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National Film Registry 2005

Library of Congress Press Release

Films Selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress - 2005

1) Baby Face (1933)
2) The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man (1975)
3) The Cameraman (1928)
4) Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort South Carolina, May 1940 (1940)
5) Cool Hand Luke (1967)
6) Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
7) The French Connection (1971)
8) Giant (1956)
9) H2O (1929)
10) Hands Up (1926)
11) Hoop Dreams (1994)
12) House of Usher (1960)
13) Imitation of Life (1934)
14) Jeffries-Johnson World's Championship Boxing Contest (1910)
15) Making of an American (1920)
16) Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
17) Mom and Dad (1944)
18) The Music Man (1962)
19) Power of the Press (1928)
20) A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
21) The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
22) San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, April 18, 1906 (1906)
23) The Sting (1973)
24) A Time for Burning (1966)
25) Toy Story (1995)

12/27/2005

Baby Face (1933)
Smart and sultry Barbara Stanwyck uses her feminine wiles to scale the corporate ladder, amassing male admirers who are only too willing to help a poor working girl. One of the more notorious melodramas of the pre-Code era, a period when the movie industry relaxed its censorship standards. This relative freedom resulted in a cycle of gritty, audacious films that resonated with Depression-battered audiences. Films such as Baby Face led to the imposition of the Production Code in 1934.

The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man (1975)
This powerful documentary by the Kentucky-based arts and education center Appalshop represents the finest in regional film-making, providing important understanding of the environmental and cultural history of the Appalachian region. The 1972 Buffalo Creek Flood Disaster, caused by the failure of a coal-waste dam, killed more than 100 people and left thousands in West Virginia homeless. Local citizens invited Appalshop to come to the area and make a film of the historical record, fearing that the Pittston Coal Company's powerful influence in the state would lead to a whitewash investigation and absolve it of any corporate culpability (indeed the Company maintained the flood was simply "an Act of God"). Newsweek hailed the film as "a devastating expose of the collusion between state officials and coal executives." The Cameraman (1928)
This film sadly marked the last of Buster Keaton's sublime comedy classics. Here Keaton is an aspiring newsreel cameraman out to win the heart of Marceline Day. A seamless, ingenious blend of comedy and pathos, featuring countless creative sight gags.

Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort South Carolina, May 1940 (1940)
A set of field recordings made by a pioneering ethnographic film team led by acclaimed author (and innovative anthropologist/folklorist) Zora Neale Hurston, Jane Belo and others. Amazing footage, especially worthy of recognition since synchronous sound recordings were made, capturing singing, instrumental music, sermons, and religious services among this South Carolina Gullah community. These audio recordings have recently been rediscovered and are being reunited with the film footage. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Paul Newman in a classic loner, anti-hero role of the chain-gang prisoner who refuses to give in to the attempts of guards to crack him: "What we've got here is a failure to communicate." The legendary egg-eating scene is certain to raise cholesterol levels in any viewer.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Considered by many as arguably the finest teen comedy of recent decades, this Amy Heckerling 1980s cultural film icon combines a tender, compassionate treatment of adolescence with hilarious performances. The script was based on 22-year old Rolling Stone writer (and later film director) Cameron Crowe's spending nine months undercover as a student at San Diego's Clairemont High School (As Crowe noted wittily: "I dated lightly during that time. My agent told me there was a morals clause in my contract and I believed him.")
The cast contains an appealing mix of soon-to-be-famous young talent (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold)
spending serious time at the Mall ("You're the one who told me I was going to get a boyfriend at the Mall.") and working in fast-food restaurants ("I shall serve no fries before their time.") Most memorable is Sean Penn who steals the show as the spaced-out, ultimate surfer-dude Jeff Spicoli ("This is U.S. History, I see the Globe right there.")

The French Connection (1971)
Maverick cop thriller which reinvented car chases and the way to shoot New York City (cinematography by Owen Roizman). Features gripping action scenes and a career-making performance from intense, bend-the-rules- when-necessary cop Gene Hackman as Popeye Doyle.

Giant (1956)
A monumental "event" film, from the era when Hollywood made truly "BIG" pictures. George Stevens and a memorable cast (Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean) bring Edna Ferber's epic sprawling novel of the Texas plains to life with panoramic visual style and memorable small touches. Over 3 hours long, but one of the top films from the 1950s and a breathtaking example of the American film as spectacle.

