On December 12, 2018, the Library of Congress announced the latest additions to the National Film Registry, its compendium of motion pictures that have been judged to be culturally, aesthetically or historically important and worthy of preservation for future generations. In addition to Hollywood studio classics and box office hits, the Registry also protects independent films, documentaries, experimental works, cartoons, music videos, educational and training films, ads, and even home movies, in what is the most democratic, and American, of all film lists.
Click through our gallery to read about the 25 films added to the Registry this year. including Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park."
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan
Credit: Universal Pictures
"Bad Day at Black Rock" (1955)
John Sturges' drama mixes the thriller and western genres into a taut 81 minutes, as a mysterious one-armed stranger (Spencer Tracy) arrives in a quiet desert town, kicking over a hornet's nest of suspicion, betrayal and murder. The terrific cast includes Robert Ryan, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Anne Francis and Dean Jagger.
"Broadcast News" (1987)
Tom: "You're an amazing woman - what a feeling having you inside my head!" Jane: "Yeah, it was an unusual place to be."
Following her breakout role in the Coen Brothers' "Raising Arizona," Holly Hunter starred in James L. Brooks' romantic comedy "Broadcast News," about a TV news producer agog over her network's newest on-screen news reader (played by William Hurt with earnest vacuity) while serving as the object of unrequited affection for her pining colleague (played by Albert Brooks). The banter is sharp and funny, mixed in with asides over journalistic ethics and the pressures involved with getting the news on the air, even if it means running with the tape over ever obstacle imaginable. Joining the cast is Jack Nicholson (in an uncredited role) as the network anchor whose gravitas cannot mask a touch of befuddlement.
Credit: 20th Century Fox
"Brokeback Mountain" (2005)
"I wish I knew how to quit you."
Novelist Larry McMurtry ("Lonesome Dove," "The Last Picture Show") co-wrote the screenplay of this contemporary western, adapted from a short story by Annie Proulx, about the secret romance of two male ranch hands, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, who pursue their love affair for years despite marriage, fatherhood, and self-torment in the face of rampant homophobia. McMurtry and Diana Ossana won the Oscar for Best Screenplay, and Ang Lee received Best Director for his tender handling of the material. Ledger, Gyllenhaal and co-star Michelle Williams all earned acting nominations.
Credit: Focus Features
Thanks to a magical spell, a chambermaid meets a prince, with only a glass slipper left behind to reveal her identity. It's a tale as old as time, but Walt Disney's sparkling animated feature is perhaps the definitive telling of the story. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures
"Days of Wine and Roses" (1962)
Over the course of his career Jack Lemmon showed an incredible ability to deftly move from light comedic roles ("Mr. Roberts," "Some Like It Hot," "The Odd Couple") to more dramatic fare ("The China Syndrome," "Missing"). "Days of Wine and Roses" would prove to be one of his bleakest (and best) performances, playing a PR man sinking into a morass of alcoholism, and taking his wife (played by Lee Remick) down with him. The film originated as a "Playhouse 90" television drama starring Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie, and was directed by Blake Edwards (known for MUCH lighter fare, such as "The Pink Panther"), who would himself give up drinking after this film. Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer's title song won an Oscar.
Credit: Warner Brothers
"Dixon-Wanamaker Expedition to Crow Agency" (1908)
In 1908 Rodman Wanamaker, a Philadelphia department store magnate, sponsored an expedition to document the life of Native Americans out West. Photographer Joseph K. Dixon and his son, Roland, shot motion picture footage and thousands of photographs capturing the life of the Crow Indians, as well as a recreation of the Battle of Little Big Horn, featuring four of Custer's Crow scouts. Most of the photographs had been archived at Indiana University, but the only surviving nitrate film taken during the expedition was discovered in a Montana antique store in 1982. It was later donated to the Smithsonian Institution.
Credit: Human Studies Film Archives, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
"Eve's Bayou" (1997)
This "Southern Gothic" tale of family secrets, infidelity, and a young girl coming of age in a Louisiana Creole community in the early 1960s was written and directed by actress Kasi Lemmons, and co-produced by star Samuel L. Jackson. The film, which also features Lynn Debbi Morgan, Whitfield, Diahann Carroll, Lisa Nicole Carson, Branford Marsalis and Jurnee Smollett as the young Eve, was an indie film hit. Lemmons, who won Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards, later directed "Talk to Me" and "Black Nativity."
