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"Titanic," "Spartacus," "Superman" added to National Film Registry

James Cameron's blockbuster "Titanic," the Kirk Douglas gladiator epic "Spartacus," the comic book hero adventure "Superman," and the Bruce Willis action film "Die Hard" are among the titles added this year to the National Film Registry. The Library of Congress made the announcement on Wednesday.

The Registry is the Library's roster of films it has chosen as culturally, aesthetically or historically important. Titles selected for the Registry are to be preserved by the Library for future generations, as examples of our nation's unique film heritage.

Also among the 25 titles that comprise this year's additions are: the fantasy "Field of Dreams," in which Kevin Costner constructs a baseball diamond in an Iowa cornfield, where the ghosts of ballplayers past suit up and play; Christopher Nolan's mystery "Memento," in which a man with short-term memory loss must reconstruct a murder scene; "Gentleman's Agreement," a Best Picture Oscar-winner starring Gregory Peck as a writer who investigates anti-Semitism by pretending to be Jewish; and "La Bamba," an entertaining musical biopic about Richie Valens.

Also: Walt Disney's animated feature "Dumbo," about an elephant that can fly; the Steven Spielberg-produced kids' adventure "The Goonies"; and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," Stanley Kramer's comedy-drama about interracial marriage.

Among the documentaries chosen: Spike Lee's "4 Little Girls," about the bombing of a Baptist church in Alabama at the height of the civil rights movement; "Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser," with rare performance footage of the bebop jazz pianist; and footage captured in 1905 of the New York City subway system.

"Our love affair with motion pictures is a testament to their enduring power to enlighten, inspire and inform us as individuals and a nation as a whole," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

The full list of Registry additions follows below. You can also check out this gallery for more details and photos about each film.

The Registry is an eclectic film list. Rather than rely upon critics' "best of" compilations, it gathers classics from Hollywood studios and independent filmmakers, documentaries and newsreels, animation, experimental films, music videos, marketing films, student productions, and amateur films. The Library then works with studios and archives to collect the definitive versions of Registry films and preserve them for future generations.

The titles in the collection now number 725.

Want to nominate a film for the Registry? The Library accepts nominations from the public. Go to www.loc.gov/film/vote.html.

           
Films Selected for the 2017 National Film Registry (in alphabetical order):

"Ace in the Hole" (a.k.a. "The Big Carnival") (1951) - Kirk Douglas is a reporter whose stumbles upon a man trapped in a cave, and decides rescuing him sooner rather than later won't be as big a news story.

"Boulevard Nights" (1979) – Life in the barrio of East Los Angeles, told documentary-style with mostly non-professional actors.

"Die Hard" (1988) – Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman star in a classic action film, perfect for the Christmas holidays. "Yippee-ki-yay, mother******!"

"Dumbo" (1941) – You will believe an elephant can fly!

"Field of Dreams" (1989) - Kevin Costner in the film that can make grown baseball fans weep, in a good way.

 "4 Little Girls" (1997) – Spike Lee's Oscar-nominated documentary about the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

"Fuentes Family Home Movies Collection" (1920s and 1930s) – Amateur films that document life along the Texas-Mexico border in the early 20th century.

"Gentleman's Agreement" (1947) – Gregory Peck is a writer who investigates anti-Semitism by passing as a Jew in this Oscar-winner from Elia Kazan.

"The Goonies" (1985) – A raucous adventure featuring a pirate's treasure map and scoundrels out to steal a treasure from some plucky kids. From executive producer Steven Spielberg.

"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967) – Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn are surprised when their daughter brings home her fiancé, Sidney Poitier.

"He Who Gets Slapped" (1924) – Lon Chaney in a landmark silent tragedy, the first film from MGM Studio.

"Interior New York Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street" (1905) - People really do "ride in a hole in the ground" in New York, New York. The film proves it.

"La Bamba" (1987) - Lou Diamond Phillips stars as musician Richie Valens in this entertaining and sentimental biopic.

"Lives of Performers" (1972) – An experimental dance film from choreographer Yvonne Rainer.

"Memento" (2000) - Christopher Nolan's breakthrough murder mystery.

"Only Angels Have Wings" (1939) – Cary Grant, Jean Arthur and Rita Hayworth in a classic Howard Hawks melodrama about pilots flying through the Andes, not all of whom make it.

"The Sinking of the Lusitania" (1918) – Winsor McCay's animated propaganda film about the German submarine attack on the ocean liner.

"Spartacus" (1960) – Kirk Douglas as the gladiator who leads a slave revolt against the Roman Empire helped end the studio blacklist.

"Superman" (1978) – Christopher Reeve soars at the Man of Steel in the comic book superhero movie to top all.

"Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser" (1988) - A remarkable documentary about the bebop jazz pianist and composer.

"Time and Dreams" (1976) - Mort Jordan's personal account of Alabama coming to terms with the civil rights movement.

"Titanic" (1997) – James Cameron's romantic epic tied for the most Academy Award wins (11) and became the highest-grossing film.

"To Sleep with Anger" (1990) – Charles Burnett's character study stars Danny Glover as a visitor whose arrival stirs divisions, jealousies and violence in a family.

"Wanda" (1971) - Barbara Loden wrote, directed and starred in this landmark independent feature of a woman who abandons all norms in Pennsylvania coal country.

"With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain" (1937-1938) - Henri Cartier-Bresson directed this documentary of recruits in the fight against fascism in Spain before World War II.

       
Previous features on the National Film Registry:

      
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  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.