Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today selected 25 films to be preserved as cultural, artistic and historical treasures in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Included in the selections were the 1991 The Silence of the Lambs (winner of Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Adapted Screenplay) and Byron Haskin’s 1953 classic War of the Worlds.
Spanning the period 1912-1994, the films named to the registry include Hollywood classics, documentaries, animation, home movies, avant-garde shorts and experimental motion pictures. Representing the rich creative and cultural diversity of the American cinematic experience, this year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 575.
Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. “These films are selected because of their enduring significance to American culture,” said Billington. “Our film heritage must be protected because these cinematic treasures document our history and culture and reflect our hopes and dreams.”
For each title named to the registry, the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation works to ensure that the film is preserved for future generations, either through the Library’s massive motion-picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion-picture studios and independent filmmakers.