Spanning the period between 1891-1996, the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress designated 25 new films to their film preservation catalog which includes the second STAR WARS film THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, the comedy AIRPLANE! and the horror film classic THE EXORCIST.
It was a very eclectic list that also included Spike Lee’s 1992 bio-pic MALCOLM X and the Robert Altman classic McCABE AND MRS. MILLER.
Not everything was obvious. Included in the mix were some shorts including the George Lucas directed ELECTRONIC LABYRINTH which was the precursor to his feature film THX-1138 and a two-minute 1913 short called PRESERVATION OF THE SIGN LANGUAGE.
“As the nation’s repository of American creativity, the Library of Congress—with the support of the U.S. Congress—must ensure the preservation of America’s film patrimony,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington in a press release today. “The National Film Registry is a reminder to the nation that the preservation of our cinematic creativity must be a priority because about half of the films produced before 1950 and as much as 90 percent of those made before 1920 have been lost to future generations.”
This year’s list brings the full total of films selected to 550.
1. Airplane (1980)
2. All the President’s Men (1976)
3. The Bargain (1914)
4. Cry of Jazz (1959)
5. Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB (1967)
6. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
7. The Exorcist (1973)
8. The Front Page (1931)
9. Grey Gardens (1976)
10. I Am Joaquin (1969)
11. It’s a Gift (1934)
12. Let There Be Light (1946)
13. Lonesome (1928)
14. Make Way For Tomorrow (1937)
15. Malcolm X (1992)
16. McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)
17. Newark Athlete (1891)
18. Our Lady of the Sphere (1969)
19. The Pink Panther (1964)
20. Preservation of the Sign Language (1913)
21. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
22. Study of a River (1996)
23. Tarantella (1940)
24. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
25. A Trip Down Market Street (1906)
Source: National Film Registry