Wednesday, January 22, 2014

25 Films That Should Get Into the National Film Registry in 2014

The Great Escape still isn't in the Registry.

About a month ago, the National Film Registry, which preserves films deemed essential to U.S. film history and American culture, announced the 25 titles inducted for 2013. The Registry still has many great films waiting to be included. Here's my take on what should get in at the end of this year.

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Black Legion (1937)

The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Dumbo (1941)

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

A Letter to Three Wives (1948)

The Set-Up (1949)

Harvey (1950)

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

The Defiant Ones (1958)

Rio Bravo (1959)

The Children's Hour (1961)

The Great Escape (1963)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Big Chill (1983)

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Die Hard (1988)

JFK (1991)

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Jurassic Park (1993)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Before Sunrise (1995)

Boogie Nights (1997)


  1. So happy to see The Children's Hour here. More people need to find that movie and start talking about it.

    1. I was surprised that it wasn't already in the registry, though I think it will get in eventually.

  2. I'm surprised at most of these not being included. I'm particularly rooting for "Once Upon a Time in America." That is easily my favorite of the ones you listed. Question: Is "Roots" eligible? I know they include TV movies, but does it being a mini-series disqualify it? That's the only reason I can come up with to justify it not being there.

    Some others I think belong: Spartacus, The Lion King, Seven (or Se7en), The Untouchables, Scream, Foxy Brown, Superman: The Movie, Plan 9 From Outer Space (bad, yes, but I'd argue culturally significant), The Blair Witch Project (I actually don't even like this movie, but think it has carved out a nice spot in cinematic history).

    1. I can't find anything to indicate that Roots would be eligible, but it deserves to be in.

      Great choices. There are too many to choose from.

  3. That screen cap of Dumbo just depresses me. lol. There's a lot of great films here that definitely deserve to be included. My personal favorite is Jurassic Park, I'm always going to love that movie.

    1. Go Jurassic Park! Maybe it will get in this year. :)

  4. I'd vote these, if I had a vote that is. Fine list, Josh.

    1. Thanks, Michael. It must be tough for voters to narrow down their final choices. It was certainly tough for me.

  5. More American moviegoers should utilize their opportunity to nominate titles for the NFR. Another neglected right of citizens, it behooves a nation to preserve its artifacts for future generations. As the dominate art form of the twentieth century, restoration and preservation of feature, documentary, travelogue, propaganda, independent, animated, experimental, institutional, shorts, and even home movies warrants time and attention from the general movie going public as much as critics, festivals, academics, awards, and archivists. Each of us treasuring the film experience should do our part to come up with 1---50 suggested films for the Library of Congress to annually consider. As my own personal such list amounts to a couple hundred, it's just too much of a challenge for such a good cause to resist.

    1. I really should do that, as should all American cinephiles. I've never submitted recommendations, but maybe I'll start this year.