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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A semidocumentary is a form of book, film, or television program presenting a fictional story that incorporates many factual details or actual events, or which is presented in a manner similar to a documentary. Stylistically, it has certain similarities to Italian Neorealism, such as the use of location shooting and employing non-actors in secondary roles. However, the viewer is not intended to mistake a semidocumentary for a real documentary; the fictional elements are too prominent.[1]

One of the first films of this kind was The House on 92nd Street (1945): Time used the term "semidocumentary" to describe this film in 1952.[2] The producer of the film had previously worked on newsreels which inspired the film-making style.

In the late 1940s, semidocumentary films were often associated with film noir thrillers, sharing a commitment to on-location shooting, gritty realism, and understated performances. Several of Richard Fleischer's films had semidocumentary qualities, as did the productions of Louis de Rochemont.[1]

In the 1960s and 1970s the semidocumentary style faded. The standard documentary had blurred the difference between itself and fiction so much that there was viewer confusion regarding what they were seeing.[1]

Some examples of movies that have elements of semidocumentary in their style:

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  • ✪ Forensic Detective Mystery Thriller Noir Movie - He Walked by Night (1948)
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  • ✪ Naked City S03E11 Ooftus Goofus
  • ✪ Naked City S03E06 The Tragic Success of Alfred Tiloff...with Jack Klugman
  • ✪ Naked City S04E21 Prime of Life...with Gene Hackman


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Romanski, Philippe; Sy-Wonyu, Aïssatou (2002). Trompe (-)l'oeil: Imitation & Falsification. Publications de l'Université de Rouen. 324. University of Le Havre Press. p. 343. ISBN 2877753344.
  2. ^,9171,816557,00.html
This page was last edited on 13 July 2020, at 21:48
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