'FLOWER DRUM SONG' Among 25 Films Inducted Into Registry

Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Flower Drum Song," the 1961 movie musical based on the Broadway production of the same name, is among the 25 films selected for the National Film Registry.

The holiday season is usually a busy time for moviegoers, but December is also the time of year when attention is focused on the preservation of the nation's movie heritage. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today named 25 important motion pictures--classics and genres from every era of American filmmaking--to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, including "The Asphalt Jungle," "Deliverance," "A Face in the Crowd," "The Invisible Man," "Sergeant York" and "The Terminator." Spanning the period 1910-1989, this year's selections bring the number of motion pictures in the registry to 500.

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, to be preserved for all time. These films are not selected as the "best" American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring significance to American culture.

"With this year's list, the registry now includes 500 films and stands as a matchless record of the amazing creativity America has brought to the movies since the early 1890s," said Billington. "Both as a public-awareness tool and as an educational learning aid for students, the registry helps this nation understand the diversity of America's film heritage and, just as importantly, the need for its preservation. The nation has lost about half of the films produced before 1950 and as much as 90 percent of those made before 1920. In addition, more and more nitrate-based and acetate-based films are deteriorating with the passage of time."

The Librarian makes the final selection, after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and having extensive discussions with the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board, as well as the Library's motion picture staff. Dr. Billington again solicited public nominations at the Film Board's Web site: www.loc.gov/film/, and issued a call for lesser-known, but culturally vital, films such as amateur and home-movie footage. This year's list includes "Disneyland Dream," a significant home movie record of Hollywood and Los Angeles in 1956, and the student film, "No Lies."

Congress established the National Film Registry in 1989 and reauthorized the program most recently in September 2008 when it passed the "Library of Congress Sound Recording and Film Preservation Programs Reauthorization Act of 2008." For each title named to the registry, the Library of Congress's Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center 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.

The Packard Campus is the Library's state-of-the-art preservation facility in Culpeper, Va., which was made possible through the generosity of David Woodley Packard and the Packard Humanities Institute. The Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division's collections include nearly six million items.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library's rich resources can be accessed through its Web site at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at myLOC.gov. For more information about the National Film Preservation Board and the National Film Registry, visit www.loc.gov/film/.

Full list of films selected to the 2008 National Film Registry

1. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
2. Deliverance (1972)
3. Disneyland Dream (1956)
4. A Face in the Crowd (1957)
5. Flower Drum Song (1961)
6. Foolish Wives (1922)
7. Free Radicals (1979)
8. Hallelujah (1929)
9. In Cold Blood (1967)
10. The Invisible Man (1933)
11. Johnny Guitar (1954)
12. The Killers (1946)
13. The March (1964)
14. No Lies (1973)
15. On the Bowery (1957)
16. One Week (1920)
17. The Pawnbroker (1965)
18. The Perils of Pauline (1914)
19. Sergeant York (1941)
20. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
21. So's Your Old Man (1926)
22. George Stevens WW2 Footage (1943-46)
23. The Terminator (1984)
24. Water and Power (1989)
25. White Fawn's Devotion (1910)

 

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