Prince and ‘Purple Rain’ are now part of the National Film Registry


Thanks to Prince and Mozart, the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry officially rocks.

The library has added 25 movies to its catalog, including Prince’s “Purple Rain” and the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart biopic “Amadeus.” This year’s additions, released Wednesday, also feature Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” and Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.”

“Purple Rain,” based on Prince and the Revolution’s album of the same name, starred the music icon in his big-screen debut as “The Kid,” a character loosely based on Prince himself. Directed by Albert Magnoli, the 1984 film was a smash hit, cleaning up at the box office and scoring an Oscar for Prince’s original score. The film’s multiplatinum soundtrack was also previously named to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.


“I am deeply honored that ‘Purple Rain’ has been selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry in 2019,” Magnoli said in a statement. “All of us strived to create a film that would capture the attention of what we believed at the time was a small audience. None of us expected this longevity. We simply worked hard every day to get it right, and this honor is a testament to the music, story and characters that were created by all of us so many years ago.”

Also released in 1984, “Amadeus,” directed by Milos Forman and starring Tom Hulce, nabbed eight Oscars in 1985, for actor, director, adapted screenplay, costume design, makeup, best picture and art direction.

“When ‘Amadeus’ was released, Milos Forman, Peter Shaffer and the Saul Zaentz Company received hundreds of letters from parents who had to drag their teenage children to the theater, and after the movie their children demanded to go to a record store to purchase recordings of Mozart’s music,” said producer Paul Zaentz.

The new slate also spotlights seven projects directed by women, including Greta Schiller’s groundbreaking LGBTQ documentary “Before Stonewall,” Patricia Cardoso’s working-class drama “Real Women Have Curves” and Kimberly Peirce’s drama “Boys Don’t Cry,” starring Hilary Swank in her Oscar-winning turn as transgender man Brandon Teena.

“Twenty years later, it still feels like a miracle that ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ got made,” Peirce said. “I fell in love with Brandon Teena and his desire to live and love as himself in a time and place where that was impossible ... To our amazement, the world embraced Brandon. It is meaningful to me as a filmmaker, a genderqueer and as a person that the Library of Congress has recognized ‘Boys Don’t Cry.’ This moment is a culmination, unimaginable and wonderful.”


In 1989, Congress established the National Film Registry to promote the preservation of American cinematic history. A film must be at least 10 years old and deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by Congress in order to be inducted. All genres are welcome, from animated projects and documentaries to newsreels and home movies.

The registry’s class of 2019 features a mix of blockbusters, documentaries, silent movies, animation and independent films. Here’s a full list of this year’s additions.

  • “Amadeus” (1984)
  • “Becky Sharp” (1935)
  • “Before Stonewall” (1984)
  • “Body and Soul” (1925)
  • “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999)
  • “Clerks” (1994)
  • “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1980)
  • “Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island” (1903)
  • “Employees Entrance” (1933)
  • “Fog of War” (2003)
  • “Gaslight” (1944)
  • “George Washington Carver at Tuskegee Institute” (1937)
  • “Girlfriends” (1978)
  • “I Am Somebody” (1970)
  • “The Last Waltz” (1978)
  • “My Name Is Oona” (1969)
  • “A New Leaf” (1971)
  • “Old Yeller” (1957)
  • “The Phenix City Story” (1955)
  • “Platoon” (1986)
  • “Purple Rain” (1984)
  • “Real Women Have Curves” (2002)
  • “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986)
  • “Sleeping Beauty” (1959)
  • “Zoot Suit” (1981)