Another 25 films have been deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation by the Library of Congress. Among them are 1970s classics 'Saturday Night Fever,' 'All the President's Men,' 'McCabe & Mrs. Miller,' 'The Exorcist' and the documentary 'Grey Gardens,' all of which have been named to the National Film Registry.
Surely they found a place for 'Airplane!' right? They sure did, and don't call me Shirley. The 1980 comedy, which lost three of its stars (Leslie Nielsen, Peter Graves and Barbara Billingsley) this past year, is now considered to be one of the 550 most important films ever made. Also representing 2010's fallen are Blake Edwards' 'The Pink Panther' and the Irvin Kershner-helmed 'The Empire Strikes Back.'
George Lucas, meanwhile, also had a directorial effort added: his 1967 student film 'Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB,' which was later adapted into the feature 'THX 1138.' This is the third film he's helmed to be named to the registry, following 'American Grafitti' and the original 'Star Wars.' Pretty good for a guy who hasn't directed a whole lot.
He's still behind Elia Kazan, who now has six films in the registry. 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn' is the latest to be selected. John Huston is also now up to six, with the controversial and long-banned 'Let There Be Light' marking his second World War II propaganda documentary to make the cut (the other is 'The Battle of San Pietro').
The earliest film added this year -- and now the earliest in the registry -- is William Dickson's 1891 Edison short 'Newark Athlete,' while the latest is Peter B. Hutton's 1996 short, 'Study of a River.' The newest feature, however, is Spike Lee's 'Malcolm X,' from 1992.
Other early films include the actuality picture 'A Trip Down Market Street Before the Fire,' which is noteworthy because it shows San Francisco just before the 1906 earthquake, 1913's National Association of the Deaf short 'The Preservation of the Sign Language' and the 1914 western 'The Bargain,' starring William S. Hart.
The 1930s are well-represented with the W.C. Fields comedy 'It's a Gift,' Leo McCarey's Depression drama 'Make Way for Tomorrow' and (fitting nicely with 'All the President's Men') 'The Front Page,' which hits the list 17 years after its remake, 'His Girl Friday.'
Rounding out the list: early synch sound film 'Lonesome,' from 1928; classic experimental animations 'Tarantella,' from 1940, 'Our Lady of the Sphere,' from 1969; the African American musical documentary 'Cry of Jazz,' from 1959; and Chico Valdez's 'I Am Joaquin,' from 1969.
If you're disappointed that an important film has eluded the National Film Registry once again, you can already start campaigning for next year. The National Film Preservation Board is taking recommendations for the 2011 selection, via email. Check here for details.