Which have you seen? National Film Registry Adds A Christmas Story and A League of Their Own

Two of my favorite films, “A League of Their Own” and “A Christmas Story”, are among 25 selections inducted into the National Film Registry this year. I’d love to see many of the others, including the oldest film being preserved, a 115 year old boxing film, as well as the landmark film “They Call It Pro Football”.
In fact, of the movies listed, I’ve only seen a few (some I haven’t seen for obvious reasons). How many have you seen?
3:10 to Yuma (1957) I saw the remake with Russell Crowe
Anatomy of a Murder (1959) X I believe I may have seen it on AMC, but now will have to revisit it
The Augustas (1930s-1950s) nope
Born Yesterday (1950) nope
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) X Yes, of course. It was my friend Sonya’s favorite and I can see why.
A Christmas Story (1983) X Tongue on pole. Frozen. Triple dog dare. One of two on this list I own.
The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight (1897) The entire fight. Wow.
Dirty Harry (1971) X My buddy Andy loves this film. I learned quite a bit about Eastwood and this role in his biography.
Hours for Jerome: Parts 1 and 2 (1980-82) Nope
The Kidnappers Foil (1930s-1950s) Nope
Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests (1922) Nope
A League of Their Own (1992) X I own it. I love this movie. It makes me happy and that’s the best complimenting can give any film.
The Matrix (1999) X Fascinating. The sequels weren’t my cup of tea, but the first one was amazing.
The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair (1939) Nope
One Survivor Remembers (1995) Nope
Parable (1964) Nope
Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia (1990) Nope
Slacker (1991) X But I remember very little of it. Time to revisit.
Sons of the Desert (1933) Nope
The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973) Nope
They Call It Pro Football (1967) Nope
The Times of Harvey Milk (1984) Nope. The fictional biop with Sean Penn and James Franco, et al was outstanding.
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) Nope
Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1914) Nope
The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England (1914) Nope

Below is the AP story and a copy of the press release from the Library of Congress.
WASHINGTON (AP) – “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” ”Dirty Harry” and “A League of Their Own” will be preserved for their enduring significance in American culture by the Library of Congress, along with “A Christmas Story” and some pioneering sports movies. They are among 25 selections the library is inducting Wednesday into the National Film Registry. Congress created the program in 1989 to preserve films for their cultural or historical significance. The latest additions bring the registry to 600 films that include Hollywood features, documentaries, independent films and early experimental flicks. The newest movie chosen for preservation is 1999’s “The Matrix,” noted for its state-of-the-art special effects and computer-generated animation with a style that drew on Hong Kong action films and Japanese anime to change science fiction filmmaking, curators noted. The oldest film being preserved, “The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight,” dates back 115 years to 1897. Film curators said the boxing movie helped establish the film industry as a successful business, drawing on the sport’s popularity and controversy to generate $750,000 in income. Boxing was illegal in many states at the time but had been made legal in Nevada, which hosted the fight. The film, with a running time of about 100 minutes, became the longest movie ever produced at the time, showing the full course of the fight. Another pioneering sports film, “They Call It Pro Football” from 1967, was chosen for how it changed the way football was portrayed on screen. Before then, football films were mostly highlight reels. National Football League commissioner Pete Rozelle decided the success of the NFL depended on its television image, to capture the struggle of football and not just the end result on the scoreboard. The Librarian of Congress makes the selections each year after conferring with members of the National Film Preservation Board and receiving public nominations. To be considered, the films must be at least 10 years old. “These films are not selected as the ‘best’ American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture,” said Librarian of Congress James Billington in announcing the selections. “They reflect who we are as a people and as a nation.” They also include some unforgettable characters. Audrey Hepburn landed the lead in 1961’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” even though writer Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe for the part. Film critics and the audience decided Capote was wrong and hailed Hepburn’s portrayal. “A League of Their Own” from 1992 received many public nominations for the film registry over the years. With a cast that included Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell, it told the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Numerous public nominations also were received for “Born Yesterday” from 1950 and “A Christmas Story” from 1983. Both were chosen this year. Other Hollywood features on the list include “Anatomy of a Murder” from 1959 and “3:10 to Yuma” from 1957. Each title named to the registry will be preserved in the library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, built partially in a bunker in Culpeper, Va., or through collaborations with other archives or studios. Documentaries chosen this year include “The Times of Harvey Milk,” made in 1984 about San Francisco’s first openly gay elected official who was assassinated in 1978, and “Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia” from 1990 about the struggle to rebuild after Pol Pot’s rule. This year’s selections include some firsts in film history. The 1914 film “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” based on the anti-slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, had been adapted earlier for movies with white actors in the lead roles. But this version was the first feature-length U.S. film to star a black actor when Sam Lucas was chosen for the part. The library will also preserve the first “Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests” from 1922. The two-color film features leading actresses posing and miming for the camera to demonstrate the new color film. Before then, to show film in color, black and white images either had to be hand-painted or colored with a stenciling process. Inventors, including scientists at Kodak, began experimenting with ways to create true color film. The Kodachrome test shown at Paragon Studios in New Jersey was the first publicly demonstrated color film that would attract interest from the American film industry. Later Technicolor would become the industry standard. “Most every major Hollywood film from 1922 through the end of the silent era would have either a Kodachrome color sequence in it or Technicolor color sequence as a way of attracting audience interest,” said Pat Loughney, chief of the library’s audio visual preservation campus. “It’s a technical, historical achievement, but it’s important to the progress of inventive work that made motion pictures successful.” ___ National Film Preservation Board: http://www.loc.gov/film ___ Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat .

