerama Adventure (2002)

97 min | Documentary

A nostalgic and compelling look into the legendary three camera, three projector process that revolutionized motion pictures and led the industry into the widescreen era. Through actual ... See full summary »

Director: David Strohmaier | Stars: Lowell Thomas, Fred Waller, Jim Morrison, Rudy Behlmer

Votes: 289

13. Fellini: I'm a Born Liar (2002)

R | 105 min | Documentary, Biography

67 Metascore

A look at Fellini's creative process. In extensive interviews, Fellini talks a bit about his background and then discusses how he works and how he creates. Several actors, a producer, a ... See full summary »

Director: Damian Pettigrew | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Luigi 'Titta' Benzi, Italo Calvino, Dante Ferretti

Votes: 744 | Gross: $0.11M

15. The Tramp and the Dictator (2002)

56 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A look at the parallel lives of Charles Chaplin and Adolf Hitler and how they crossed with the creation of The Great Dictator (1940).

Directors: Kevin Brownlow, Michael Kloft | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Sydney Chaplin, Walter Bernstein, Ray Bradbury

Votes: 579

16. A Decade Under the Influence (2003)

R | 138 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

A documentary examining the decade of the 1970s as a turning point in American cinema. Some of today's best filmmakers interview the influential directors of that time.

Directors: Ted Demme, Richard LaGravenese | Stars: Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin, Robert Altman, John G. Avildsen

Votes: 2,386 | Gross: $0.03M

17. Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (2003)

TV-PG | 132 min | Documentary, Biography

80 Metascore

Narrated by Sydney Pollack, film critic Richard Schickel's dazzling two-hour plus documentary to one of the towering figures in film: Charles Chaplin. Hardcore Chaplin fans may not find ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Schickel | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Sydney Pollack, Bill Irwin, Norman Lloyd

Votes: 1,259

18. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003)

TV-14 | 119 min | Documentary

A look at 1970s Hollywood when it was known as New Hollywood, and the director was the star of the movie.

Director: Kenneth Bowser | Stars: Martin Scorsese, Dennis Hopper, Peter Bogdanovich, Sam Peckinpah

Votes: 2,460

19. The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (2004)

TV-PG | 98 min | Documentary

Documentary about the art of film editing. Clips are shown from many groundbreaking films with innovative editing styles.

Director: Wendy Apple | Stars: Kathy Bates, Zach Staenberg, Jodie Foster, Michael Tronick

Votes: 2,326

20. Scorsese on Scorsese (2004 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 86 min | Documentary, Biography

Director Martin Scorsese discusses his life growing up in Manhattan and his filmmaking career.

Director: Richard Schickel | Stars: Martin Scorsese, Charles Scorsese, Catherine Scorsese

Votes: 327

21. So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM (2004 TV Movie)

39 min | Documentary, Biography

A documentary which explores movie comedian Buster Keaton's five years under contract at MGM, where personal problems and studio tyranny nearly destroyed him.

Directors: Christopher Bird, Kevin Brownlow | Stars: Buster Keaton, James Karen, Louis B. Mayer, Irving Thalberg

Votes: 179

22. Le fantôme d'Henri Langlois (2004)

Not Rated | 128 min | Documentary, Biography, History

78 Metascore

Life and work of the founder of the Cinémathèque Française.

Director: Jacques Richard | Stars: Henri Alekan, Catherine Allégret, Jo Amorin, Jean-Michel Arnold

Votes: 364

23. Garbo (2005)

85 min | Documentary, Biography

An original documentary from Turner Classic Movies, narrated by Julie Christie

Directors: Christopher Bird, Kevin Brownlow | Stars: Julie Christie, Greta Garbo, Charles Busch, Karen Swenson

Votes: 242

24. I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper (2005)

57 min | Documentary, Biography

This documentary explores the incredible life of Merian C. Cooper, from his time as a soldier and pilot in three different wars, to his exploits in Hollywood, as a director, producer and cinematic innovator.

Directors: Christopher Bird, Kevin Brownlow | Stars: Alec Baldwin, Merian C. Cooper, David Strohmaier, James D'Arc

Votes: 189

25. Billy Wilder Speaks (2006 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 71 min | Documentary

Billy Wilder discusses his life and films in interviews filmed by Volker Schlondorff over two weeks in 1988.

Directors: Gisela Grischow, Volker Schlöndorff | Stars: Jean Arthur, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Gary Cooper

Votes: 313

26. Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 68 min | Documentary

Various film historians, film makers, and cultural commentators discuss the cultural, political, economic and religious reasons for what is known as the pre-code era of Hollywood movie ... See full summary »

Stars: Valerie Spencer, John Landis, Jonathan Kuntz, Rudy Behlmer

Votes: 298

27. Derek (2008)

76 min | Documentary

A film involving two courageous and innovative artists-one the subject and one the filmmaker-provides a cinematic journey that illuminates the work and enduring importance of the late Derek Jarman.

Directors: Isaac Julien, Bernard Rose | Stars: Derek Jarman, Tilda Swinton, Margaret Thatcher, Isaac Julien

Votes: 256

28. Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007)

Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary, Biography

Chronicles the last great American showman, filmmaker William Castle, a master of ballyhoo who became a brand name in movie horror with his outrageous audience participation gimmicks.

