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Calling Mr. Wolfe

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Quick: what do the movies “Mary Poppins” and “Pulp Fiction” have in common?

Well, yes, they’re both motion pictures.  But now, both are listed on the Library of Congress National Film Registry, a collection of films – 25 are added each year – deemed worthy of preservation due to their cultural, historic or aesthetic significance.

Julie Andrews as the fix-it lady who dropped out of the sky
Julie Andrews as the fix-it lady who dropped out of the sky

Furthermore, both feature characters who swoop in and help others sort out their messes, literally or figuratively – Mary Poppins (played by Julie Andrews) in that movie, and Winston Wolfe (played by Harvey Keitel) in “Pulp Fiction.”

After that, it’s all contrast – one’s family fare, the other’s, ah, not. One features a song called “I Love to Laugh,” while the other makes you hate yourself for finding something so dark so funny.

This year’s list (which brings the grand total in the registry to 650) also includes John Ford’s Irish love story “The Quiet Man,” the U.S. space-program history “The Right Stuff” and the 1960s Edward Albee play-turned-movie “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” starring the Brangelina of the 1960s, the married actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Instead of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” the Liz & Dick movie could have been called “Mr. and Mrs. Snider” – the more they drink in this flick, the snider they get.

This year’s additions also include “The Magnificent Seven,” which of course is the 1960 cowboy remake of Akira Kurosawa’s classic of feudal Japan, “The Seven Samurai” and “Forbidden Planet,” a 1956 science-fiction classic that featured Leslie Neilsen as a serious character.


There are also several films of artistic or historic value, including the 1919 silent film “A Virtuous Vamp” and the 1966 documentary “Cicero March,” about a revealing event in the Civil Rights Movement.  And tucked into this year’s list is the 1989 provoc-umentary “Roger & Me” by Michael Moore.

You can, and should, nominate films to be considered for the National Film Registry. The online form to submit your suggestions can be found here, and you might also want to refer to a list of movies that haven’t yet made the cut.  Please participate!




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