E-mail us: amdb@ucalgary.ca

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


Ten Minutes with “Doc” Davis (Robert Davis, 1947)

"Short documentary about fountain pen repairs and the process of repairs within a fountain pen hospital. The film begins with a client handing over his pen to the receptionist. From there the pen goes to Robert "Doc" Davis, who performs a nine point check-up on the pen. This is followed by exploded views of various pen models, including the Schaeffer Triumph, Parker 51 and the Eversharp Skyline. Last, the film shows how gold lettering is used on both pends and leather goods. Outtake scenes of the pen hospital and its employees follows the film." Chicago Film Archives.

Watch: via Chicago Film Archives


Tense Moment (Arthur H. Smith , 1953)

Thriller film about an escaped murderer, and a nearby woman who is home alone.

Watch: via Archive.org


The Fraser Valley Public Library (H. Norman Lidster, 1932)

"Library service in the Fraser Valley, funded by the Carnegie Corporation. Follows a bookmobile from community to community, and depicts various aspects of the library service. Shots of places visited, rural landscape, and the Agassiz-Rosedale ferry." (BC Archives)

The film was sponsored by the British Columbia Public Library Commission Of which H. Norman Lidster was chairman).

Watch: The Fraser Valley Public Library, ca. 1932. (via the YouTube page of the Fraser Valley Regional Library)


This Is a Hobby? (John R. Kibar, 1958)

"An amateur film made by and starring the husband and wife duo, John & Evelyn Kibar. The Kibars are on a search for a hobby, and decide upon filmmaking. A domestic mishap by Mrs. Kibar results in their film being edited incorrectly. Title cards displaying dialogue are dispersed throughout the film." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Those Other Years (Irene Tapp, 1959)

"A documentary what will keep on film those disappearing landmarks of fond childhood memories. Members of the family reenact those wonderful memories. The children are vehicles of a flash back, at play, caring for dolls and pets. The energies of little boys and girls doing things that we may relive as we watch the Tapps' other years. A delightful family picture" PSA Journal, Nov. 1959, 47.

Watch: via the University of Utah


Tides of Fundy (William M. Harlow, 1961)

"This film presents a look at the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, focusing in on the unique and dramatic tidal patterns that occur there. Time-lapse photography shows us the dramatic changes from low to high-tide within the bay, giving us a greater perspective on the unique earth processes that occur here,"

Watch: Tides of Fundy via SUNY ESF


Toketie Makes Another Cruise Summer 1940 (Francis J. Barrow, 1940)

"Coastal people, places and scenery between Vancouver Island and the mainland. Includes footage of Indian villages, pictographs, birds and wildlife, logging operations, other vessels, etc. One sequence shows a Kelly raft of aviation spruce being broken up; another shows logs being unloaded from the log barge 'Monongahela' (formerly the ship 'Balasore', whose figurehead is shown sitting on shore). The B.C. Packers cannery at Quathiaski Cove is shown. Troops arrive at Nanaimo from Vancouver on the 'Princess Victoria' and parade through the streets" British Columbia Archives.

Watch: Aviation spruce for new warplanes; spruce logs are broken from a Kelly raft and unloaded from a log barge. Teakerne Arm, BC, August 1940.


Tokyo Olympics, The (George Merz, 1964)

"The Tokyo Olympics, 1964 takes us to Tokyo and the Olympic games and provides us with a ringside seat for the numerous events that composed this athletic activity. Bad weather cannot be helped in a work of this kind, but the results in this picture did not suffer because of any inclement weather. For cut-aways we see the Emperor of Japan in his box, the smiling faces of the Orientals in the audience, and even an occasional glimpse of the cold drink hustlers charging 50 yen for a bottle of Coca Cola" PSA Journal, Sept. 1965, 51.

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Tombs Of The Nobles, The (John V. Hansen, 1931)

"The Tombs Of The Nobles, 400 ft., 16mm., is distinguished both in its subject matter and technical triumph over seemingly insuperable photographic odds. In it Mr. Hansen has achieved a clear and valuable record of Egyptian art and history as he found them presented on the interior walls of countless Egyptian tombs. Only by a careful placing and manipulation of sheets and mirrors in the cramped space of each tomb was Mr. Hansen able to cast sufficient light from the doorways onto the hundreds of paintings which he photographed. The film's continuity has been planned and edited in a simple, documentary style, adapted for use as an informal lecture subject. Its technical accomplishment seems unparalleled in the annals of amateur filming and has been well employed in recording subject matter entirely different from the general amateur picture." Movie Makers, Dec. 1931, 658.

