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Selections from the National Film Registry
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Selections from the National Film Registry - 12/11 & 12/12


Each year, the United States National Film Preservation Board adds up to 25 "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films" to the National Film Registry (NFR), which showcases the range and diversity of American movies while increasing awareness for the need of their preservation. To be eligible, films must be at least 10 years old.

Join TCM host Alicia Malone on December 11, as she introduces a night of films that have been named to the NFR. On the following night, host Leonard Maltin and Dr. Carla Hayden of The Library of Congress will reveal the group of films being added to the list that day. Below are the films in our tribute, tune in on December 12 for the new listing of films:

The Mark of Zorro (1920, inducted into the NFR 2015) is a silent adventure starring Douglas Fairbanks as the dashing swordsman who proclaims himself a "champion of the people." Fairbanks produced the film, which was directed by Fred Niblo. It is considered to be a work that helped define the "swashbuckler" movie genre.

Stagecoach (1939, inducted 1995) is a hugely influential Western directed by John Ford that provided John Wayne with his breakthrough role as a cowboy hero. The story involves a group of strangers traveling by stagecoach through hostile Apache territory. The film earned seven Oscar® nominations including those for Best Picture and Director, with awards going to Thomas Mitchell as Best Supporting Actor and to the musical score.

Mildred Pierce (1945, inducted 1996) is a crime-drama film noir based on the novel by James M. Cain about the struggles between an ambitious mother (Joan Crawford) and her spoiled ingrate of a daughter (Ann Blyth). In the title role, former MGM star Crawford won a Best Actress Oscar® that revitalized her film career at a new studio (Warner Bros.).

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966, inducted 2013) is the film version of Edward Albee's lacerating play about a bitter middle-aged husband and wife (Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor) who enter into an evening of "fun and games" with a younger couple (George Segal and Sandy Dennis). The movie received 13 nominations including those for Best Picture and Director (Mike Nichols) and won five Oscars® including Best Actress (Taylor) and Supporting Actress (Dennis).

Easy Rider (1969, inducted 1998) is an independently made "road" movie directed by Dennis Hopper that sparked and defined a new era of Hollywood filmmaking. Hopper and Peter Fonda play bikers traveling through the American West and South during a time of cultural upheaval. Oscar® nominations went to the original screenplay and supporting actor Jack Nicholson.

by Frank Miller

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