December 27, 2000 Librarian of Congress Names 25 More Films to National Film Registry
Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced his annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be added to the National Film Registry. (See below.) This group of titles brings the total number of films placed on the Registry to 300.
Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant motion pictures to the Registry. The list is designed to reflect the full breadth and diversity of America's film heritage, thus increasing public awareness of the richness of American cinema and the need for its preservation.
This year's selections span the 20th century from 1901-1990, and encompass films ranging from Hollywood classics to lesser-known, but still vital, works. Among films named this year: Dracula, one of the all-time horror greats, featuring the unforgettably creepy performance of Bela Lugosi; Koyaanisqats - Godfrey Reggio's mesmerizing collage of American vistas set to Philip Glass music; Let's All Go to the Lobby, the omnipresent movie theater intermission trailer seen by millions of Americans; Little Caesar - showcasing Edward G. Robinson's timeless performance as a small-time hood determined to reach the top; Love Finds Andy Hardy - perhaps the best entry in the long-running Andy Hardy series of beloved Americana, with a cast including on-the-cusp-of-fame teenagers Judy Garland and Lana Turner; Multiple Sidosis - chosen to represent the thousands of films produced by amateur cine clubs throughout the U.S.; the wickedly satirical (but often all-too-true) portrait of television news in Network; Peter Pan - the classic children's tale in its definitive film version; Porky in Wackyland - master animator Bob Clampett's zany cartoon classic sending Porky Pig on a surreal journey; President McKinley Inauguration Footage, deftly illustrating that the connection between movies and presidential politics is not a recent phenomenon; Sherman's March - a hilarious, one-of-a-kind romantic exploration of the South; and the Why We Fight series - films produced during World War II to explain to the American soldiers and public the reason for our involvement in the war.
"Taken together, the 300 films in the National Film Registry represent a stunning range of American filmmaking - including Hollywood features, documentaries, avant-garde and amateur productions, films of regional interest, ethnic, animated, and short film subjects - all deserving recognition, preservation and access by future generations. As we enter the next Millennium, the Registry stands among the finest summations of American cinema's wondrous first century," said Dr. Billington.
The Librarian chose this year's titles after evaluating more than a thousand titles nominated by the public and following intensive discussions, both with the distinguished members and alternates of his advisory body, the National Film Preservation Board, whom the Librarian consults both on Registry film selection and national film preservation policy, and the Library's own Motion Picture Division staff.
Dr. Billington added, "Our film heritage is America's living past. It celebrates the creativity and inventiveness of diverse communities and our nation as a whole. By preserving American films, we safeguard our history and build toward the future.
"Despite the heroic efforts of archives, the motion picture industry and others, America's film heritage, by any measure, is an endangered species. Fifty percent of the films produced before 1950 and at least 90 percent made before 1920 have disappeared forever. Sadly, our enthusiasm for watching films has proved far greater than our commitment to preserving them. And, ominously, more films are lost each year - through the ravages of nitrate deterioration, color-fading and the recently discovered 'vinegar syndrome,' which threatens the acetate-based (safety) film stock on which the vast majority of motion pictures, past and present, have been preserved."
For each title named to the Registry, the Library of Congress works to ensure that the film is preserved for all time, either through the Library's massive motion picture preservation program at Dayton, Ohio, or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion picture studios, and independent film makers. The Library of Congress contains the largest collections of film and television in the world, from the earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture to the latest feature releases.
For more information, please consult the National Film Preservation Board Web site: www.loc.gov/film.
FILMS SELECTED TO THE NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS - 2000
1) Apocalypse Now (1979)
2) Dracula (1931)
3) The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)
4) Five Easy Pieces (1970)
5) GoodFellas (1990)
6) Koyaanisqatsi (1983)
7) The Land Beyond the Sunset (1912)
8) Let's All Go to the Lobby (1957)
9) The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
10) Little Caesar (1930)
11) The Living Desert (1953)
12) Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)
13) Multiple Sidosis (1970)
14) Network (1976)
15) Peter Pan (1924)
16) Porky in Wackyland (1938)
17) President McKinley Inauguration Footage (1901)
18) Regeneration (1915)
19) Salome (1922)
20) Shaft (1971)
21) Sherman's March (1986)
22) A Star is Born (1954)
23) The Tall T (1957)
24) Why We Fight (series) (1943-45)
25) Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)