National Film Registry 2007

December 27, 2007–25 classic American films were added to the National Registry, including “Oklahoma!” “12 Angry Men,” “The Naked City,” “In a Lonely Place,” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”

“Even as Americans fill the movie theaters to see the latest releases, few are aware that up to half the films produced in this country before 1950–and as much as 90 percent of those made before 1920–are lost forever,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington in announcing the selections.

“The National Film Registry seeks not only to honor these films, but to ensure that they are preserved for future generations to enjoy,” he said in a statement.

The 25 chosen this year bring the registry total to 475. Both recent and early films are eligible for inclusion, and hundreds are nominated by the public each year. The films are chosen because they are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant.

Among those selected this year:

“The Naked City,” 1948, filmed on actual locations in New York; this movie won Oscars for best photography and editing. It was a gritty crime film combining slices of several stories.

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” 1977, an intelligent sci-fi film in which the climactic scene is set at Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming.

“In a Lonely Place,” 1950, a scathing Hollywood satire with Humphrey Bogart playing a screenwriter, brilliant at his craft yet prone to living with his fists.

“Oklahoma!” 1955, brought the fun and famous musical to the screen.

“Back to the Future,” 1985, explored the possibilities of special effects when a man stranded in 1955 by a time machine must not only find a way home, but also teach his father how to become a man, repair the space/time continuum and save his family from being erased from existence. All while fighting off the advances of his then-teenage mother.

“12 Angry Men,” 1957, a classic filmed in a spare, claustrophobic style – largely set in one jury room – relating a single juror’s refusal to conform to peer pressure in a murder trial.

“The Strong Man,” 1926, features Harry Langdon, widely considered one of the great silent comedians, as a meek man in love with a blind woman.

“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” 1962, director John Ford’s last great Western. The film shows that the conquest of the West meant the triumph of civilization, embodied in Jimmy Stewart, over wild innocence – John Wayne – and evil – Lee Marvin.

Complete List of Films Added to Registry:

“12 Angry Men” (1957)
“Back to the Future” (1985)
“Bullitt” (1968)
“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977)
“Dance, Girl, Dance” (1940)
“Dances With Wolves” (1990)
“Days of Heaven” (1978)
“Glimpse of the Garden” (1957)
“Grand Hotel” (1932)
“The House I Live In” (1945)
“In a Lonely Place” (1950)
“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962)
“Mighty Like a Moose” (1926)
“The Naked City” (1948)
“Now, Voyager” (1942)
“Oklahoma” (1955)
“Our Day” (1938)
“Peege” (1972)
“The Sex Life of the Polyp” (1928)
“The Strong Man” (1926)
“Three Little Pigs” (1933)
“Tol’able David” (1921)
“Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son” (1969-71)
“The Women” (1939)
“Wuthering Heights” (1939)