Best Documentaries About Film/Film Icons

by MBroskie | created - 15 Nov 2018 | updated - 27 Dec 2018 | Public

In progress & no particular order 11/14

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1. American Movie (1999)

R | 107 min | Documentary, Comedy

84 Metascore

Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.

Director: Chris Smith | Stars: Mark Borchardt, Mike Schank, Tom Schimmels, Monica Borchardt

Votes: 16,137 | Gross: $1.16M

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: 5,882

3. They'll Love Me When I'm Dead (2018)

TV-MA | 98 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

In the final fifteen years of the life of legendary director Orson Welles he pins his Hollywood comeback hopes on a film, The Other Side of the Wind, in itself a film about an aging film director trying to finish his last great movie.

Director: Morgan Neville | Stars: Alan Cumming, Peter Bogdanovich, Oja Kodar, Orson Welles

Votes: 3,553

4. Overnight (2003)

R | 82 min | Documentary

60 Metascore

A documentary on the rise and stumble of Troy Duffy, the bartender-cum-filmmaker who was swept up by Miramax's Harvey Weinstein to turn his script for The Boondock Saints into a feature film.

Directors: Tony Montana, Mark Brian Smith | Stars: Troy Duffy, Jeffrey Baxter, Chris Brinker, Jake Busey

Votes: 4,057

5. His Way (2011 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary

A look at the professional, political and personal life of legendary movie producer Jerry Weintraub featuring interviews with friends, family and colleagues.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Ellen Barkin, Barbara Bush, George Bush, James Caan

Votes: 370

6. Listen to Me Marlon (2015)

Unrated | 103 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

A documentary that utilizes hundreds of hours of audio that Marlon Brando recorded over the course of his life to tell the screen legend's story.

Director: Stevan Riley | Stars: Marlon Brando, Stella Adler, Bernardo Bertolucci, Michael Borne

Votes: 6,573 | Gross: $0.43M

7. Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau (2014)

Not Rated | 97 min | Documentary, Adventure

A behind the scenes chronicle of how clash of vision, bad creative decisions, lack of interest and really bad weather plagued the disastrous production of the infamous The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996).

Director: David Gregory | Stars: Richard Stanley, Kier-La Janisse, Michael Gingold, Graham Humphreys

Votes: 2,957

8. Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles (2014)

PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Biography

67 Metascore

A look at the life and work of the great theatre, radio and film artist.

Director: Chuck Workman | Stars: Orson Welles, Simon Callow, Christopher Welles, Joanne Hill Styles

Votes: 814 | Gross: $0.02M

9. Filmworker (2017)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary, Biography

73 Metascore

A documentary about how English actor Leon Vitali came to work as an assistant to American filmmaker Stanley Kubrick for over 30 years.

Director: Tony Zierra | Stars: Leon Vitali, Ryan O'Neal, Brian Capron, Mike Alfreds

Votes: 2,126 | Gross: $0.10M

10. Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009)

PG | 86 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

The story of the Disney Renaissance, an incredibly prolific, successful and prestigious decade lasting from 1984 to 1994 that saw the fallen Walt Disney Animation Studios' unexpected progressive triumphant return to excellence.

Director: Don Hahn | Stars: Roy Edward Disney, John Lasseter, Michael Eisner, Don Hahn

Votes: 2,228 | Gross: $0.08M

11. S Is for Stanley (2015)

78 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

S Is For Stanley is the story of Emilio D'Alessandro, Stanley Kubrick's personal driver. A Friendship that lasted through 30 years of their lives, helped create four cinema masterpieces, ... See full summary »

Director: Alex Infascelli | Stars: Emilio D'Alessandro, Alex Infascelli, Roberto Pedicini, Clive Riche

Votes: 743

12. The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened? (2015)

Not Rated | 104 min | Documentary

A documentary about the proposed 1998 Superman Lives feature film that would have starred Nicolas Cage.

Director: Jon Schnepp | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Tim Burton, Kevin Smith, Dan Gilroy

Votes: 4,095

13. Lost in La Mancha (2002)

R | 89 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

Terry Gilliam's doomed attempt to get his film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018), off the ground.

Directors: Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe | Stars: Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp, Jeff Bridges, Tony Grisoni

Votes: 10,863 | Gross: $0.73M

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

48 min | Documentary, Biography, History

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: 1,083

15. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)

R | 96 min | Documentary

Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.