H2O (1929)
Renowned experimental film by Ralph Steiner, who later served as cameraman and/or director on documentary classics such as The City and The Plow that Broke the Plains. H2O is a cinematic tone poem to water in all its forms, using lovely images and editing techniques of movement, shading and texture to produce striking visual effects. Hands Up (1926)
As a comic actor, Raymond Griffith was worlds away from the frantic, rubber?faced funnymen who stereotypically appeared in silent films. An easy elegance was his stock?in?trade: when Mr. Griffith performed a gag, he executed it with understatement and panache. In the Civil War saga Hands Up, Griffith is not only an amusingly intrepid Confederate spy, but also an endearing romantic figure with two young women vying for his attentions.

Hoop Dreams (1994)
This groundbreaking, multi-year account of two inner-city Chicago kids trying to win college basketball scholarships provides an intimate and comprehensive account of the life and limited options of lower class black families in America.

House of Usher (1960)
The talents of Vincent Price, writer Richard Matheson, director Roger Corman, and the legacy of Edgar Allan Poe combined in the first of American International Pictures's series of films that dominated horror on the screen in the 1960s. Despite shooting schedules that rarely ran more than three weeks or budgets over $500,000, the AIP Price-Corman-Matheson-Poe series offered elegant, literary adaptations and luminous decor and color photography that established a new standard for screen horror. Corman's prodigious output includes over 50 films directed and over 300 produced. His films helped launch the careers of a galaxy of Hollywood talent including Jack Nicholson, Robert DeNiro, Dennis Hopper, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard and James Cameron.

Imitation of Life (1934)
One of American cinema's most famous example of the " woman's picture," melodramas which focused on the emotions, problems and concerns of women. This John Stahl film adaptation of Fannie Hurst's novel has an innovative ahead of its time theme involving a white widow (Claudette Colbert) who starts a business partnership with her African-American maid (Louise Beavers), and is arguably the first Hollywood studio film to treat African-American characters in a dignified fashion with richly-developed roles, and not merely comics or entertainers.

Jeffries-Johnson World's Championship Boxing Contest (1910)
A signal moment in American race relations, this recording of the July 4th heavyweight title fight between champion Jack Johnson and former champion James J. Jeffries became the most widely discussed and written about motion picture made before 1915's The Birth of a Nation. Several of the leading American production-distribution companies (all MPPC members) pooled their resources to shoot the film for the one-off J. & J. Co. An intense discourse on racial identity engulfed press coverage of "white hope" Jeffries's attempt to unseat the first African-American heavyweight champion. In A Hard Road to Glory: A History of African-American Athletes (1988), Arthur Ashe concurs with other historians that Johnson's defeat of Jeffries was, for black America, nothing less than the most important event since Emancipation. The feature-length motion-picture recording of Johnson's victory remained the subject of debate and press coverage for two years. The $100,000 production was widely exhibited internationally, but also often censored. Congress took up a bill to ban the traffic prizefight pictures in 1910, ultimately making it a federal crime from 1912 until 1940.

Making of an American (1920)
Produced by the State of Connecticut, this silent short is a sincere, dramatically effective public education film aimed at persuading immigrants to learn English. The drama's protagonist is an Italian laborer who attends night school and with his newly-acquired English skills obtains a better job. The film's intertitles address the audience in English, Italian and Polish. Unlike so many artifacts from the post-WWI "Americanization" movement, this film avoids ugly stereotyping or xenophobic tone and a telling example both of regional film-making and the "sponsored film."

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Beloved, timeless fantasy classic of a man who goes to court to prove he is Santa Claus and keep the holiday from becoming too commercial.

Mom and Dad (1944)
The most successful exploitation film of all time, a low-budget but relentlessly promoted, socially significant film which amazingly finished as the 3rd highest grossing film during the 1940s. Producer/promoter Kroger Babb made tens of millions of dollars with this $62,000 sex-hygiene exploitation film. He produced some 300 prints of this feature drama and roadshowed it for more than a decade, each print traveling with a lecturer (and two nurses) who promoted Mom and Dad's "educational" value, always a step ahead of the censors. Time Magazine dryly noted that Mom and Dad "left only the livestock unaware of the chance to learn the facts of life."

