Here Are 9 Great Documentaries To Add To Your Collection


December 20, 2016 —  This is a must-have collection of great documentaries you will want to get for any film-lover on your holiday list — or as a treat for yourself:

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Alex Gibney interviews 8 people who have left the Church of Scientology to reveal the workings of the highly secretive and controversial church, and to show how far its members will go in the name of their religion. The acclaimed film won three Emmy® Awards, a Peabody Award and a Writer’s Guild of America Award. The film is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Janis: Little Girl Blue. She was rock and roll’s original female superstar, with a voice that ranged from a wail to a growl, an electrifying stage presence and a love of hard-living. Her career lasted only a few years, but her influence is still felt. Janis: Little Girl Blue looks at Joplin in part through letters she wrote home to her parents — letters that have never before been made public. This film is available on Blu-ray and DVD. The Special Director’s Edition includes over 30 minutes of bonus features, including extended interviews with family, friends, musicians that Janis inspired, a musical performance by The Big Brother Guys and an exclusive look into the Walk of Fame Ceremony for Janis.

For the Love of Spock. Adam Nimoy, Leonard Nimoy’s son, directs a film that explores the 50-year legacy of Mr. Spock, the Star Trek character his father embodied, a character whose popularity continues to this day. Spock’s “other-ness” made him an outsider role model that was a comfort to many people who felt they, too were not mainstream. This award-winning documentary is available on DVD and Blu-ray. The Special Director’s Edition includes the official “For the Love of Spock” theatrical trailer, extras: Leonard Nimoy’s Boston, Kickstarter Gallery, Tribeca Panel, Trivia Time with Jason Alexander, On Set with the “Big Bang Theory,” Director Audio Commentary and Tribeca Teaser.

Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans. Steve McQueen was the top box office star in the world in 1970, and he decided to use that star-power to make a film that was important to him. He deeply loved the Le Mans car race, the 24 hour race that takes place through the streets of France. McQueen knew he wanted the most realistic car race footage possible, but wasn’t too sure what he wanted the plot of the movie to be — in fact, filming started without a completed script. The movie would cost him his marriage, friendships, a great deal of money and would constantly put the cast and crew in danger. But the uncompromising McQueen would not budge from his vision. Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans documents the making of the film that almost cost “The King of Cool” his career. This film is available in Blu-ray and DVD. The Blu-ray edition includes additional interviews with Steve McQueen’s friends, family and colleagues and an exclusive interview with three-time Le Mans Winner, Allan McNish.

Harry & Snowman. Harry deLeyer, a Dutch immigrant, arrived too late at a horse auction and the only animals left were rejects, already on a truck bound for the glue factory. He liked the look of a raggedy plow horse and bought it for $80. Within two years, the pair had won the Triple Crown of horse jumping, beating out expensive horses with massive pedigrees and wealthy blue blood owners. Snowman, as the horse was named by deLeyer’s children, would become a celebrity and would go one to have his own fan club. This award-winning documentary was a fan favorite throughout the festival circuit. This film is available on DVD and Blu-ray. The Special Director’s Edition DVD includes the official “Harry & Snowman” trailer and extras including interview with Olympian George Morris, interview with the legendary horseman Rodney Jenkins, interview with Harry deLeyer, exclusive interview with director Ron Davis and Harriet deLeyer, and “The Story of Olympic Jumper Sinjon.”

Silicon Cowboys. In the 1980s, three friends sketched out their ideas for a portable computer on a napkin in a Texas diner. Within a few years their computer was beating out IBM, which at that time was the world-leader in personal computers. They would change the world of computing and leave their mark on the world. This film is available on DVD and Blu-ray. The Special Director’s Edition includes the official Silicon Cowboys trailer and extras including “Man on the Street.”

Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of. The biggest boy band in the world allowed unprecedented access to the filmmakers for two years as they prepared for their 20th century re-launch record and tour. Detailing their entire career, Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What Your Made Of  contains personal footage of band members Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean and Kevin Scott Richardson, showcasing their lives and their music. This film is available on Blu-ray and DVD. The Special Blu-ray edition contains  extras including bloopers, deleted scenes of a trip to AJ’s childhood home, a visit with Kevin’s high school drama teacher and a behind-the-scenes rehearsal of “Madeleine,” a song from their new album.

All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records. Chronicling the incredible success and precipitous fall of everyone’s favorite music store. Includes interviews with music legends Elton John, Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen. This film is available on DVD and Blu-ray. This version includes 
deleted scenes and additional interviews — from the legal battle to preserve the old Tower Records location, to a history of its famous marketing murals on Sunset Blvd.
Tab Hunter Confidential. He was one of Hollywood’s last golden boys, a hunky movie heartthrob and singing sensation who became one of the biggest stars of his time. But what the public did not know was that Hunter was gay — and if his secret had gotten out, it could have destroyed his career. After years living in fear that the public would discover his sexuality, the actor has outed himself — and this is his story. This film is available on DVD and Blu-ray. This version includes the official “Tab Hunter Confidential” trailer and exclusive bonus interviews.

So many films, for so many tastes.

Find the documentaries that suit your interests.
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