Watch: Excerpt of Hansen's award-winning film.


Topaz (Dave Tatsuno, 1945)

"Amateur film footage shot by Dave M. Tatsuno while he was interned at the Topaz War Relocation Center, the Japanese-American internment camp located in Delta, Utah. The footage dates from 1942-1945, the years that Tatsuno was interned in the camp." Archives West.

Watch: B&W version of Topaz with narration by Dave Tatsuno (0:00-46:14)


Touring Paris with Two Grandchildren (Robbins Barstow , 1992)

"In September 1992, Robbins Barstow and his wife Meg, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, USA, celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary by spending ten days visiting their son David and his family in Paris, France. Their two grandchildren, Geoffrey and Suzanna, showed them the sights of the city of lights, including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, Grand Opera House, and the Louvre." Archive.org

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


Transformation (John R. Kibar, 1960)

"An amateur film made by the husband and wife duo, John & Evelyn Kibar, about rock tumbling or lapidary work. It begins with the Kibars selecting stones on a Wisconsin beach followed by Mrs. S. Jerry crafting these collected stones into decorative items." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Tree Portraits (William M. Harlow, 1956)

'This film presents a revelation of the beauty and colorful activity of the trees of New York State. Beautiful time-lapse pictures show the emerging buds, leaves, and flowerings on the trees. The identifying features on tree branches, flowers, fruit, and bark are shown, utilizing time-lapse photography to show the moving detail," via SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Watch: Video via SUNY ESF


Trees: How to Know Them (William M. Harlow, 1970)

"This color film, released in partnership with the International Film Bureau Inc., presents the identifying features of trees as they change through the seasons. The bud and leaf scars of the deciduous broad-leaved trees are examined, as well as the distinguishing features of their bark. The cones and needles of the narrow-leaved evergreens are also described and compared. Extensive time-lapse photography shows the emergence of new leaves and flowers as spring arrives. Size, shape, and the arrangement of the buds and leaves on the twig are presented as ways of distinguishing and identifying trees, " via SUNY College of Environmental Science and Foresty.

Watch: Trees: How to Know Them via SUNY ESF


Tussle on the Trestle, The (Robert Davis)

"A man pulls over to repair a flat tire on his car and is quickly ambushed and robbed by a passerby. The victim regains consciousness and soonafter chases the robber up onto a train overpass where the two battle it out." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Two Paper Cups (, 1951)

"Under the able direction of Kenneth E. Carrier, ACL, a production unit of the Grand Rapids Amateur Movie Club has produced an engrossing film drama based on a short-short story from a Billy Rose column. Two Paper Cups begins as if it would tell the familiar tale of a bored husband plotting the murder of his wife for the love of that "other woman." But a double switch at the plot's end saves the life of the married woman and, with irony but without need, takes the life of the husband. Top notch photography, expert staging and lighting, good acting and skillful editing make this photoplay an outstanding example of cooperative filming at its best." Movie Makers, Dec. 1951, 410.

Watch: Two Paper Cups on YouTube


Typical Christmas . . . a Fable, A (Chris Cummings)

"This parody of a silent film was made for the El Paso Junior League to promote their Holiday Provisional Bash at the El Paso Club. Using black and white film and intertitles, the parody follows the Rich family’s Christmas morning where Rico Rich gives Rhonda Rich the same gift she gets every year - manure. When the couple attends the Jr. League Provisional Bash, a “Eureka!” moment occurs, providing the moral of the story: If you don’t want your husband to keep giving you that same old manure every Christmas . . . Come to the Provisional Bash” Texas Archive of the Moving Image.

Watch: via Texas Archive of the Moving Image


Une Noce a la Campagne (Ing. Tadeusz Jankowski, 1938)

The English language translation of the film is A Wedding in the Country.

Watch: Excerpt via YouTube


Vanishing Cream (, 1945)

A married couple is hosting another couple for dinner. Before the dinner, the husband gives his wife a container of "vanishing cream," which they both use believing it to be a skincare product. When the dinner guests arrive, people and pets that contact the cream vanish from sight.

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


Vermont State Guard In World War II (Harold Bailey, 1944)

"Filmed in color during the war years of 1941-1944, this silent film shows the Vermont State Guard holding muster at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds and at Camp Wills, which later became Camp Johnson in Colchester, Vermont. The film also shows a bond rally on the steps of the Statehouse in Montpelier, and maneuvers at the airfield in Berlin, Vermont, and at a camp in Moscow, Vermont. The State Guard began as Company H, 1st Regiment, Infantry in 1941 and was re-organized in 1943 as Company H, 2d Battalion. This film is an important documentation of the State Guard's early history and Vermont's home front activities during World War II. Although silent, intertitles are inserted with an explanation of the scenes to follow, as well as scrolling text of explanation at the beginning and end of the film." Vermont Historical Society.

