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‘Mary Poppins,’ ‘The Right Stuff’ among titles added to film registry

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LOS ANGELES — A beloved musical about a magical nanny, an epic about the first astronauts, a silent film with a Native American cast and a sci-fi thriller loosely based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” are among the 25 motion pictures to join the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the selections Wednesday morning.

“The National Film Registry stands among the finest summations of more than a century of extraordinary cinema,” he said in a statement. “This key component of American cultural history, however, is endangered, so we must protect the nation’s matchless film heritage and cinematic creativity.”

This year’s selections, which span the years 1919-2002, include 1964’s “Mary Poppins”; 1983’s “The Right Stuff”; 1929’s “Daughter of Dawn” and 1956’s “Forbidden Planet”; as well as 1952’s “The Quiet Man”; 1994’s “Pulp Fiction”; 1966’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”; 1989’s “Roger & Me”; and the 1966 documentary “Cicero March,” which examines a confrontation between blacks and whites in an Illinois town.

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, the librarian names 25 pictures to the National Film Registry that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The film must be at least 10 years old. This year’s selections bring the total in the National Registry to 625.

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation will work to make sure that each title named to the registry is preserved, either through its motion-picture preservation program or through collaborations with other archives, movie studios and independent filmmakers.

FILMS added to registry

“Bless Their Little Hearts” (1984): Billy Woodberry directed this independent African-American drama.

“Brandy in the Wilderness” (1969): Experimental simulated autobiography directed by Stanton Kaye.

“Cicero March” (1966): Eight-minute cinema verite-styled documentary about race relations in the Illinois town.

“Daughter of Dawn” (1929): Independently produced drama featuring a cast of Comanches and Kiowas that was recently discovered by the Oklahoma Historical Society.

“Decasia” (2002): Bill Morrison’s documentary comprised of decomposing nitrate film culled from various archives across the country.

“Ella Cinders” (1926): Silent comedy starring Colleen Moore.

“Forbidden Planet” (1956): Sci-fi thriller, loosely based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” has inspired contemporary filmmakers.

“Gilda” (1946): Film noir romance starring Glenn Flord and Rita Hayworth, who lip-syncs with great abandon to “Put the Blame on Mame.”

“The Hole” (1962): John and Faith Hubley’s Oscar-winning animated short.

“Judgment at Nuremberg” (1961): Stanley Kramer’s drama chronicling the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal for which Maximilian Schell won the best actor Oscar.

“King of Jazz” (1930): Early musical revue in two-strip Technicolor featuring orchestra leader Paul Whiteman and a young Bing Crosby.

“The Lunch Date” (1989): Adam Davidson’s 10-minute Columbia University student film that won the 1990 Student Academy Award.

“The Magnificent Seven” (1960): John Sturges directed this Western remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 “Seven Samurai” starring Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen.

“Martha Graham Early Dance Films” (1931-1944): A quartet of silent films all starring Graham herself including 1931’s “Heretic” and 1944’s “Appalachian Spring.”

“Mary Poppins” (1964): The beloved Walt Disney musical based on the P.L. Travers novels earned five Academy Awards, including best actress for Julie Andrews and best song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee.”

“Men and Dust” (1940): Labor advocacy film about diseases plaguing Kansas miners was produced and directed by Lee Dick, a pioneering documentary female filmmaker.

“Midnight” (1939): Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche and John Barrymore star in the sparkling romantic comedy directed by Mitchell Leisen and penned by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett.

“Notes on the Port of St. Francis” (1951): Frank Stauffacher’s experimental documentary of San Francisco narrated by Vincent Price.

“Pulp Fiction” (1994): Quentin Tarantino’s violent, funny and audacious film noir/crime thriller starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and Tarantino his first screenplay Oscar.

“The Quiet Man” (1952): John Ford won his fourth director Oscar for this classic Technicolor romantic comedy set in Ireland starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.

“The Right Stuff” (1983): Philip Kaufman’s epic adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s bestseller about the early days of the space race.

“Roger & Me” (1989): Michael Moore’s controversial award-winning documentary that chronicles his pursuit of General Motors CEO Roger Smith.

“A Virtuous Vamp” (1919): Constance Talmadge stars in this silent romantic comedy penned by Anita Loos.

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966): Mike Nichols directed this drama based on Edward Albee’s stage play for which Elizabeth Taylor won the best actress Oscar. Her husband, Richard Burton, and George Segal and Sandy Dennis also earned Oscar nominations.

“Wild Boys of the Road” (1933): William Wellman’s socially conscious drama follows the lives of several teens living on the road and riding the rails during the Great Depression.

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