You are browsing the archive for Films: Documentary.

Tommy Burns knocking out Bill Squires (1907)

- October 24, 2013 in bill squires, boxing, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Film: 1900s, Films, Films: Clip, Films: Documentary, heavyweight, Internet Archive, knockout, Library of Congress, miles brothers, sport, tommy burns, Underlying Work: PD U.S.

A Miles Brothers film of the legendary heavyweight prize boxing match between Bill Squires and Tommy Burns, played out at Ocean View, California, on July 4th 1907. Weighing in at a measly 178 pounds, the 5’7″ Canadian Burns was a 10-1 underdog against Australia’s Bill Squires who was coming off a 20 consecutive knockout streak. To the shock of all present, this mismatch came to an unexpected end in the first round when Burns KO’d Squires in one of the fastest knockouts in the history of boxing up to that point. The fight was labeled the “shortest and fiercest contest on record”. Burns would go on to secure a reputation for knocking out the biggest men in the sport. He wrote, in a book brought out in 1908, about how the face of boxing was changing, no longer being about brute strength but speed: “In modern boxing speed is nearly everything, and I have always considered my success to be primarily due to the fact that lacrosse and hockey had taught me to be spry and smart on my feet before I ever thought of donning a pair of boxing gloves.” Housed at: Internet Archive | From: The Library of […]

The Somersault Man (1923)

- July 26, 2013 in acrobatics, collections, Digital Copy: Share Alike, Films, Films: 1920s, Films: Clip, Films: Documentary, netherlands, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Open Images, somersault, Underlying Work: No Known Copyright Restrictions

A short silent clip from a Dutch newsreel showing a man somersaulting through the streets. Housed at: Open Images | From: Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision Underlying Work: No Known Copyright Restrictions | Digital Copy: Share Alike Download: Ogg | Mpeg4 HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription! Name: E-mail:

Hands (1944)

- April 8, 2013 in collections, Films, Films: 1940s, Films: Documentary, Films: Ephemeral, Films: Short, hands, propaganda, war, world war 2, ww2, wwII

“Have you ever thought about what hands can do?”, asks the opening of this short WWII propaganda film from the U.S. Army Pictorial Service. The film is from the Prelinger Archive, housed at the Internet Archive. Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using. HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your [...]

Horse Drawn Fire Engines (1896)

- February 8, 2013 in collections, edison, Films, Films: 19th Century, Films: Clip, Films: Documentary, fire engine, horses

Four horse drawn fire engines roar up a snow-covered Newark, New Jersey, street while spectators watch from the sidelines. Until the mid-19th century most fire engines were maneuvered by men, but the introduction of horse-drawn fire engines considerably improved the response time to incidents. The first self-propelled steam engine was built in New York in 1841. It was the target of sabotage by firefighters and its use was discontinued, and motorized fire engines did not become commonplace until the early 20th century. (Wikipedia) Download from Internet Archive Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using. DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW! With our initial funding now come to an end, we need your support to help us continue our mission – to promote the public domain as an indispensable public good, and to curate and showcase the most interesting out-of-copyright works on the web. SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply [...]

One World or None (1946)

- November 23, 2012 in atomic bomb, atomic war, collections, Films, Films: 1940s, Films: Documentary, Films: Short, nuclear bomb, nuclear war, war

A film from the Prelinger Archives showing the horrors of atomic warfare. Made only one year after the end of the Second World War, it is thought to be the first “atomic scare movie”, a genre which would flourish in the U.S. throughout the next decade. Download from Internet Archive Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

First year anniversary of the Berlin Wall (1962)

- November 9, 2012 in Berlin, berlin wall, collections, Films, Films: 1960s, Films: Clip, Films: Documentary, germany

Universal newsreel from 1962 looking at the 1st year anniversary of the Berlin Wall. Download from Internet Archive Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Live footage of King Alexander’s Assassination (1934)

- October 9, 2012 in assassination, collections, Films, Films: 1930s, Films: Clip, Films: Documentary, king alexander, murder, newsreel, politics

