“Duck and Cover” is a 1951 U.S. Office of Civil Defense film for schoolchildren highlighting what to do in the event of an attack by atomic or other weapons.
The Library of Congress is offering film lovers a special gift during the holiday season: Sixty-four motion pictures, named to the Library’s National Film Registry, are now available online. The collection, “Selections from the National Film Registry,” is also available on YouTube.
These films are among hundreds of titles that have been tapped for preservation because of their cultural, historical and aesthetic significance—each year, the National Film Registry selects 25 films showcasing the range and diversity of America’s film heritage.
Legendary sailors Popeye and Sinbad battle in the 1936 film “Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor.”
All of the streaming films in the new online collection are in the public domain. They are also available as freely downloadable files with the exception of two titles. Additional films will be added periodically to the website.
“We are especially pleased to make high-resolution ProRes 422 .mov files freely available for download for practically every title in this digital collection,” said curator Mike Mashon, head of the Library’s Moving Image Section. “We think these films will be of particular educational and scholarly benefit as well as for reuse by the creative community.”
Highlights from “Selections from the National Film Registry” include
- “Memphis Belle” (1944)—William Wyler’s remarkable World War II documentary about the crew of a B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber
- “The Hitch-Hiker” (1953)—a gritty film noir directed by actress Ida Lupino
- “Trance and Dance in Bali” (1936–39)—Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson’s groundbreaking ethnographic documentary
- “Modesta” (1956)—a Spanish-language film produced by Puerto Rico’s Division of Community Education
- “Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor” (1936)—a two-reel Technicolor cartoon
- “The House I Live In” (1945)— a plea for religious tolerance starring Frank Sinatra that won an honorary Academy Award
- “Master Hands” (1936)—a dazzling “mechanical ballet” shot on a General Motors automotive assembly line
- “Duck and Cover” (1951)— a Cold War curio that features Bert the Turtle explaining to schoolchildren how best to survive a nuclear attack
The final mission of the B-17 bomber, Memphis Belle, is the subject of the 1944 documentary “The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress.”
This is a post in advance of the announcement this week of this year’s selection of motion pictures to be added to the National Film Registry. Director Christopher Nolan, the subject of this post, is a member of the National Film Preservation Board, which advises the Librarian of Congress regarding selections to the registry. Even in the […]
Celebrated filmmaker Christopher Nolan, left, joined Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in the Coolidge Auditorium on November 2 in a conversation about his personal experiences directing, writing and producing some of the most popular and acclaimed movies in cinematic history, including his latest, the World War II epic “Dunkirk.” He also spoke about the importance of film […]
The advent of recorded sound and moving images has enriched our lives beyond measure. We have heard the voices of presidents and shared the beauty of piano concertos. We have watched tragedies unfold worldwide, and in our own backyards. We’ve been transported by movies that captivate, beguile, frighten and inspire. We have absorbed voices of […]
This is a guest post by Naomi Coquillon, an education specialist in the Interpretive Programs Office. It is the second of two posts by Coquillon about films the Library is screening this summer to highlight European perspectives on World War I. The screenings are part of the Library’s commemoration of the centennial of U.S. involvement […]
Crowds gathered on the lawn of the Library’s Jefferson Building on July 13 to view “The Princess Bride,” undeterred by weather that was a little warm and humid, even for a Washington, D.C., summer evening. The outdoor screening kicked off a six-film series, “LOC Summer Movies on the Lawn,” showcasing modern classics that have been […]
This is a guest post by Naomi Coquillon, an education specialist in the Interpretive Programs Office. When the Library began its work on “Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I,” there was, as with all exhibitions, a question of scope. How could an institution with a collection as comprehensive as the […]
The Statue of Liberty arrived at its permanent home on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor at 1 p.m. on June 19, 1885, “snugly packed in the hold of the French transport Isère,” according to a New York Times report the following day. Multiple delegations of dignitaries, 20,000 citizens, and “every species of craft known […]
Most are just a few minutes long, and some last only a few seconds. But the movies at the center of a new documentary film, “Saving Brinton,” are treasures even so. The film follows the journey of Mike Zahs of Iowa, a retired middle-school history teacher, as he travels near and far—including to the Library […]
This is a guest post by Stephen Leggett, a program coordinator of the National Film Preservation Board for the Library of Congress. On the eve of the Great Depression, there were movies, but they were as devoid of brilliant hues as the economy was about to be. But even as those dark clouds moved in, […]