×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

National Film Registry adds 25 pix to archive

List includes 'Raiders,' WB cartoon

“Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Roman Holiday” and “The Wild Bunch” are among 25 films to be added to the National Film Registry, where they will be preserved for all time.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington released the latest list Tuesday, saying the 275 motion pictures now in the registry represent “a stunning range of American filmmaking.”

The oldest film on the new roster is the silent, black-and-white “The Kiss,” released in 1896 by Edison Manufacturing Co. with a cast of just two names, May Irwin and John Rice. No running time is listed; instead, it is said to be “50 feet” in length.

“Right” pic

The most recent is Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” (1989), from Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks/Universal, with Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

Other films on the list include the seven-minute, Warner Bros. cartoon “Duck Amuck” (1953), directed by Chuck Jones, with Mel Blanc performing the voices for Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny; Josef von Sternberg’s “The Docks of New York” (1928), from Famous Players Lasky/Paramount, with George Bancroft and Betty Compson; and George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (1968), from Image Ten/Continental, with Judith O’Dea and Russell Streiner.

Big-hit choices include Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders” (1981), from Paramount, with Harrison Ford and Karen Allen; William Wyler’s “Roman Holiday” (1953), also from Paramount, with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn; and “Wild Bunch” (1969), from Warner Bros./Seven Arts, directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine and Edmond O’Brien.

Reflecting film heritage

Under the National Film Preservation Act, the Librarian of Congress each year names 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant movies to the registry.

The list includes Hollywood features, documentaries, avant-garde and amateur productions, films of regional interest, and ethnic, animated, and short film subjects.

Urgent effort

The effort to preserve the films is also guided by urgency. Fewer than 20% of U.S. feature films from the 1920s survive in complete form. Of the American features produced before 1950, only half survive.

“For shorts, documentaries, and independently produced works, we have no way of knowing how much has been lost,” the Film Preservation Board says on its Web site.

This year’s titles were chosen after the librarian evaluated more than 1,000 movies nominated by the public.

Commitment needed

“Sadly, our enthusiasm for watching films has proved far greater than our commitment to preserving them,” Billington said. “And, ominously, more films are lost each year — through the ravages of nitrate deterioration, color-fading and the recently discovered ‘vinegar syndrome,’ which threatens the acetate-based film stock on which the vast majority of motion pictures, past and present, have been preserved.”

Once in the registry, films are safeguarded either through the Library of Congress’ motion picture preservation unit in Dayton, Ohio, or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion picture studios or independent filmmakers.

The Library of Congress contains the largest collections of film and television in the world, from the earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture to the latest feature releases.

This year’s list

Remaining films on the new list include: “Civilization” (1916), dir. Thomas Ince, with Herschel Mayall, Lola May; “The Emperor Jones” (1933), dir. Dudley Murphy, with Paul Robeson, Dudley Digges; “Gunga Din” (1939), dir. George Stevens, with Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.; “In the Land of the Head-Hunters” (aka. “In the Land of the War Canoes”) (1914), dir. Edward S. Curtis; “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” (1959), dir. Bert Stern, with Jimmy Giuffre Trio, Thelonious Monk, Chuck Berry; “King: A Filmed Record … Montgomery to Memphis” (1970), directors Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with narrators Paul Newman, James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster; “Kiss Me Deadly” (1955), dir. Robert Aldrich, with Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker; “Lambchops” (1929), with George Burns, Gracie Allen; “Laura” (1944), dir. Otto Preminger, with Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Vincent Price; “Master Hands” (1936), cinematographer Gordon Avil’s documentary filmed at the Chevrolet plants in Flint, Mich.; “My Man Godfrey” (1936), dir. Gregory La Cava, with William Powell, Carole Lombard; and “The Plow That Broke the Plains” (1936), dir. Pare Lorentz;

“The Shop Around the Corner” (1940), dir. Ernst Lubitsch, with Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart; “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951), dir. Elia Kazan, with Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando; “The Ten Commandments” (1956), dir. Cecil B. DeMille, with Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner; “Trance and Dance in Bali” (1939), Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead’s anthropological footage of a Balinese ceremonial dance; and “Woman of the Year” (1942), dir. George Stevens, with Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn.

For a list of National Film Registry inductees and their credits, click here.

More Film

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, with $135 million of that from China, where it opened on [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

  • Tomasz Kot UTA

    UTA Signs ‘Cold War’ Star Tomasz Kot (EXCLUSIVE)

    UTA has signed “Cold War” star Tomasz Kot. He has appeared in more than 30 films and 26 plays as well as dozens of television series. Most recently, Kot has received award-season buzz for his starring role as Wiktor in Pawel Pawlikowski’s feature “Cold War” for Amazon. The project has earned him a nomination for [...]

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content