Directors: Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, Eleanor Coppola | Stars: Dennis Hopper, Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, George Lucas

Votes: 17,459 | Gross: $1.32M

16. The Director and the Jedi (2018)

95 min | Documentary

An intimate documentary delving into Rian Johnson's process as he comes in as a director new to the Star Wars universe.

Director: Anthony Wonke | Stars: Ram Bergman, John Boyega, Dave Chapman, Jamie Christopher

Votes: 823

17. Tales from the Script (2009)

Not Rated | 105 min | Documentary

War stories and life lessons from the industry's top writers.

Director: Peter Hanson | Stars: Allison Anders, Jane Anderson, Doug Atchison, John August

Votes: 1,408 | Gross: $0.01M

18. Becoming Mike Nichols (2016)

TV-14 | 72 min | Documentary

69 Metascore

Filmmaker Mike Nichols sits down with theater director Jack O'Brien to discuss his personal life and professional work.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Mike Nichols, Jack O'Brien

Votes: 341

19. The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (2018 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 259 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

Judd Apatow presents an emotional two-part in-depth look at the life, career and complex internal struggles of his loving mentor, the influential stand-up comedian and actor Garry Shandling, based on Shandling's personal diaries.

Director: Judd Apatow | Stars: Garry Shandling, Judd Apatow, Kevin Nealon, Mike Shandling

Votes: 1,358

20. De Palma (2015)

R | 110 min | Documentary, Biography

83 Metascore

A documentary about writer and director Brian De Palma.

Directors: Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow | Star: Brian De Palma

Votes: 4,375 | Gross: $0.16M

21. Becoming Bond (2017)

TV-MA | 95 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

65 Metascore

The stranger-than-fiction true story of George Lazenby, a poor Australian car mechanic who, through an unbelievable set of circumstances, landed the role of James Bond in On Her Majesty's ... See full summary »

Director: Josh Greenbaum | Stars: George Lazenby, Josh Lawson, Kassandra Clementi, Jane Seymour

Votes: 1,992

22. Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017)

TV-MA | 94 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

A behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Carrey adopted the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman on the set of Man on the Moon (1999).

Director: Chris Smith | Stars: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Milos Forman, Peter Bonerz

Votes: 20,554

23. Becoming Cary Grant (2017)

TV-PG | 85 min | Documentary, Biography

For the first time one of Hollywood's greatest stars tells his own story, in his own words. From a childhood of poverty to global fame, Cary Grant, the ultimate self-made star, explores his own screen image and what it took to create it.

Director: Mark Kidel | Stars: Mark Kidel, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Judy Balaban

Votes: 752

24. Jodorowsky's Dune (2013)

PG-13 | 90 min | Documentary

79 Metascore

The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.

Director: Frank Pavich | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger, Chris Foss

Votes: 19,741 | Gross: $0.65M

25. Full Tilt Boogie (1997)

R | 97 min | Documentary

A documentary about the production of From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and the people who made it.

Director: Sarah Kelly | Stars: Rick Stribling, Ken Bondy, Amy Minda Cohen, Elizabeth Avellan

Votes: 2,539 | Gross: $0.01M

26. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (2015)

Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary, History

74 Metascore

A look at the history of the American comedy publication and production company, National Lampoon, from its beginning in the 1970s to 2010, featuring rare and never-before-seen footage.

Director: Douglas Tirola | Stars: Danny Abelson, Judd Apatow, Kevin Bacon, Henry Beard

Votes: 1,993 | Gross: $0.06M

27. Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014)

R | 106 min | Documentary, Biography, History

The history of the independent film company, The Cannon Film Group, Inc..

Director: Mark Hartley | Stars: Sam Firstenberg, David Paulsen, Luigi Cozzi, Menahem Golan

Votes: 4,787

28. Project Greenlight (2001–2015)

TV-MA | 453 min | Reality-TV

The second season of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's movie making reality series goes a different route when it's two professionals realizing their vision on screen instead of just one: writer and director.

Stars: Chris Moore, Jeff Balis, Ben Affleck, Pete Jones

Votes: 761

29. The Chair (2014– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary

"The Chair", created by Project Greenlight executive producer Chris Moore. The competition documentary series follows two directors through the process of bringing their first feature to ... See full summary »

Stars: Julie Buck, Shane Dawson, Neal Dodson, Josh Hetzler

Votes: 461



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