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“The Great Dictator”: National Film Registry #9

Obviously no list devoted to great cinema can overlook the contributions of Charlie Chaplin.  Among his greatest films is this one, a brave political send-up from 1940 that was added to the National Film Registry in 1997. Extraordinarily timely when it came out, and in some ways, still, the silent film scholar Jeffrey Vance said about the intersection […]

“Broken Blossoms”: National Film Registry #8

“Broken Blossoms,” one of the great silents, was added to the National Film Registry in 1996.  Directed by D.W. Griffith, it starred his best-known muse, the ethereal Lillian Gish. Though, today, Griffith is a somewhat controversial figure, Ed Gonzalez, film editor of “Slant” magazine, says that, regardless, his influence on film cannot be ignored: “No dialectic approach […]

“Stagecoach”: National Film Registry #7

In 1995, one of the all-time great Westerns, “Stagecoach,” was added to the Registry.  Directed by that sagebrush master, John Ford, the film features–not surprisingly–John Wayne. Writer and archivist Scott Nollen noted of the film’s value and influence by saying: “Orson Welles, who named John Ford as his favorite filmmaker, claimed that he studied ‘Stagecoach,’ ‘over […]

“E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”: National Film Registry #6

 In 1994, the National Film Registry welcomed Spielberg’s immortal “ET” to its list.  The beloved film that has forevermore encouraged us to “phone home,” was directed by Steven Spielberg and starred Drew Barrymore, Henry Thomas and C. Thomas Howell. The Library of Congress’s own Dave Gibson once wrote of the film: “‘E.T. The Extra Terrestrial’ […]

Film Night at the Mary Pickford Theater: Wednesday, November 28

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. Every month, films from the Library’s collection are shown at the Mary Pickford Theater in the James Madison building, ranging from titles newly preserved by the National Audio Visual Conservation Center film lab, classics from the National Film Registry, and lesser known titles worthy of discovery. NATIONAL FILM […]

How to Sell War – and Peace

This blog post is by David Sager, Research Assistant in the Recorded Sound Research Center. This post celebrates the Centennial of the signing of the Armistice and makes use of recordings in the Library of Congress’s National Jukebox and images found in the Library’s Recorded Sound Research Center. These mementos are a stirring reminder of the […]

“King Kong”: National Film Registry #3

In 1991, the third year of the National Film Registry, the Registry welcomed that big ape known as “King Kong” to its list.  Though the film has since been remade–three times and counting–to many fans, nothing has surpassed the original in terms of thrills, heart and humanity. Film historian and “Kong” devotee Michael Price said of […]

Native American Heritage on Film

November marks Native American Heritage Month – a time to celebrate the rich cultures and traditions of indigenous American peoples as well as to raise awareness of the unique challenges Native Americans face and have faced for hundreds of years. The moving image materials preserved and housed in the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center of the […]