The Music Man (1962)
A touchstone film in the "Small Town America" film genre, this film adaptation of Meredith Willson's dramatic paean to Iowa and the Midwest is Americana at its finest. Con-man extraordinaire Harold Hill (Robert Preston) brings his revolutionary " think system" to the sleepy little town of River City, Iowa, and his charismatic magnetism to the attention of town misfit and repressed librarian Shirley Jones. Preston's pulsating energy and classic musical numbers ("Trouble," "76 Trombones,") make the film's charms well-nigh irresistible.

Power of the Press (1928)
Frank Capra made so many world?renowned classics in the sound era that we tend to overlook his impressive and fascinating work from the 1920s. This dexterous newspaper yarn features Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as a reporter investigating a murder. When he discovers rampant political chicanery afoot, what's a clever young Capra hero to do? Expose the corruption, of course, and set his hometown to rights.

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
Model film adaptation of Lorraine Hansbury's classic play about a black lower middle class family. The legendary cast is a veritable who's who of the Civil Rights era: Sidney Poiter, Claudia McNeil and Ruby Dee.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The penultimate "midnight movie," Rocky Horror revolutionized prevailing notions of audience participation during film screenings. Words to remember: "It's astounding, time is fleeting, madness takes its toll."

San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, April 18, 1906 (1906)
Documentary landmark with footage depicting one of the most horrific American natural disasters.

The Sting (1973)
Classic Newman and Redford con-game crime caper, which also sparked a national resurgence of interest in Scott Joplin's ragtime music used for the score ("The Entertainer," among other tunes). Brilliant, evocative recreation of Depression-era Chicago.

A Time for Burning (1966)
Hailed by Fred Friendly as "the best civil rights film ever made," this cinema verite documentary by Bill Jersey chronicles the ultimately unsuccessful attempts of a Nebraska Lutheran minister to integrate his church. Contains some of the best observational "fly on the wall" footage ever filmed, filled with incisive scenes showing people struggling with their prejudices, anger, disillusionment, changing social times and hopes for the future.

Toy Story (1995)
Changed animation's face and delivery system. The first full-length animated feature to be created entirely by artists using computer tools and technology. Andy's current toys have to learn to live with his new fave playmate, "to infinity and beyond," galactic superhero Buzz Lightyear.


12/27/05

Credits for Films Selected to the 2005 National Film Registry of the Library of Congress

[Note: Credits are provided for informational purposes only and in no way meant to be definitive or comprehensive]

1) Baby Face (Warner Bros., 1933) 75 minutes, b&w

Director: Alfred E. Green Screenplay: Gene Markey and Kathryn Scola, based on a story by Mark Canfield Cinematographer: James Van Trees, A.S.C. Music/Lyrics: Harry Akst, Benny Davis and W.C. Handy Editor: Howard Bretherton Art Direction: Anton Grot

Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook, Alphonse Ethier, Henry Kolker, Margaret Lindsay, Arthur Hohl, John Wayne, Robert Barrat, Douglas Dumbrille, Theresa Harris

2) Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man (Appalshop, 1975)
40 minutes, b&w

Director: Mimi Pickering

3) The Cameraman (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1928) Silent, b&w, 69 minutes

Director: Buster Keaton Producer: Edward Sedgwick Scenario: Richard Schayer, based on a story by Clyde Bruckman and Lew Lipton. Titles: Joseph Farnham Cinematographers: Elgin Lessley and Reggie Lanning Editor: Hugh Wynn or Basil Wrangell

Cast: Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harry Gribbon, Harold Goodwin and Sidney Bracy

4) Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort, South Carolina, May, 1940 42 minutes, silent with separate sound, b&w

Onsite project director: Zora Neale Hurston Project Organizer: Jane Belo Cinematographers: Lou Brandt and Bob Lawrence

5) Cool Hand Luke (Jalem Prod./Warner Bros.-Seven Arts)
126 minutes, Technicolor

Producer: Gordon Carroll Director: Stuart Rosenberg Screenplay: Donn Pearce and Frank R. Pierson, based on a novel by Pearce Cinematographer: Conrad Hall, A.S.C. Editor: Sam O'Steen Music: Lalo Schifrin