One of the most notable newsreel films in existence – footage showing the assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia on 9th October, 1934. While the exact moment of shooting was not captured on film, the events leading to the assassination and the immediate aftermath were. The body of the chauffeur (who had been killed instantly) became jammed against the brakes of the car, allowing the cameraman to continue filming from within inches of the King for a number of minutes afterwards. The film was later revealed to have been manipulated slightly in order to give the audience the impression that the assassination had been captured on film. Three identical gunshot sounds were added to the film afterwards, when in reality Chernozemski shot over ten times, killing or wounding a total of 15 people. The exact moment of assassination was never filmed. On Tuesday 9 October 1934 the King Alexander arrived in Marseilles to start a state visit to the Third French Republic, to strengthen the two countries’ alliance in the Little Entente. While Alexander was being driven in a car through the streets along with French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou, a gunman, Vlado Chernozemski, stepped from the street and shot [...]

The Knife-Throwing Mother and her Children (1950s)

- September 3, 2012 in circus, Films, Films: 1950s, Films: Clip, Films: Documentary, Films: Ephemeral, knife throwing, non-article, texas



The knife-thrower Louella Gallagher throws knives at her daughters Connie Ann, 5, and Colleena Sue, 2.5 yrs old, in Austin, Texas. As the newscaster comments: “…Evidently Colleena Sue has more trust in Mother’s aim than the audience has. It takes a steady eye and a stout heart to heave knives at the apple of your eye, but this female William Tell has no qualms and plenty of faith…” A Universal newsreel story from the Prelinger Archives.

Download from Internet Archive

(Hat tip to Pinterest user Jen Hill through whom we first saw the film).

Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.










Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

The Hindenburg Explodes (1937)

- August 26, 2012 in airship, explosion, Films, Films: 1930s, Films: Documentary, Films: Short, hindenburg disaster, non-article



Dramatic Universal newsreel footage of the Hindenburg disaster which took place on Thursday, May 6, 1937, when the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey. Of the 97 people on board (36 passengers, 61 crew), there were 35 fatalities; there was also one death among the ground crew. The actual cause of the fire remains unknown, although a variety of hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The incident shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the end of the airship era. (Wikipedia)

Download from Internet Archive

Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.










Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

WW2 U.S. Soldier Drag Show (1942)

- July 26, 2012 in cross-dressing, drag, Films, Films: 1940s, Films: Clip, Films: Documentary, girlie show, non-article, soldiers, swing fever, war, ww2



Universal Newsreel showing WW2 soldiers of Fort Slocum in a “Girlie Show” – an all singing, dancing, and cross-dressing version of “Swing Fever”. According to Internet Archive user Michael A. Cavanaugh:

This show was originally scheduled for before Christmas 1941. According to the post newspaper, The Casual News I(15) 15 Nov 1941 p 1, it “centers around the vicissitudes of an intellectually inhabited Army post once it has been invaded, via the draft, by a group of swing musicians.” The libretto was written by Pfcs Richard Burdick and Horace Sutton; music by Capt. Louis E. Tepp, Miss Marcelle Meyer and Burdick. (Burdick had civilian stage experience, Meyer was with the YMCA which sponsored the production. The film clip seems to be of the YMCA stage, basement of bldg. 82.) It was written specifically for the talent on post, and included Pfc Danny Lapidos (director of the Ft. Slocum Dance Band), S/Sgt Abraham Small (director of the Post Band; that may be him directing the music in the film clip), Kay Sharp (daughter of a Sgt on post), Lt. Samuel Ogden, Capt Eric Anderson & Lt John Steele. The post newspaper completely downplayed the crossdressing aspect (which the newsreel plays up). Before the WAACs arrived in 1943 there were few women on post (only daughters & civilian employees e.g. the YMCA); later stage productions at Slocum would feature more integrated casts, and the WACs would be active participants. As in the Army generally the post band was very important. This is a rare clip of the band as well as of social life at Ft Slocum (1861-1965), “the Ellis Island of the US Army”.


Download from Internet Archive

Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.










Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

flattr this!