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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: National Film Registry

'Gump,' 'Bambi' among 2011 National Film Registry selections

December 27, 2011 |  6:59 pm

Forrest

 

The Oscar-winning “Forrest Gump,” Walt Disney’s 1942 classic animated film “Bambi,” Charlie Chaplin’s first feature-length comedy “The Kid” and a 1912 silent comedy “A Cure for Pokeritis” (starring cinema’s earliest comedy superstar, John Bunny) are among the 25 movies that have been selected to be preserved as cultural, artistic and historical treasures in the National Registry of the Library of Congress. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington made the selections.

The movies chosen span the years 1912 to 1994 and include an eclectic mixture of feature films, documentaries, short subjects and experimental films. With this year’s selections, there are 575 films in the registry. Movies are selected to the National Film Registry because they are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” important. “These films are selected because of their enduring significance to American culture,” Billington said in a statement. “Our film heritage must be protected because these cinematic treasures document our history and culture and reflect our hopes and dreams."

Billington chose these films after reviewing the 2,228 films nominated by the public and discussing the titles with film curators and members of the National Film Preservation Board. The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation ensures each title named to the registry is preserved for future generations.

Here’s a look at all 25 selections:

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'All the President's Men,' 'The Exorcist,' 'Malcolm X' among 2010 National Film Registry picks [Video]

December 28, 2010 | 12:01 am

 

Presidentsmen

"Airplane!" the outlandish 1980 spoof of disaster movies; "All the President's Men," the Oscar-winning fact-based drama about the uncovering of the Watergate scandal; and "Let There Be Light," John Huston's controversial 1946 war documentary that was banned for several decades, are among the 25 films selected for the 2010 National Film Registry, according to the Library of Congress. 

The films on this year's list -- which also include the 1934 W.C. Fields comedy "It's a Gift," 1891's experimental "Newark Athlete" and George Lucas' 1967 student film, "THX II38 4EB," which became the basis of his first feature -- are considered to be "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant," according to the Library of Congress, which announced its selections for the registry Tuesday morning. 

The list was assembled from recommendations from various creative film guilds and archivists, which were submitted to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, but the public was invited to submit their choices as well through the library's website, according to Patrick Loughney, chief of the Library of Congress' Packard Campus of the National Audio Visual Conservation Center.

Every year since 1988, when the Library of Congress passed the National Film Preservation Act, which established the National Film Preservation Board, films have been selected for the honor. To qualify, titles must be at least 10 years old and must have had some form of theatrical release. "When you look at these really old films from the 1890s or documentaries, that is a pretty broad definition of what constitutes a theatrical release," Loughney said.

Over the next year, the Library of Congress will ascertain the condition of these films. "Many of the films have been preserved by other archives or the studios who own the films," Loughney said. "We will make an effort to contact the rights' owners or the archives and make inquiries and encourage the films to be preserved."

With the addition of this year's selections, the registry now boasts a total of 550 films. 

Following is the complete list of this year's selections in alphabetical order, with excerpts from the Library of Congress as to why they were chosen:

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