Oscar for Best Documentary (Short Subject)

by CarlosERM | created - 03 Sep 2011 | updated - 2 months ago | Public
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1. Churchill's Island (1941)

TV-PG | 21 min | Documentary, War, Short

The people of Britain resist the German air force and navy with help from North America.

Director: Stuart Legg | Stars: Lorne Greene, Gérard Arthur, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler

Votes: 127

2. The Battle of Midway (1942)

TV-G | 18 min | Documentary, Short, War

The Japanese attack on Midway in June 1942, filmed as it happened.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, Logan Ramsey, James Roosevelt

Votes: 1,399

3. Kokoda Front Line! (1942)

9 min | Documentary, Short, War

Cameraman Damien Parer has just returned from the front in New Guinea, where he's documented Australian troops in action. He explains this to us in a prolog. We then see air drops of ... See full summary »

Stars: Peter Bathurst, Damien Parer

Votes: 162

5. Prelude to War (1942)

Not Rated | 52 min | Documentary, War

The official World War II US Government film statement defining the various enemies of the Allies and why they must be fought.

Directors: Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak | Stars: Walter Huston, Victor Bulwer-Lytton, Kai-Shek Chiang, Walter Darré

Votes: 1,582

6. December 7th (1943)

Unrated | 82 min | Action, History, War

"Docudrama" about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 and its results, the recovering of the ships, the improving of defense in Hawaii and the US efforts to beat back the Japanese reinforcements.

Directors: John Ford, Gregg Toland | Stars: Walter Huston, Harry Davenport, Dana Andrews, Paul Hurst

Votes: 638

7. With the Marines at Tarawa (1944)

18 min | Documentary, Short, War

Documentary short film depicting the harrowing battle between the U.S. Marines and the Japanese for control of the Pacific island of Tarawa.

Directors: Richard Brooks, Louis Hayward | Stars: Alexander Bonnyman Jr., John Borich, Merritt A. Edson, H.W. Hill

Votes: 192

8. Hitler Lives (1945)

Approved | 17 min | Documentary, Short

This short propaganda film, produced at the end of World War II, warns that although Adolf Hitler is dead, his ideas of racial hatred, violence and conquest live on in the German people, and in like-minded people in the United States.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Knox Manning, Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin

Votes: 255

9. Seeds of Destiny (1946)

20 min | Documentary, Short

Postwar propaganda film in support of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Strident but poignant, focusing on children. The film surveys the Nazi/Japanese atrocities... See full summary »

Director: David Miller | Star: Ralph Bellamy

Votes: 62

10. First Steps (1947)

10 min | Documentary, Short

United Nations, 1947 - In this film one crippled child learns to walk: first to move, then to stand, and finally to take his first steps. The film deals with modern techniques of ... See full summary »

Director: Leo Seltzer

Votes: 30

11. Toward Independence (1948)

30 min | Documentary, Short

Add a Plot

Director: George L. George

Votes: 15

12. A Chance to Live (1949)

18 min | Documentary, Short

Add a Plot

Director: James L. Shute

Votes: 22

13. So Much for So Little (1949)

10 min | Documentary, Short, Animation

An illustration of the role public health agencies play in citizens' lives.

Director: Chuck Jones | Stars: Mel Blanc, Frank Graham

Votes: 280

14. Why Korea? (1951)

30 min | Documentary, Short

This film examines the reasons why the United States decided to engage in the Korean War. Scenes describe Russia's attempt to gain power following World War II (Korea included), and its ... See full summary »

Star: Joe King

Votes: 10

16. Neighbours (1952)

Not Rated | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A surreal story of two neighbours' destructive feud over a flower.

Director: Norman McLaren | Stars: Grant Munro, Jean Paul Ladouceur

Votes: 2,717

17. The Alaskan Eskimo (1953)

27 min | Family, Documentary, Short

Add a Plot

Director: James Algar | Star: Winston Hibler

Votes: 49

18. Thursday's Children (1954)

Approved | 21 min | Documentary, Short

Won the Academy Award for the Best Documentary Short of 1954. The subject deals with the children at The Royal School for the Deaf in Margate, Kent. The hearing-handicapped children are ... See full summary »

Directors: Lindsay Anderson, Guy Brenton | Star: Richard Burton

Votes: 267

19. Men Against the Arctic (1955)

30 min | Family, Documentary, Short

Part of Walt Disney's People and Places series. This is the story of the "Icebreakers" - ships of very special construction that are built to make their way through the heavy Arctic ice packs on a trip to Thule.

