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Some of the records in our database link to videos that you can watch. Click on the films below.


Battle of the Bulge (John R. Kibar, 1960)

"An amateur film made by and starring the husband and wife duo, John & Evelyn Kibar. Title cards with dialogue are dispersed throughout the film." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Beginning the End (Jeanne Vande Kopple, 1951)

After celebrating his fourth wedding anniversary, a man becomes obsessed with building a homemade weapon of mass destruction. The man's efforts reach a breakthrough after the couple celebrates their fifth anniversary.

Watch: via the G.R.A.M.C. Film Library


Behind Every Good Man (Nikolai Ursin, 1967)

"Produced several years before the historic Stonewall uprising for LGBT rights in 1969, director Nikolai Ursin's gently-activist short Behind Every Good Man (c. 1967) provides an illuminating glimpse into the life of an African-American trans woman. In strong contrast to the stereotypically negative and hostile depictions of transgender persons as seen through the lens of Hollywood at the time, the subject of Ursin's independent film is rendered as stable, hopeful and well-adjusted. The resulting intimate portrait serves as a rare cultural artifact of transgender life and African-American life in the U.S. at the mid-century," UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Watch: UCLA FTVA on Archive.org


Behind the Scenes at Central Cinematographers (Margaret Conneely, 1963)

"A silent documentary that follows a group from Central Cinematographers as they view, discuss and shoot films. The process of filmmking becomes transparent as the actors are seen alongside the equipment that lights and films them as well as the large number of people that are needed to prepare for a scene." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: Behind the Scenes at Central Cinematographers via Chicago Film Archives


Bill’s Bike (William Steuber, 1939)

"An experimental film about a boy owning a bicycle and learning the proper safety rules on the road." Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

Watch: Via archive.org


Black Widow, The (Carl D. Frazier, 1946)

"A short mystery film from members of the Amateur Cinema League. A group of relatives gather in a haunted house for the reading of a will. Someone among them knows a secret about the house, and uses stories about the Black Widow to try and scare everyone away. In the end, their identity is revealed and all the secrets come to light. Title cards narrate the dialogue." Chicago Film Archives.

Watch: via Chicago Film Archives


Bold Badmen (Casimer V. Zaleski, 1949)

"Handsome and hard hitting, Bold Badmen is a Western filmed as Westerns should be filmed — without romance, without singing, but with plenty of shooting, plenty of horsemanship and plenty of very tough looking and acting characters. Casimer V. Zaleski knows that movement makes a movie. Bold Badmen is crammed with both kinds — physical and cinematic. Unfortunately, the physical condition of the film (which was inexcusably scratched and dirty) did much to restrain the enthusiasm of the judges for a melodrama of real power." Movie Makers, Dec. 1949, 468-469.

Watch: "The Zaleski Brothers Film Festival" featuring Bold Badmen


Boulder Dam (Arthur H. Smith , 1937)

Educational short film presenting Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam) as an example of a "wealth of the land in the form of energy."

Watch: via Archive.org


Britain’s Holiday Islands (Robert Davis)

Travelogue exploring British islands. Includes footage of "harpist Catriona Maclean McKinnon playing along the shores of the Isle of Skye in the early 1970s" (Chicago Film Archives).

Watch: Excerpt via Chicago Film Archives (YouTube)


Bronx Morning, A (Jay Leyda, 1931)

An avant-garde city symphony film set in the Bronx, New York.

Watch: A Bronx Morning via YouTube


Building of “Conny”, The (Robbins Barstow , 1975)

"In 1975, Connecticut made the sperm whale its official state animal, as a symbol of conservation. The following year, a group of volunteers from the Connecticut Cetacean Society spent over 5,000 hours building a life-size, 60-foot, ferro-cement model of a male sperm whale, on the grounds of the Children's Museum in West Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Director of the project was Robbins Barstow, who filmed this dramatic, home-made documentary." Archive.org

Watch: via A/V Geeks (Archive.org)


Building the Santa Fe Extension (Edwin Mayer, 1928)

"Produced in the late 1920s, this amateur film documents the construction of the Santa Fe Railway extension connecting San Angelo and Sonora. In 1928, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company (Santa Fe) purchased the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway Company of Texas (Orient of Texas). In so doing, they also acquired the company’s system of track lines, 465 miles of which were in Texas. As a subsidiary of Santa Fe, Orient of Texas then began construction on a pair of extension lines: one spanning the 72 miles from Paisano to Presidio and another the 65 miles from San Angelo to Sonora. This amateur film captures early construction on the second, with a small crew using work horses to clear the route and build bridges. The San Angelo-Sonora line was completed on July 1, 1930. Santa Fe abandoned the line in 1976" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.

Watch: via Texas Archive of the Moving Image


Butterfly with Four Birthdays, The (Sidney N. Laverents, 1965)

"The Butterfly with Four Birthdays is a well done documentary on the life cycle of the Anise Swallowtail (Papilio Zelicaon). The Zelicaon, often mistaken for the Monarch, lives in the Western United States and lays her eggs on the anise plant, also known as sweet fennel. From the egg comes the baby caterpillar, thirdly the pupa or chrysalis stage, and finally, on its fourth birthday, the butterfly. This film also received the MPD Nature Film Award" PSA Journal, Sept. 1965, 50.

Watch: via A/V Geeks, Archive.org


Button Ballet (Albert Noble, 1967)

"Button Ballet is a nifty little piece of animation. A number of buttons do a ballet set to Brahms music in one of the most masterfully executed animation films ever seen in this competition" PSA Journal, Aug. 1967, 36.