Cast: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. Cannon, Lou Antonio, Robert Drivas, Strother Martin, Jo Van Fleet, Clifton James, Morgan Woodward, Luke Askew, Marc Cavell, Richard Davalos, Robert Donner, Warren Finnerty, Dennis Hopper, John McLiam, Wayne Rogers, Harry Dean Stanton, Charles Tyner, Ralph Waite

6) Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Universal, 1982)
92 minutes, color

Producer: Art Linson and Irving Azoff Director: Amy Heckerling Writer: Cameron Crowe, based on his book Cinematographer: Matthew R. Leonetti, A.S.C. Editor: Eric Jenkins Music: Joe Walsh

Cast: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer, Phoebe Cates, Ray Walston, Scott Thomson, Vincent Schiavelli, Amanda Wyss

7) The French Connection (20th Century-Fox, 1971)
104 minutes, color

Producer: Philip D'Antoni Director: William Friedkin Screenplay: Ernest Tidyman, based on the book by Robin Moore Cinematographer: Owen Roizman, A.S.C. Editor: Jerry Greenberg Music: Don Ellis

Cast: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony LoBianco, Marcel Bozzuffi, Frederic de Pasquale, Bill Hickman, Ann Rebbot, Harold Gary, Arlene Farber, Eddie Egan, Sonny Grosso

8) Giant (Warner Bros., 1956) 201 minutes, color

Producers: George Stevens and Henry Ginsberg Director: George Stevens Screenplay: Fred Guiol and Ivan Moffat, based on the Edna Ferber novel Cinematographer: William C. Mellor Editors: William Hornbeck, Philip W. Anderson and Fred Bohanen Music: Dmitri Tiomkin

Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Mercedes McCambridge, Jane Withers, Chill Wills, Carroll Baker, Dennis Hopper, Elsa Cardenas, Fran Bennett, Sal Mineo, Alexander Scourby, Earl Holliman

9) H2O (Ralph Steiner, 1929) 14 minutes, Silent, b&w

Director/Cinematographer/Editor: Ralph Steiner

10) Hands Up (Famous Players-Lasky, Paramount, 1926)
Silent, b&w, 56 minutes

Producer: Adolph Zukor Director: Clarence Badger Screenplay: Monte Brice and Lloyd Corrigan, based on a story by Reginald Morris Cinematographer: H. Kinley Martin

Cast: Raymond Griffith, Marion Nixon, Virginia Lee Corbin, Mack Swain, Montague Love, George Billings, Noble Johnson, Charles K. French

11) Hoop Dreams (Kartemquin Films,KCTA-TV/Fine Line Features, 1994)
169 minutes, color

Director: Steve James Cinematographers: Frederick Marx, Steve James and Peter Gilbert Editors: Frederick Marx, Steve James and Bill Haugse Narrator: Steve James

Appearing: Williams Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates, Sheila Agee, Arthur "Bo" Agee, Earl Smith, Gene Pingatore, Isiah Thomas, Luther Bedford, Dick Vitale, Kevin O'Neill, Bobby Knight, Joey Meyer, Spike Lee, Bo Ellis, Bob Gibbons

12) House of Usher (American International Pictures, 1960)
85 minutes, color, CinemaScope

Producer/Director: Roger Corman Screenplay: Richard Matheson, based on the story by Edgar Allen Poe Cinematographer: Floyd Crosby, A.S.C. Editor: Anthony Carras Music: Les Baxter

Cast: Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey, Harry Ellerbee

13) Imitation of Life (Universal, 1934) 109 minutes, b&w

Producer: Carl Laemmle, Jr. Director: John M. Stahl Screenplay: William Hurlbut, based on the Fannie Hurst novel Cinematographer: Merritt Gerstad, A.S.C. Editors: Philip Kahn and Maurice Wright

Cast: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson, Ned Sparks, Louise Beavers, Baby Jane, Sebie Hendricks, Dorothy Black, Fredi Washington, Alan Hale, Henry Armetta, Henry Kolker

14) Jeffries-Johnson World's Championship Boxing Contest (J&J Co., 1910)

15) Making of an American (Connecticut Dept. of Americanization, 1920)
14 minutes, silent, b&w

