Out of the Vault and Onto the Film Registry’s List : Movies: Some of the Library of Congress’ newly selected classics and popular favorites will make a nationwide tour next September.


The Library of Congress on Tuesday added 25 movies to the National Film Registry, recognizing for posterity some of Hollywood’s best-known titles along with more obscure works by independent producers.

The 1951 classic, “American in Paris,” was placed on the list of films with enduring cultural significance. Other popular favorites added to the roster include 1943’s “Lassie Come Home,” 1974’s “The Godfather, Part II” and 1982 science-fiction thriller “Blade Runner” (both the original and the director’s cut), the most recent film chosen.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington also selected several titles known to few moviegoers, including a 58-minute film about life on the Texas-Mexico border called “Chulas Fronteras” from 1976, and a 13-minute art film, “Eaux D’Artifice,” from 1953.

Other choices were more familiar, such as the Marx Brothers’ 1935 comedy, “A Night at the Opera,” and two films that each won five Oscars: “It Happened One Night,” with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert (1937), and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” starring Jack Nicholson as a mental patient (1975).

The films, which must be more than 10 years old to be selected, were picked from a list of more than 900 movies proposed by the public, the National Film Preservation Board and officials of the Library of Congress.


“The films we choose are not necessarily the ‘best’ American films ever made, nor the most famous,” Billington said at a news conference. “But they are films that continue to have cultural, historical or aesthetic significance, and, just as importantly, represent many other films deserving of recognition.”

He said six to eight of the newly selected films will be sent on a nationwide tour starting next September that is expected to reach most of the 50 states.

“This traveling exhibition will allow the public to experience motion pictures as they were intended to be seen--projected before an audience on a large screen in a darkened room,” Billington said. “We will put into practice our firmly held belief that films, once preserved, must not be forever locked away in a remote vault or made available only on video or television screens.”

Tuesday’s additions bring to 125 the number of films in the National Registry, designed to preserve a broad range of American film-making.

These are the films: “An American in Paris” (1951); “Badlands” (1973); “The Black Pirate” (1926); “Blade Runner” (1982); “Cat People” (1942); “The Cheat” (1915); “Chulas Fronteras,” (1976); “Eaux D’Artifice” (1953); “The Godfather, Part II” (1974); “His Girl Friday” (1940); “It Happened One Night” (1934); “Lassie Come Home” (1943); “Magical Maestro” (1952); “March of Time-Inside Nazi Germany” (1938); “A Night at the Opera” (1935); “Nothing But a Man” (1964); “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975); “Point of Order” (1964); “Shadows” (1959); “Shane” (1953); “Sweet Smell of Success” (1957); “Touch of Evil” (1958); “Where Are My Children?” (1916); “The Wind” (1928); “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942).