25 Preservation List Grows: Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest,” George Lucas’ “American Graffiti” and other classics including “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Cabaret” were among 25 films honored Wednesday by the Library of Congress for their impact on American culture. The movies were added to the National Film Registry, a list Congress created in 1988 to celebrate American cinema and call attention to the need to preserve the nation’s film heritage. Other films added to the 175-movie list include “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” “All That Heaven Allows,” “The Band Wagon,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “El Norte,” “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” “Jammin’ the Blues,” the 1920 version of “The Last of the Mohicans,” “The Philadelphia Story” and “Stagecoach.” Librarian of Congress James Billington chose this year’s titles after reviewing about 1,100 films nominated by the public. To be listed on the registry, an American film must be at least 10 years old.
No Holiday Slump Here: “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” broke its own Shubert Theatre one-week box-office record during the week before Christmas with $1.27 million in ticket sales. The previous Shubert record had been set in April, a week after the musical’s opening, when $1.22 million worth of tickets sold. A spokesman attributed the recent figures to a successful holiday advertising campaign and said many buyers had purchased tickets as presents.
Mail ‘Em, Monroe: Marilyn Monroe graced the best-selling single special-issue postage stamp of 1995, with nationwide sales of 46.3 million units, the U.S. Postal Service reported on Wednesday. Still, the blond bombshell’s likeness couldn’t dethrone the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll--the 1993 Elvis Presley stamp still holds the sales record by a wide margin, having reached the 124-million mark. Among other 1995 bestsellers, a 10-stamp set on jazz musicians sold 30 million sets.
Born to Tour: Bruce Springsteen is getting ready to embark on the second leg of his solo acoustic tour, which opened at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre last month. The Boss said Tuesday that he will resume his tour of small theaters on Jan. 7 in Montreal, with subsequent January dates in Toronto; Detroit; Youngstown, Ohio; Cleveland; St. Louis; New Orleans; Houston; Austin; and Atlanta. Additional U.S. dates for early February are yet to be announced. Springsteen’s most extensive tour since 1992 will continue with European shows in late February, March and early April, followed by dates elsewhere continuing through the summer.
Films Narrated for Blind: Blockbuster Video in Woodland Hills is one of 10 Blockbuster stores nationwide to participate in a test program offering feature films and other videos with enhanced narration for visually impaired customers. The videos, provided by Descriptive Video Service, include narration describing the programs’ key visual elements--including action, subtitles, scene changes, graphics and body language. The program, the first by a national video chain, offers 16 titles, including “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Forrest Gump,” “The Godfather,” “Patriot Games,” “Hunt for Red October,” “The Joy Luck Club,” “Schindler’s List,” “The Sound of Music” and “Star Wars.”
Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa has branched into the aircraft business. He has designed seven interpretations of the rainbow that will be painted on 10 MD-90 aircraft ordered by Japan Air System for use in Japan. The first of the series, painted with long, bold, swirling strokes in the colors of the rainbow, was unveiled in Long Beach last week. . . . The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will examine the 25-year film career of actor Jeff Bridges in a retrospective featuring screenings on Fridays and Saturdays throughout January. Among the 16 films to be shown are “The Last Picture Show” (1971), “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” (1974), “The Fabulous Baker Boys” (1989), “The Fisher King” (1991) and “Fearless” (1993). . . . ABC News’ Ted Koppel will host the 54th Alfred I. du Pont/Columbia University Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism, which air on PBS Jan. 25. Presenters include CBS’ Lesley Stahl, PBS’ Charlie Rose, NBC’s Tim Russert, CNN’s Ralph Begleiter and NPR’s Daniel Schorr. . . . Actresses Kellie Martin and Patti LuPone, who starred together as mother and daughter for four years in the TV drama “Life Goes On,” reunite in the upcoming NBC movie “The Morning After,” which began production in Los Angeles this week. Martin plays a troubled teenager wrongly accused of the murder of her boyfriend; LuPone once again plays Martin’s mother.