2010 National Film Registry List Selects 'The Empire Strikes Back,' 'Airplane!' & More

The Empire Strikes Back and 24 Films Added to The National Film Registry

Every year, The National Film Registry of the Library of Congress selects 25 American motion pictures to be preserved in perpetuity for their cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance. The Registry began in 1989 and, as of this year, has preserved 550 films in total.

2010 sees the addition of some of the greatest films from the eighteen-nineties to the nineteen-nineties, including The ExorcistAll the President’s MenThe Empire Strikes Back, and Malcom X. Additionally, The Pink Panther and Airplane! were selected in honor of the late great Blake Edwards and Leslie Nielsen, respectively. (That and they're awesome movies, to boot.)

According to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington:

"As the nation’s repository of American creativity, the Library of Congress—with the support of the U.S. Congress—must ensure the preservation of America’s film patrimony. The National Film Registry is a reminder to the nation that the preservation of our cinematic creativity must be a priority because about half of the films produced before 1950 and as much as 90 percent of those made before 1920 have been lost to future generations."

Check out the full list below:

  • Airplane! (1980)
  • All the President's Men (1976)
  • The Bargain (1914)
  • Cry of Jazz (1959)
  • Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB (1967)
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • The Exorcist (1973)
  • The Front Page (1931)
  • Grey Gardens (1976)
  • I Am Joaquin (1969)
  • It's a Gift (1934)
  • Let There Be Light (1946)
  • Lonesome (1928)
  • Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)
  • Malcolm X (1992)
  • McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)
  • Newark Athlete (1891)
  • Our Lady of the Sphere (1969)
  • The Pink Panther (1964)
  • Preservation of the Sign Language (1913)
  • Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  • Study of a River (1996)
  • Tarantella (1940)
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
  • A Trip Down Market Street (1906)

It’s a great list, though perhaps not all that surprising. I could watch The Pink Panther, All the President’s Men, and The Empire Strikes Back for hours upon hours on end, with my eyelids taped wide open A Clockwork Orange-style. Star Wars fans will no doubt notice that George Lucas was honored twice on this list, both for his experimental short film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB and The Empire Strikes Back. It's probably too much to ask that they throw Howard the Duck and Radioland Murders on the list for next year, right?

Source: Library of Congress via Deadline

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