Watch: A digitized version of Button Ballet via EAFA


Calles negras, Las [The black streets] (Felipe Tirado, 1971)

"A successful man living in a great metropolis is increasing awareness of the unjust social reality that lives in the absurdity. This immerses him in a uneasiness that sinks into alcoholism and depression. In his wandering through the streets viewer gets to be the unfortunate suicide of another victim of the meaninglessness of life, which will produce a series of dreamlike hallucinations bordering on the madness. In a stroke of consciousness of his misfortune, he does run aimlessly without course. Devastated, to the dawn, with the light of the dawn he sees to be reborn the hope personified in an innocent girl who stretches the hand donating bread" Internet Archive.

Watch: Via Internet Archive


Camera on Chicago (Warren Thompson, 1983)

"This film is 'a love letter to the city' from Chicago native and filmmaker Warren E. Thompson. It is a continuing effort to record some of the events, characteristics, problems and glories of Chicago. Footage includes architecture, sculpture, housing, Lake Michigan, Chinatown, parades, Maxwell Street Market, and the people of Chicago. Thompson captures life and culture from the most affluent to the poverty stricken." Chicago Film Archives.

Watch: via Chicago Film Archives


Campus Smiles (Henry Royce , 1920)

"Campus Smiles uses a playful tone to document the faculty, student body, and life at UW-Madison during the early 1920s. This documentary short is a compelling chronicle of the local culture at one of the nation’s largest universities and offers a glimpse into the undergraduate sphere of the immediate post-WWI era. In it, humorous intertitles penned in early twentieth-century American slang introduce campus personalities and comment on social events." Archive.org

Watch: Archive.org


Canada Coast to Coast (Part 1) (Julian Gromer , 1956)

"2 part edited travelogue film beginning in Ontario and working west to British Columbia, documenting the resources, landscape and recreation of Canada. Includes a large amount of natural scenery, but also diverse events such as fishing, a rodeo and water sports. Also gives a look into factories and resorts." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Canada Coast to Coast (Part 2) (Julian Gromer , 1956)

"2 part edited travelogue film beginning in Ontario and working west to British Columbia, documenting the resources, landscape and recreation of Canada. Includes a large amount of natural scenery, but also diverse events such as fishing, a rodeo and water sports. Also gives a look into factories and resorts." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Central America (H. Lee Hansen, 1960)

Kodachrome travelogue showing life and culture in Guatemala and Panama.

Watch: via UC San Diego Library


Chicago: City to See in ‘63 (Margaret Conneely, 1962)

"A “city symphony” film, produced to encourage Photographic Society of America members to attend their 1963 conference in Chicago, City to See is a surprising film. It combines footage of Chicago with a deadpan commentary that pokes fun commercial travel films: “Chicago is my town,” the narrator says wryly, “and no other town will do.”" Chicago Film Archives

Watch: Chicago: City to See in '63 via Chicago Film Archives


Circus Capers (Margaret Conneely, 1955)

"A Margaret Conneely amateur film starring St. Tarcissus’ Cub Scout Pack 3969 in a circus production. Children dress as both circus animals and performers." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: Circus Capers


City of San Francisco, The (Arthur H. Smith , 1936)

Watch: via Archive.org


Close to You By the Carpenters (David Strutzel, 1970)

"A stop-animation film set to the song “Close to You” by The Carpenters. It was made by a Chicago high school student as a hobby back in 1971. It went onto win an award from the “Young Chicago Filmmakers Festival” that same year." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Cologne: From the Diary of Ray and Esther (Raymond Dowidat , 1939)

"Filmed in 1939 by the town doctor, Cologne is a personalized portrait of a farming community that merited only a single sentence in the WPA’s 1938 guidebook to Minnesota: “COLOGNE (945 alt., 355 pop.) is a German community named for the ancient city on the Rhine.” Dr. Raymond Dowidat and his wife, Esther, arrived in 1937 for his first practice after internship, and the impulse for the film seems to have arisen from their desire to document Cologne before they moved on to his next position in Minneapolis." filmpreservation.org

Watch: Via filmpreservation.org


Columbia River Adventure (Part 1) (Julian Gromer , 1950)

"Edited travelogue footage of a trip down the Columbia River. Along with scenic views, industrial processes are documented such as harvesting grain, canning salmon, making plywood and the factory production of sweaters." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Columbia River Adventure (Part 2) (Julian Gromer , 1950)

"Edited travelogue footage of a trip down the Columbia River. Along with scenic views, industrial processes are documented such as harvesting grain, canning salmon, making plywood and the factory production of sweaters." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Come with Us to China! (Robbins Barstow , 1985)

"In September 1985, Robbins Barstow and his wife Meg, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, USA, went on a four-week tour of China. This personalized travelogue includes visits to Shanghai, Beijing, the Great Wall, Xian, Guilin, and a cruise down the Yangtze River." Archive.org

Watch: via A/V Geeks (Archive.org)


Common Mistakes and Their Correction (Kenneth F. Space, 1939)

"On camera techniques. Illustrates poor photographic scenes, what caused them, and how to avoid them." National Archives.

Watch: via National Archives


Contretemps (, 1954)

A married couple responds to a newspaper ad seeking homes for foreign delegates visiting America. The couple receives the news that their guests are coming from Hong Kong, China, and they begin to alter their home and appearances to adjust to Chinese customs. However, when the delegates arrive, they do not meet the couple's expectations.

Watch: via the G.R.A.M.C. Film Library


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