Director: Winston Hibler | Star: Winston Hibler

Votes: 41

21. Ama Girls (1958)

29 min | Documentary, Short

A depiction of the lives of "ama" divers, Japanese women who dive for pearls.

Votes: 21

22. Glas (1958)

11 min | Documentary, Short

Documentary about Dutch glass production in the 50s.

Director: Bert Haanstra

Votes: 845

23. Giuseppina (1960)

32 min | Short

Oscar® - winning short in which a young girl observes the array of quirky characters who pass her father's rural petrol station.

Director: James Hill | Stars: Antonia Scalari, Giulio Marchetti

Votes: 58

24. Project Hope (1961)

30 min | Documentary, Short

Documenting the maiden voyage of the SS Hope, a hospital ship operated by Project HOPE, were it brought medical care to Indonesia and South Vietnam in 1960-1961.

Director: Frank P. Bibas | Star: Bob Considine

Votes: 19

25. A Tribute to Dylan Thomas (1961)

30 min | Documentary, Short

An atmospheric tribute to the genius of Welsh poet and dramatist Dylan Thomas, using many of the windswept locations where Thomas himself grew up and found his inspiration. The film is ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Howells | Star: Richard Burton

Votes: 19

26. Chagall (1963)

25 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

Chagall is a 1963 short documentary film directed by Lauro Venturi which focuses on the work of artist Marc Chagall.

Director: Lauro Venturi | Stars: Marc Chagall, Claude Dauphin, Vincent Price

Votes: 15

27. Nine from Little Rock (1964)

Not Rated | 20 min | Documentary, Short

The Arkansas school integration crisis and the changes wrought in subsequent years. This film profiles the lives of the nine African-American students who integrated Central High in Little ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Guggenheim | Stars: Jefferson Thomas, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed

Votes: 50

28. To Be Alive! (1964)

18 min | Documentary, Short

"To Be Alive!" was designed to celebrate the common ground between different cultures by tracing how children in various parts of the world mature into adulthood.

Directors: Alexander Hammid, Francis Thompson | Star: Robert Fields

Votes: 55

29. A Year Toward Tomorrow (1966)

25 min | Documentary, Short

Documentary about the VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program.

Director: Edmond Levy | Star: Paul Newman

Votes: 25

30. The Redwoods (1967)

21 min | Documentary, Short

The film was produced for the Sierra Club as part of their campaign for a national park to protect the redwood forest.

Director: Trevor Greenwood | Stars: Kieth Griggs, William Turner

Votes: 16

31. Why Man Creates (1968)

29 min | Documentary, Animation, Short

Through several amusing live action and animated vignettes, Saul Bass illustrates a fundamental and essential particularity of human nature that keeps us alive and the world turning, ... See full summary »

Director: Saul Bass | Stars: Peter Hansen, Paul Saltman

Votes: 513

32. Czechoslovakia 1918-1968 (1969)

13 min | Documentary, Short, History

Short documentary about 50 years of history of Czechoslovakia, with archive images.

Directors: Robert M. Fresco, Denis Sanders | Stars: Leonid Brezhnev, Neville Chamberlain, Alexander Dubcek, Adolf Hitler

Votes: 149

33. Interviews with My Lai Veterans (1971)

22 min | Documentary, Short, War

Interviews with five former American soldiers who were present at the March 16, 1968 attack on the village of My Lai during the Vietnam War; they discuss the orders that were issued leading... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Strick | Star: Richard Hammer

Votes: 182

34. Sentinels of Silence (1971)

G | 18 min | Documentary, Short

An 18-minute helicopter-based aerial visit across the archaeological ruins in Mexico.

Director: Robert Amram | Stars: Ricardo Montalban, Orson Welles

Votes: 93

35. This Tiny World (1972)

15 min | Documentary, Short

Documentary about antique mechanical toys.

Director: Charles Huguenot van der Linden

Votes: 16

36. Princeton: A Search for Answers (1974)

30 min | Documentary, Short

A film portrait of teaching and learning at Princeton University. From black holes in space to the B Minor Mass. A film about teachers and students who care to ask the question "Why?"