16) Miracle on 34th Street (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1947) b&w, 96 minutes

Producer: William Perlberg Director: George Seaton Screenplay: George Seaton, based on a story by Valentine Davies Cinematographers: Charles Clarke, A.S.C. and Lloyd Ahern, A.S.C. Editor: Robert Simpson

Cast: Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Natalie Wood, Porter Hall, William Frawley, Alvin Greenman, Jerome Cowan, Robert Hyatt, Philip Tonge

17) Mom and Dad (Hygienic Productions, 1944) b&w, 87 minutes

Producers: J. S. Jossey and Kroger Babb Director: William Beaudine Screenplay: Mildred Horn, based on an original story by Horn and Kroger Babb Cinematographer: Barney Saracky Music: Eddie Kay

Cast: Hardie Albright, Sarah Blake, Lois Austin, George Eldridge, June Carlson Jimmy Clark, Bob Lowell

18) The Music Man (Warner Bros., 1962) 151 minutes, Technicolor

Producer/Director: Morton DaCosta Screenplay: Marion Hargrove based on the Broadway musical by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey Cinematographer: Robert Burks, A.S.C. Editor: William Zieglar Music Score: Ray Heindorf, based on music/lyrics by Meredith Willson Choreography: Onna White

Cast: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Hermione Gingold, Paul Ford, Pert Kelton, Al Shea, Wayne Ward, Vern Reed, Ronny Howard

19) The Power of the Press (Columbia, 1928) Silent, b&w, 62 minutes

Producer: Jack Cohn Director: Frank Capra Adaptation/Continuity: Frederick Thompson and Sonya Levien, based on a story by Thompson Cinematographers: Chet Lyons, A.S.C. and Ted Tetzlaff, A.S.C. Editor: Frank Atkinson

Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Jobyna Ralston, Mildred Harris, Philo McCullough, Wheeler Oakman, Robert Edeson, Edwards Davis, Del Henderson, Charles Clary

20) A Raisin in the Sun (Columbia, 1961) 128 minutes, b&w

Producers: David Susskind and Philip Rose Director: Daniel Petrie Screenplay: Lorraine Hansberry, based on her play Cinematographer: Charles Lawton, Jr., A.S.C. Editor: William A. Lyon and Paul Weatherwax Music: Laurence Rosenthal

Cast: Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Stephen Perry, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ivan Dixon, Louis Gossett, Joel Fluellen

21) The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1975)
95 minutes, color

Producers: Michael White, Lou Adler Director: Jim Sharman Screenplay: Jim Sharman and Richard O'Brien, based on O'Brien's play Cinematographer: Peter Suschitzky, A.S.C. Editor: Graeme Clifford Choreographer: David Toguri Music/Lyrics: Richard O'Brien

Cast: Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, Richard O'Brien, Jonathan Adams, Nell Campbell, Peter Hinwood, Meat Loaf, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray

22) San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, April 18, 1906 silent, b&w, 13 minutes

23) The Sting (Universal, 1973) 129 minutes, Technicolor

Producers: Tony Bill, Michael and Julia Phillips Director: George Roy Hill Writer: David Ward Cinematographer: Robert Surtees, A.S.C. Editor: William Reynolds Musical Adaptation: Marvin Hamlisch of music by Scott Joplin and John Philip Souza

Cast: Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Robert Shaw, Robert Earl Jones, Charles Durning, Ray Walston, Harold Gould, John Hefferman, Dana Elcar, Eileen Brennan, Dimitra Arliss, Jack Kehoe

24) A Time for Burning (Lutheran Film Associates & Quest Prod./Contemporary Films 1966)
58 minutes, b&w

Producer: William Jersey Directors/Editors: William Jersey and Barbara Connell

25) Toy Story (Pixar/Disney, 1995) 80 minutes, color

Producers: Ralph Guggenheim and Bonnie Arnold Supervising Technical Director: William Reeves Director: John Lasseter Screenplay: Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, based on an original story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Joe Ranft Music: Randy Newman Art Director: Ralph Eggleston Editors: Robert Gordon and Lee Unkrich Supervising Animator: Pete Docter

Cast: Voices by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, John Morris, Erik Von Detten, Laurie Metcalf, R. Lee Ermey, Sarah Freeman, Penn Jillette

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