  • The excitement of national football; the first black star of an American feature-length film; the visionary battle between man and machine; and an award-winning actress born yesterday are part of a kaleidoscope of cinematic moments captured on film and tapped for preservation. The Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today named 25 motion pictures that have been selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. These cinematic treasures represent important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking.

    “Established by Congress in 1989, the National Film Registry spotlights the importance of preserving America’s unparalleled film heritage,” said Billington. “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.”

    Spanning the period 1897-1999, the films named to the registry include Hollywood classics, documentaries, early films, and independent and experimental motion pictures. This year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 600.

    The films include such movie classics as “Born Yesterday,” featuring Judy Holliday’s Academy Award-winning performance; and Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” starring Audrey Hepburn. Among the documentaries named to the registry are “The Times of Harvey Milk,” a revealing portrait of San Francisco’s first openly gay elected official; “One Survivor Remembers,” an Academy Award-winning documentary short about Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein; and Ellen Bruno’s documentary about the struggle of the Cambodian people to rebuild in the aftermath of Pol Pot’s killing fields.

    The creative diversity of American filmmakers is evident in the selections of independent and experimental films, which include Nathaniel Dorsky’s “Hours for Jerome,” Richard Linklater’s “Slacker” and the Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Test film of 1922. Among the cinema firsts are “They Call It Pro Football,” which has been described as the “Citizen Kane” of sports movies; and the 1914 version of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which features the first black actor to star in a feature-length American film. The actor Sam Lucas made theatrical history when he also appeared in the lead role in the stage production of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in 1878.

    Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the annual selections to the registry after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library film curators and the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB). The public is urged to make nominations for next year’s registry at the NFPB’s website (www.loc.gov/film/).

    For each title named to the registry, the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation works to ensure that the film is preserved for future generations, either through the Library’s motion picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion picture studios and independent filmmakers. The Packard Campus is a state-of-the-art facility where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (www.loc.gov/avconservation/).

    The Packard Campus is home to more than 6 million collection items. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board, the National Recording Preservation Board and the National Registries for film and recorded sound.

    Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its vast collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at http://www.loc.gov.

    Films Selected to the 2012 National Film Registry
    3:10 to Yuma (1957)
    Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
    The Augustas (1930s-1950s)
    Born Yesterday (1950)
    Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
    A Christmas Story (1983)
    The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight (1897)
    Dirty Harry (1971)
    Hours for Jerome: Parts 1 and 2 (1980-82)
    The Kidnappers Foil (1930s-1950s)
    Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests (1922)
    A League of Their Own (1992)
    The Matrix (1999)
    The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair (1939)
    One Survivor Remembers (1995)
    Parable (1964)
    Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia (1990)
    Slacker (1991)
    Sons of the Desert (1933)
    The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)
    They Call It Pro Football (1967)
    The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
    Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
    Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1914)
    The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England (1914)

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s