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz | Stars: Forrest J. Ackerman, John Badham, Diane Baker, Sidney D. Balkin

Votes: 468

29. Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 77 min | Documentary

Martin Scorsese narrates this tribute to Val Lewton, the producer of a series of memorable low-budget horror films for RKO Studios. Raised by his mother and his aunt, his films often ... See full summary »

Director: Kent Jones | Stars: Martin Scorsese, Elias Koteas, Orson Welles, Val E. Lewton

Votes: 474

30. Stanley Kubrick's Boxes (2008 TV Movie)

48 min | Documentary, Biography

A few years after his death, the widow of Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) asks Jon Ronson to look through the contents of about 1,000 boxes of meticulously sorted materials Kubrick left. Ronson... See full summary »

Director: Jon Ronson | Stars: Jon Ronson, Anthony Frewin, Jan Harlan, Christiane Kubrick

Votes: 1,032

32. Don't Expect Too Much (2011)

TV-MA | 70 min | Documentary

Drawing on Nicholas Ray's archive of never-before-seen film, video, and stills, his wife Susan investigates the questions of his work and the relationship forged by Ray between his life and... See full summary »

Director: Susan Ray | Stars: Gerry Bamman, Richard Bock, Peer Bode, Charles Bornstein

Votes: 88

33. 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: 4,808

34. Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Biography

71 Metascore

In 2001 Jack Cardiff (1914-2009) became the first director of photography in the history of the Academy Awards to win an Honorary Oscar. But the first time he clasped the famous statuette ... See full summary »

Director: Craig McCall | Stars: Jack Cardiff, Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall

Votes: 1,042 | Gross: $0.02M

35. Baby Peggy, the Elephant in the Room (2012 Video)

58 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Documentary about an extraordinary lady, Diana Serra Cary. In the early 1920's she was one of Hollywood's first major child stars, Baby Peggy.

Director: Vera Iwerebor | Stars: Baby Peggy, Hobart Bosworth, Jack Earle, Jack Montgomery

Votes: 174

36. The Men Who Made the Movies: Howard Hawks (2007 TV Movie)

57 min | Documentary, Biography

A documentary filmography of Howard Hawks, including lengthy footage of Hawks himself discussing his films and many clips from his best-known pictures.

Director: Richard Schickel | Stars: Sydney Pollack, Howard Hawks, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 255

38. The Men Who Made the Movies: King Vidor (1973 TV Movie)

55 min | Documentary, Biography

Add a Plot

Director: Richard Schickel | Stars: Sydney Pollack, King Vidor

Votes: 115

39. The Men Who Made the Movies: Samuel Fuller (2002 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

Samuel Fuller discusses his career as a filmmaker, illustrated by plenty of clips.

Director: Richard Schickel | Stars: Samuel Fuller, Sydney Pollack, Reed Hadley, John Ireland

Votes: 95

40. The Men Who Made the Movies: Alfred Hitchcock (1973 TV Movie)

57 min | Documentary, Biography

A look at Alfred Hitchcock's films. The Master of Suspense himself, who is interviewed extensively here, shares stories including his deep-seated fear of policemen, elaborates on the ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Schickel | Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Cliff Robertson

Votes: 292

41. Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood (2000 TV Movie)

56 min | Documentary, Biography

This documentary, first shown on the Turner Classic Movies cable channel, tells of the life and career of screenwriter Frances Marion. By the mid 1920s, she was the most respected and ... See full summary »

Director: Bridget Terry | Stars: Uma Thurman, Kathy Bates, Mary Lea Bandy, Cari Beauchamp

Votes: 202

42. Soul in Cinema: Filming Shaft on Location (1971)

11 min | Short, Documentary

A behind the scenes look at the filming of the movie Shaft (1971). The movie's director, Gordon Parks is seen directing a couple of fight scenes which he wants to get in as few takes as ... See full summary »

Director: Hugh A. Robertson | Stars: Richard Roundtree, Gordon Parks, Isaac Hayes, Hugh A. Robertson

Votes: 67

44. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky (1988)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

Documentary on the making of "The Sacrifice."

Director: Michal Leszczylowski | Stars: Brian Cox, Erland Josephson, Andrei Tarkovsky

Votes: 478

46. Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980)

20 min | Documentary, Short

A short documentary in which directors Werner Herzog and Errol Morris make a bet which results in Herzog being forced to eat his own shoe.

Director: Les Blank | Stars: Werner Herzog, Tom Luddy, Michael Goodwin, Alice Waters

Votes: 1,912

47. The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011)
Episode: Birth of the Cinema (2011)

TV-PG | 64 min | Documentary, History

The Story of Film looks at the birth of cinema. It examines the period 1895-1918 where early film pioneers created the first moving pictures. It also look at the period 1903-1918 and the ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Cousins | Stars: Mark Cousins, Jean-Michel Frodon, Agnes de Mille, Cari Beauchamp

Votes: 223

48. Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film (2011)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography

What is experimental film, and why is it called that? Artists and poet working in celluloid since before WWI have always found themselves in a no man's land. Excluded both from the art ... See full summary »

Director: Pip Chodorov | Stars: Pip Chodorov, Ken Jacobs, Hans Richter, Stan Brakhage

Votes: 267