The Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today named 25 motion pictures that have been selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. These cinematic treasures represent important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking.
“Established by Congress in 1989, the National Film Registry spotlights the importance of preserving America’s unparalleled film heritage,” said Billington. “These films are not selected as the ‘best’ American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture. They reflect who we are as a people and as a nation.”
Spanning the period 1897-1999, the films named to the registry include Hollywood classics, documentaries, early films, and independent and experimental motion pictures. This year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 600.
The films include such movie classics as “Born Yesterday,” featuring Judy Holliday’s Academy Award-winning performance; and Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” starring Audrey Hepburn. Among the documentaries named to the registry are “The Times of Harvey Milk,” a revealing portrait of San Francisco’s first openly gay elected official; “One Survivor Remembers,” an Academy Award-winning documentary short about Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein; and Ellen Bruno’s documentary about the struggle of the Cambodian people to rebuild in the aftermath of Pol Pot’s killing fields.
Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the annual selections to the registry after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library film curators and the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB). The public is urged to make nominations for next year’s registry at the NFPB’s website.
For each title named to the registry, the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation works to ensure that the film is preserved for future generations, either through the Library’s motion picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion picture studios and independent filmmakers. The Packard Campus is a state-of-the-art facility where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings.
Films Selected to the 2012 National Film Registry
- 3:10 to Yuma (1957)
- Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
- The Augustas (1930s-1950s)
- Born Yesterday (1950)
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
- A Christmas Story (1983)
- The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight (1897)
- Dirty Harry (1971)
- Hours for Jerome: Parts 1 and 2 (1980-82)
- The Kidnappers Foil (1930s-1950s)
- Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests (1922)
- A League of Their Own (1992)
- The Matrix (1999)
- The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair (1939)
- One Survivor Remembers (1995)
- Parable (1964)
- Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia (1990)
- Slacker (1991)
- Sons of the Desert (1933)
- The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)
- They Call It Pro Football (1967)
- The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
- Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1914)
- The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England (1914)
Annotations About Each New Entry to the NFR Can Be Found Here