'Forrest Gump,' 'Bambi' and Others Added to National Film Registry

December 28, 2011
Source: THR

Forrest Gump / National Film Registry

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 The Empire Strikes Back made it into the registry, and this year there's a whole new set of 25 films that will be preserved under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act as they have been deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant to cinema or as Librarian of Congress James H. Billington (no relation to Alex) says, "These films are selected because of their enduring significance to American culture." More below!

Best Picture winners like Forrest Gump and Silence of the Lambs made the cut, two films which have become modern classics. One may be the best serial killer thriller ever, while the other takes us through the decades of America's past with charming comedy, touching drama and one of the best soundtracks ever put together. In addition, classics like The Kid, Charlie Chaplin's first full-length feature film, Disney's animated favorite Bambi, and foreign language films like Robert Rodriguez's first action hit El Mariachi have also been chosen for preservation. Other feature films from long ago include Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend, best known for being an early and bold look into alcoholism during a time when substance abuse on the big screen was frowned up, and the adaptation of the sci-fi classic The War of the Worlds in 1953.

Some other unconventional additions to the film registry have been included, but they are no less important to capturing the spirit of cinema. First, one of the earliest examples of 3D computer animation, simply called A Computer Animated Hand (chronicled in the documentary The Pixar Story), will be sent into the registry. Knowing how big of an impact computer animated films have made in cinema, this 1972 venture into the futuristic technology and even more painstakingly long animation process should most assuredly be preserved. Plus, vaudeville duo Fayard and Harold Nicholas will have their home movies chronicling "a golden age of show business with extraordinary footage of Broadway, Harlem and Hollywood as well as documenting the middle-class African-American life of that era" will be preserved. There's plenty more information on the rest of the films from THR, so head on over there for the complete list.

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El Mariachi did not star Antonio Banderas.

PeteyPostelthwaitey on Dec 28, 2011


Forest Gump: Most overrated schmaltzy film of the 90's.

happy camper on Dec 28, 2011


Whaaa?? It's a great film! I've seen it many times, both during the 90s and after, it's just entertaining and fascinating, though I admit the modern-set love story that bookends it was my least favorite part.

Alex Billington on Dec 28, 2011


Its defiantly a well made film, there is no debate about that. And deserving of film preservation. But even in 94' to hold it above Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption (had to have split the vote)... i guess ill never get over that call.

happy camper on Dec 28, 2011


big time overrated!!!!

Frightened Inmate #2 on Dec 28, 2011


Are you kidding? its one of the greatest story films of our generation.

john s on Dec 29, 2011


"One may be the best serial killer thriller ever, while the other is Silence of the Lambs..."

Anonymous on Dec 29, 2011


What is more surprising is that The Kid is finally being added along with Forrest Gump and Silence of the Lambs. After watching The Kid on, I found out that Charlie Chaplin acted, directed, produced and composed the score for this film. It is amazing that this was not added earlier! I work for DISH so I love movies, and I happen to like both Forrest Gump and Silence of the Lambs, but it just doesn’t seem right that these ones made it in before other films that I feel were a bit more, “ ‘culturally, historically or aesthetically’ significant.”

Kate Kane on Dec 29, 2011

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