Credit: Trimark Pictures
"The Girl Without a Soul" (1917)
Director John H. Collins' morality tale starred his wife, actress Viola Dana, playing twin sisters who each are caught in a jealous rivalry. Dana would make more than 100 films, most of them lost, but her career basically ended with the introduction of sound. Collins, meanwhile, died at the age of 29, after having directed a mere 40 films.
Credit: Metro Pictures
"Hair Piece: A Film for Nappy-Headed People" (1984)
Experimental filmmaker and animator Ayoka Chenzira created this insightful and satirical short about how African-American women address Eurocentric standards of beauty.
Credit: Women Make Movies
"Hearts and Minds" (1974)
President Lyndon B. Johnson: "The ultimate victory will depend on the hearts and minds of the people who actually live out there."
Director Peter Davis' Oscar-winning Vietnam War documentary was originally shelved when its distributor at the time feared legal attacks. Warner Brothers, which had distributed "Woodstock" a few years prior, took on the challenge and gave the film a wide release. The movie features interviews with U.S. military commanders and service members (including General William Westmoreland) and anti-war activists, and examines the collateral damage, both physical and emotional, of war. The film's powerful messaging proved polarizing with critics; "Heart and Minds" was either hailed as a clear-eyed view of an unpopular war, or condemned as propaganda.
Credit: Warner Brothers
"You don't look out for yourself, the only helping hand you'll ever get is when they lower the box."
Cynicism dripped like rust off the screen in Martin Ritt's "Hud," in which the title character (Paul Newman) is locked in a feud with his ranch owner-father (Melvyn Douglas) over the young man's alcoholism, the role Hud played in the death of his brother, and the changes coming to life in the West in the mid-20th century. Inspired by Larry McMurtry's novel, "Horseman, Pass By," the film offered Newman the opportunity to play a cold-hearted, licentious brute, in a relationship with the earthy housekeeper Alma (Patricia Neal), who nonetheless reveals a sort of grace in the personification of that endangered species, the American cowboy. Nominated for seven Academy Awards, it won three, for Neal, Douglas, and James Wong Howe's black-and-white cinematography.
Credit: Paramount Pictures
"The Informer" (1935)
John Ford has the most films by any one director on the National Film Registry, his 11th being this 1935 realist drama starring Victor McLaglen as a former member of the IRA who turns in his friend during the Irish Rebellion of 1922. The film earned six Oscar nominations and won four, including for Ford and McLaglen.
Other Ford films on the Registry include "The Searchers," "Stagecoach," "How Green Was My Valley," "My Darling Clementine." "The Grapes of Wrath," "The Iron Horse," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence," "The Quiet Man," "Young Mr. Lincoln," and the Civil War segment of "How the West Was Won."
Credit: RKO Pictures
"Jurassic Park" (1993)
"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn't stop to think if they should."
Steven Spielberg's science fiction adventure "Jurassic Park," based on the Michael Crichton bestseller, was a monster hit, and ushered in a new era of visual effects with its revolutionary computer-animated dinosaurs. The filmmakers also employed large-scale animatronic models, effectively blending real and virtual creatures. There were human stars, too: Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, and Richard Attenborough as the grandfatherly developer of an amusement park featuring genetically-crafted dinosaurs created using DNA trapped in amber. But it was the Oscar-winning visual effects that made the film a cultural milestone, and a blockbuster summer movie. It's little surprise that "Jurassic Park" was the top vote-getter among the public this year for inclusion on the Registry.
Credit: Universal Pictures
"The Lady From Shanghai" (1947)
"When I start out to make a fool of myself, there's very little can stop me."
