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'Willy Wonka,' 'Ferris Bueller' & More Added to National Film Registry

by
December 17, 2014
Source: Variety

National Film Registry / Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

For over 20 years now The Library of Congress has chosen a select group of films to be preserved in the National Film Registry, and this year's titles have just been revealed. Last year's additions included Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, Disney's Mary Poppins and Michael Moore's Roger & Me. Now 25 more films will be preserved under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act as they have been deemed "a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history" and represent "the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant." So what made the cut?

Variety reports this year's additions include Steven Spielberg's war drama Saving Private Ryan, easily one of the filmmaker's best, Roman Polanski's iconic horror film Rosemary's Baby and John Hughes' comedic classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In addition, the musical adaptation Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder, which for some reason plays on ABC Family during the holiday season every year. Westerns also get some new additions with the Arthur Penn-directed western Little Big Man starring Dustin Hoffman and Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo getting added to the registry.

One of the more surprising additions is that of The Big Lebowski. The film is revered amongst casual movie fans and cinephiles alike, if only because The Dude (Jeff Bridges) is a stoner hero of sorts, but it still seems like a interesting pick for the Library of Congress. But since it's a slice of Americana, even inspiring an entire annual festival, that's worthy of preservation for sure. And for Pixar fans, the 1986 computer animation short Luxo Jr. is now part of the registry, following 2011's inclusion of one of the earliest examples of 3D computer animation, simply called A Computer Animated Hand.

These 25 new films bring the registry to a total of 650 films that will be preserved for all time. Also added to the registry are seven reels of untitled and unassembled footage from 1913 featuring vaudevillian Bert Williams, the first African-American Broadway headliner and the most popular recording artist before 1920. If you want to check out the whole list of 25 titles added this year, with details on each addition, head over here. Thanks to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington (no relation to our own editor-in-chief Alex Billington) for continuing to add great films to the registry.

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  • John M
    I recommend watching the documentary These Amazing Shadows, which goes into the importance of the LOC Film Registry and the selection process. Turns out they don't just pick feature films, but shorts, music videos, even home movies.
  • DAVIDPD
    That place must be crazy. Boring, but the scope must be humbling.
  • CptGrimsdale
    Why bother saving Pulp Fiction? Then they might as well preserve most of those porn movies too.

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