25 Films Added to National Film Registry, Including 'Matrix,' 'Christmas Story,' 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' and 'A League of Their Own'

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by Sophia Savage
December 19, 2012 2:53 PM
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'A League of Their Own'
Twenty-five films are selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. The Registry was established in 1989 to highlight the need for US film heritage preservation. The librarian names 25 films each year (each must be a minimum of ten years old) that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” The films will be preserved at the Library of Congress or through collaborations with other archives, studios and filmmakers.

This year, librarian James M. Billington states, “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.”



Among the 2012 selections, listed below, are “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1914), “A Christmas Story” (1983), “A League of Their Own” (1992), “The Matrix” (1999) and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961).

The 2012 selections are:

“3:10 to Yuma” (1957): Delmar Daves directed this western based on a short story by Elmore Leonard.

“Anatomy of a Murder” (1959): Otto Preminger directed this courtroom thriller that made headlines for its frankness in language and adult themes.

“The Augustas” (1930s-1950s): A 16-minute film by traveling salesman Scott Nixon, who was a member of the Amateur Cinema League, chronicling some 38 streets, storefronts and cities named Augusta.

“Born Yesterday” (1950): Judy Holliday won a best actress Oscar as not-so-dumb-blonde Billie Dawn in this political satire directed by George Cukor.

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961): Audrey Hepburn plays one of her quintessential roles -- the quirky Manhattan call girl Holly Golighty -- in this romantic dramedy based on Truman Capote’s novella.

“A Christmas Story” (1983): Humorist Jean Shepherd narrates this classic holiday comedy based on his memoirs of growing up in Indiana and hoping to receive a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.

“The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight” (1897): Chronicle of the famed boxing match between James J. Corbett -- aka “Gentleman Jim” -- and Bob Fitzsimmons that was held on St. Patrick’s Day in Carson City, Nev.

“Dirty Harry” (1971): Clint Eastwood introduced his iconic role as maverick San Francisco Det. Harry Callahan in Don Siegel’s influential action-thriller.

“Hours for Jerome: Parts 1 and 2” (1980-82) : Experimental filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky’s silent tone poem.

“The Kidnappers Foil” (1930s-1950s): Dallas native Melton Barker traveled through the South and Midwest for three decades filming local kids acting, singing and dancing in two-reel films he called “The Kidnappers Foil.” A few weeks after shooting, the townspeople would get a copy of the film for screening at the local theater.

“Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests“ (1922): The two-color (greenish blue and red) film was the first publicly demonstrated color film to attract the attention of the film industry.

“A League of Their Own” (1992): Penny Marshall’s box office hit comedy about the All American-Girls Professional Softball League of the 1940s and early 1950s.

“The Matrix” (1999): Andy and Lana -- then known as Larry -- Wachowski directed this visually groundbreaking sci-fi thriller starring Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fishburne.

“The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair” (1939): Technicolor industrial film produced for the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

“One Survivor Remembers" (1995): Oscar-winning documentary short about Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein.

“Parable” (1964): The Protestant Council of New York produced this controversial, acclaimed silent allegorical Christian film for the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

“Samsara: Death and Rebirth of Cambodia” (1990): Ellen Bruno’s Stanford University master’s thesis documents the struggle of the Cambodian people to rebuild their shattered society after Pol Pot’s killing fields.

“Slacker” (1991): Richard Linklater’s indie comedy follows a group of diverse characters over the course of one day in Austin, Texas.

“Sons of the Desert” (1933): Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy star in one of their funniest vehicles.

“The Spook Who Sat by the Door” (1973): Ivan Dixon directed this controversial thriller about an African American who infiltrates the CIA in order to create a black nationalist revolution.

“They Call It Pro Football” (1967): The first feature from NFL Films utilized Telephoto lens and slow-motion to offer a primer on the game.

“The Times of Harvey Milk” (1984): Academy Award-winning documentary about San Francisco’s first openly gay elected city official who was slain in 1978.

“Two-Lane Blacktop” (1971): Director Monte Hellman’s existential road picture.

“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1914): This silent adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark 1852 anti-slavery novel is said to be the first feature-length film that starred an African American actor -- Sam Lucas, who had appeared in the 1878 stage version.

“The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England”“ (1914): Maurice Tourneur’s charming cross-class romance.

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1 Comment

  • Veronica | December 19, 2012 11:14 PMReply

    It's been so long since I've seen a few of these films, and the rest I haven't watched at all. This will definitely give me a few titles to add to my Blockbuster @Home queue I have set up through DISH. I can rent as many DVDs and Blu-rays from them as I want, plus I can stream thousands of titles. Watching all of these won't be an issue, and I will have plenty of choices for my big date I have with one of my coworkers from DISH this weekend! ;)

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