Orson Welles directed his then-wife Rita Hayworth (here with the "Gilda" star's hair cut short and dyed blonde) in the 1947 film noir mystery, which featured striking black-and-white cinematography and a rousingly-designed (and deadly) climax in a hall of mirrors. It was one of the last studio-backed films directed by Welles, and it was not without its difficulties; nearly an hour was cut after preview audiences were left scratching their heads. The editing may have made the film appear even more experimental than Welles intended, and it was a failure at the box office. But "Lady From Shanghai"'s visual flair has won over critics, and been imitated by other filmmakers (including Woody Allen in "Manhattan Murder Mystery").
Credit: Columbia Pictures
"Leave Her to Heaven" (1945)
Who said film noir had to be in black-and-white? This lavishly-photographed Technicolor film noir was a revelation for the genre, by presenting a thoroughly amoral villainess (played by Gene Tierney) in dappled sunlight and bucolic natural settings. But her eyes – even when hidden behind dark glasses – said it all. Her femme fatale, guilty of "loving too much," is not averse to killing anyone who stands in her way, even if it means letting a boy drown without lifting a finger. Tierney earned an Oscar nomination for her performance, and cinematographer Leon Shamroy won the Academy Award.
Credit: 20th Century Fox
"Monterey Pop" (1968)
Recently restored, D.A. Pennebaker's seminal documentary of the epic, three-day-long "Summer of Love" music concert in Monterey, Calif., was revolutionary in its production (Pennebaker's team built five portable 16mm sound-synched cameras, the first of their kind, necessary for shooting the musicians). And the roster was spectacular. Among the acts were Jimi Hendrix (playing his first American show with the Experience), Otis Redding (who'd never played before a white audience), the Mamas and the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shankar and The Who. There were some hold-outs who didn't want to be filmed; Janis Joplin's agent wouldn't allow the set with her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, to be recorded. But when she saw the reaction that she got from the audience, she went back and asked to do another set, to be captured by the cameras. "She threw as much into that performance as, maybe more than, the first performance," festival organizer Lou Adler told "Sunday Morning" in 2017. But the footage, originally intended for ABC Television, almost wasn't seen; network execs washed their hands of it when they took umbrage at Hendrix's stage antics.
Credit: Janus Films
"My Fair Lady" (1964)
"Wouldn't it be lov-er-ly?"
Hollywood musicals were dying out in the 1960s, but one of the high points of the genre in the decade was this 1964 filming of the Lerner and Loewe musical, based on George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion," about a Cockney flower seller turned into an aristocratic lady, thanks to an arrogant elocution professor. Rex Harrison repeated his iconic stage performance as Henry Higgins, but the producers passed over the original Eliza Doolittle, Julie Andrews, and chose Audrey Hepburn for the film. (Hepburn's singing, alas, was for the most part dubbed over by Marni Nixon.) In addition to the splendor of Cecil Beaton's designs and Gene Allen and George James Hopkins' art and set direction, the production also marked a technical landmark: for the first time, a wireless microphone, hidden in his necktie, was used to capture Harrison's "singing" (rather, his patter) live on set, as he would not otherwise lip sync to a pre-recorded track. Sound man George Groves' innovation earned one of the film's eight Academy Awards.
Credit: Warner Brothers/CBS
"The Navigator" (1924)
One of Buster Keaton's most successful comedies features the Great Stone Face as a millionaire who finds himself trapped on a boat alone with the woman who rejected his marriage proposal. His athleticism graces this film that came about when Keaton had the opportunity to lease a 500-foot cruiser; what one does with a 500-foot cruiser is answered by his inventive sight gags. Undersea scenes were shot in Lake Tahoe, with bourbon helping Keaton survive the frigid waters.
"On the Town" (1949)
Based upon the Betty Comden-Adolph Green Broadway musical about a trio of sailors dancing and singing their way through New York City and taking in the sights while on shore leave (and engaging in romantic rendezvous along the way), "On the Town" was notable not just for its cast (Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin as the gobs, Vera-Ellen, Betty Garrett and Ann Miller as the dishes), but for filming on location. Kelly and co-director Stanley Donan knew that for a musical as joyous as this to be contained on a soundstage would be ridiculous, and so convinced MGM to cough up the money to shoot an eye-popping travelogue featuring the stars in the Big Apple, away from the confines of a studio's sound-proof walls. There were stage-bound dance numbers, too, but New York got its closeup.
