Angels Over Broadway Vs Hell to Eternity

Comparison of a pre-1950s documentary with a post-1960s documentary

In the entire history of film making, producers have always ensured that documentary films entailed/included a wide range of visual expression. The main purpose of this visual expression was founded on their intention in various fashions to document reality. This paper presents a comparison of a pre-1950s documentary with a post-1960s documentary. This paper; therefore, focuses on two different documentaries: the first one is “Angels Over Broadway” produced in 1940s and “Hell to Eternity” produced in 1960s (Aitken 43).

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“Angles Over Broadway” was produced and directed by Lee Garmes and Ben Hecht. They featured Thomas Mitchell, Rita Hayworth and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr in which the genre was drama (Aitken. 43). On the other hand, Phil Karlson was the producer and director of “Hell to Eternity” in which he featured Vic Damone, David Janssen and Jeffrey Hunter (Aitken 57). The main genre of this documentary was war. The initial reference of documentary film was movies, which artists shot to comprise film stock; however, a lot of changes have occurred over time leading to expansion into digital and video productions, which either can be aired as television series or produced specifically for video purposes.

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Most pre-1950s documentaries were single shot instants that artists captured and recorded on films. They included instances such as a group of people moving from work in the evening, a boat or ship docking, or a train or a bus entering or leaving station. Grant (37) further insists that such documentaries were overwhelmed by the innovation of covering and presenting an event as listed earlier in this paragraph. These instances featured mostly around the turn of the Century where there was no much storytelling in documentaries owing to technological limitations (Grant 55).

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This emphasized actuality in films leading to them being short in terms of their runtime. This emphasizes the fact that prior to 1950s; most filmmakers in their documentaries recorded footage silently, but incorporated post-synchronized melodies or music and voice commentary during the assembling stage (Grant 63). There was regular use of newsreel tradition, which most filmmakers found necessary to embrace in their documentary films (McClane 48). Most of them were representations of already passed events. For instance, where the documentary entailed battle footage, the camera person would reach the site after the event and would start re-enacting the scenes in order to film them (McClane 57).

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