Directors: Julian Krainin, DeWitt Sage | Stars: William G. Bowen, Edward Cone, Aaron Lemonick, Daniel Seltzer

Votes: 28

37. Don't (1975)

19 min | Documentary, Short

A short documentary film following the life cycle of the monarch butterfly.

Director: Robin Lehman

Votes: 19

38. The End of the Game (1976)

29 min | Short, Drama

Robin Lehman presents an intimate view of the panorama of African wildlife, giving a sense of what it is really like to be there, and in a dramatic climax makes a poignant plea for ... See full summary »

Director: Robin Lehman

Votes: 21

39. Number Our Days (1976)

28 min | Documentary, Short

A documentary study of a community of elderly Jews in Venice, California.

Director: Lynne Littman | Stars: Harry Asimow, Barbara Myerhoff, Lynne Littman

Votes: 37

40. Gravity Is My Enemy (1977)

26 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

A look at artist Mark Hicks of Manhattan Beach, California, a quadriplegic since falling out of a tree at age 14. His work is examined, along with a discussion of his being a student at ... See full summary »

Director: John C. Joseph | Stars: Mark Hicks, Jan Stussy

Votes: 16

41. The Flight of the Gossamer Condor (1978)

27 min | Documentary, Short

The Flight of the Gossamer Condor tells the inspiring true story of history's first successful human-powered flight. Renowned inventor Dr. Paul MacCready and his team were filmed creating ... See full summary »

Director: Ben Shedd | Stars: Bryan Allen, Paul B. MacCready, Tyler MacCready, Greg Miller

Votes: 34

42. Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist (1979)

Not Rated | 30 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

An examination of the life of actor and singer Paul Robeson, from his first major triumphs on the stage in the 1920s through his gradually increasing social activism in the 1930s and 1940s,... See full summary »

Director: Saul J. Turell | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Paul Robeson, Margaret Webster

Votes: 225

43. Karl Hess: Toward Liberty (1980)

26 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

A look at Karl Hess, libertarian intellectual and activist, from his background as a magazine editor in his youth to his work as a Republican speechwriter, as he became simultaneously a ... See full summary »

Directors: Roland Hallé, Peter W. Ladue | Stars: Karl Hess, Kevin Burns, Barry Goldwater, Adolf Hitler

Votes: 35

44. Close Harmony (1981)

30 min | Documentary, Short, Family

A chorus of 4th- and 5th-graders at the Brooklyn Friends School and a chorus of elderly retirees at a Brooklyn Jewish seniors' center combine to give an annual joint concert. Practicing ... See full summary »

Director: Nigel Noble

Votes: 13

45. If You Love This Planet (1982)

26 min | Documentary, Short

An Australian pediatrician gives a speech on the consequences of a nuclear war.

Director: Terre Nash | Stars: Helen Caldicott, Vannevar Bush, Winston Churchill, Leslie Groves

Votes: 115

46. Flamenco at 5:15 (1983)

29 min | Documentary, Short

For a few weeks each year, in the depths of winter, senior students at the National Ballet School of Canada are treated to a style of dance that is unlike any other - flamenco.

Director: Cynthia Scott | Stars: Susana Robledo, Antonio Robledo, Rita Bozi, Catherine Hader

Votes: 127

47. The Stone Carvers (1984)

30 min | Documentary, Short

A look at some of the last stone carvers working in the United States, those completing the sculptures adorning the Washington National Cathedral. They discuss their craft and the cultural ... See full summary »

Directors: Marjorie Hunt, Paul Wagner | Stars: Vincent Palumbo, Roger Morigi

Votes: 22

48. Witness to War: Dr. Charlie Clements (1985)

29 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

Documentary of Charlie Clements, a Vietnam War pilot who was convinced by his experiences in the war that he should become a doctor working behind enemy lines.

Director: Deborah Shaffer | Stars: Charlie Clements, Richard Nixon

Votes: 19

49. Women - for America, for the World (1986)

30 min | Documentary, Short

22 prominent American women discuss their activism for nuclear disarmament and their motivations in seeking the end of the arms race.

Director: Vivienne Verdon-Roe | Stars: Joanne Woodward, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Betty Bumpers, Shirley Chisholm

Votes: 29

50. Young at Heart (1987)

Not Rated | 29 min | Documentary, Short, Romance