"One-Eyed Jacks" (1964)
Adapted from Charles Neider's novel "The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones" (itself a fictional take on the legend of Billy the Kid), "One-Eyed Jacks" was originally to be directed by Stanley Kubrick, working off a screenplay by Sam Peckinpah. By the time cameras rolled, Marlon Brando was directing his first feature, using a script by Guy Trosper and Calder Willingham, and appearing alongside his "On the Waterfront" and "Streetcar Named Desire" costar Karl Malden. This tale of an outsider, captured in widescreen VistaVision and dense with Freudian undertones, would be Brando's sole directing credit.
Credit: Paramount Pictures
"Pickup on South Street" (1953)
Directed by Samuel Fuller with the vivid punch of pulp dime novels, "Pickup on South Street" stars Richard Widmark as a wisecracking pickpocket who unwittingly snatches some top secret government microfilm, making him a target for even bigger fish than New York City beat cops. Jean Peters stars as a woman "knocked around" by life who discovers she's under surveillance by the feds because of her former boyfriend, a Communist spy. Thelma Ritter earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as a paid informant.
Credit: 20th Century Fox
Alfred Hitchcock, who'd already made a name for himself as a master of suspense in England directing "The 39 Steps," was brought to the U.S. by producer David O. Selznick to direct "Rebecca," based on Daphne du Maurier's tale of a woman haunted by her new husband's memories of his first, dead wife. Joan Fontaine (whose character isn't even named in the film beyond the possessive Mrs. De Winter) must also contend with the deceased first Mrs. de Winter's housekeeper (Judith Anderson). The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture – the only Hitchcock film to be so honored.
Credit: United Artists
"The Shining" (1980)
"When some things happen, it can leave other traces behind. Not things anyone can notice, but things that only people with shine can see. Just like they can see things that haven't happened yet; sometimes they can see things that happened a long time ago. I think a lot of things happened in this particular hotel over the years, and not all of them was good."
Director Stanley Kubrick had already created the greatest anti-war film ("Paths of Glory"), the greatest Cold War satire ("Dr. Strangelove"), and the greatest science fiction adventure ("2001: A Space Odyssey"). He was intent on creating the greatest horror film. He found his source in the Stephen King novel, a tale of a family – a caretaker servicing an isolated Rocky Mountain hotel through the winter months – that succumbs to the hotel's ghostly inhabitants: cabin fever of the worst kind. In the hands of Kubrick and co-screenwriter Diane Johnson, the story of Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson), his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) becomes that of the shattering of a family, in which personal demons conflate with apparitions. The little boy's gift of "shining" allows him visions into the Overlook Hotel's bloody past, and of the threat posed by his own father (who will chase him through the hotel's hedge maze with an axe). Visually stunning, as is expected from Kubrick, the movie's power comes from the performances of Nicholson and Duvall as a couple tearing themselves apart, and newcomer Lloyd, who channels the hotel's supernatural threats.
Credit: Warner Brothers
"Smoke Signals" (1998)
In a rare example of authenticity about Native Americans in motion pictures, Chris Eyre's road movie "Smoke Signals" is regarded as the first feature film written, directed and produced by Native Americans. Based on Sherman Alexie's book "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven," this humorous tale stars Adam Beach and Evan Adams as two road warriors on an adventure. Winner of three awards at the Sundance Film Festival, it's a funny and unpretentious look at indigenous American culture.
"Something Good - Negro Kiss" (1898)
There are few surviving examples of black actors in the earliest days of cinema. This recently-discovered 29-second film may be the first representation of African-American intimacy on-screen. Such risqué fare as so-called "kissing films" (like the 1896 "The Kiss") were meant to draw people to theatres. In "Something Good," vaudeville stars and dance partners Saint Suttle and Gertie Brown showed a remarkable compatability – and a welcome antidote to the racist caricatures so prevalent in early films. This 19th-century nitrate print was discovered at the University of Southern California Hugh Hefner Moving Image Archive.
Credit: USC Hugh Hefner Moving Image Archive
"Come and play with us, Danny. Forever ... and ever ... and ever"