Watch: via Archive.org


Virgin Islands, The (Robert Davis)

Travelogue exploring the history, sights, and people of the Virgin Islands.

Watch: via Chicago Film Archives


Vorkapich Home Movies (Slavko Vorkapich , 1940)

"Playful family montage by the experimental filmmaker who headed the USC School of Cinematic Arts from 1949 to 1951" centerforhomemovies.org

Watch: Slavko Vorkapich Home Movies


Walk with Me Beneath a Tree (Warren Thompson, 1965)

"A journey from bustling Chicago to the fall foliage and winter landscape of rural Wisconsin." Chicago Film Archives.

Watch: via Chicago Film Archives


We Are All Artists (Alon Bement, 1936)

"We Are All Artists, traces our experience of the aesthetic in the everyday; it begins by considering the related categories of beauty, art, and craftwork before moving on to suggest some of the many ways that modern art and design have made our world more beautiful. Offering a broad definition of art as any "skillful or purposeful endeavor," the film suggests that we are all artists to the extent that we exercise aesthetic judgement through a range of quotidian activities. The film presents a montage sequence showing a woman cleaning, men painting a wall, a letter being typed, and activities in gardening and pottery and then concludes by proposing that even "exercising the powers of selection" —as in purchasing a hat—makes use of some attributes of the artist" (Tepperman, 237-238).

Watch: We Are All Artists, 1936


Wealth of the Land (Arthur H. Smith , 1937)

Educational short film showing farming in California, and several mines and ghost towns in Nevada.

Watch: via Archive.org


Welcome San Francisco Movie Makers (Frank S. Zach, 1960)

"Welcome San Francisco Movie Makers opens with a montage of classic San Francisco sights, setting the backdrop for the first meeting of the San Francisco Movie Makers Club. After an introduction of the club’s members and its activities, filmmaker Dr. Frank S. Zach, along with his wife Helga, proceeds to demonstrate the proper use of 8mm and 16mm cameras and film sound recording techniques. Shot, scripted, edited, hand titled and over dubbed with music by Dr. Zach, this film seeks to encourage, teach, and recruit image makers." centerforhomemovies.org

Watch: via National Film Preservation Foundation


West Virginia, The State Beautiful (Ottis Rymer Snodgrass, 1929)

"West Virginia, the State Beautiful is organized as a series of scenic vignettes taken during an auto trip eastward on Route 60, known as the Midland Trail .... This route, first proposed by George Washington in 1783, had been upgraded for automobiles in the 1920s and is portrayed here as a source of civic pride. Rev. Snodgrass probably screened his 75-minute travel documentary for church and civic groups. The five excerpts included here begin with the start of the tour in the border town of Kenova, whose name is laid out in an intertitle (“KEN. O. VA.”) to drive home its derivation from the first letters of the states the town touches: Kentucky, Ohio, and (West) Virginia. In Huntington, Route 60 runs down busy Fifth Avenue and past the International Nickel Company, opened six years earlier and rightly labeled in the titles as the world’s largest nickel alloy plant. Farther east in the higher Appalachians are glimpses of sheer “LOVER’S LEAP” cliffs (before the Hawks Nest Dam was built in the 1930s) and lumber-industry trains geared for the steep hills. Rev. Snodgrass closes with a homemade sing-along slide for the state song, “The West Virginia Hills.”" —Scott Simmon

Watch: Five excerpts, totaling nine minutes, can be viewed online here (via www.filmpreservation.org).


Westward Whoa (Fred Strauss , 1948)

"Edited footage of western scenery on a road trip to Yellowstone Park. Includes scenes of camping and numerous landscapes, Mount Rushmore and the various grounds of Yellowstone with their hot springs and geysers." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Whalewatching Adventures in Baja California (Robbins Barstow , 1986)

"In January 1986, Dr. Robbins Barstow of Wethersfield, Connecticut, filmed a two-week cruise circumnavigating Mexico's Baja Peninsula. The trip included close encounters with seven different species of cetaceans -- Gray, Humpback, Bryde's, and Blue Whales, three kinds of dolphins, and giant elephant seals." Archive.org

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


What’s the Matter With Kids Today? (Robert Zemeckis, 1971)

"The film depicts a Boy Scout's walk through a rural setting. He's later joined by a group of children who follow him through meadows and corn fields." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


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