The 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally is one of 25 films chosen this year to enter the National Film Registry – a list which ranges from Disney’s The Little Mermaid to a 1898 silent documentary, long thought lost, about the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.
Also chosen this year for preservation are Marvel’s Iron Man, John Waters’ Hairspray, Brian de Palma’s Carrie and the 1950 Cyrano De Bergerac starring Jose Ferrer, whose performance made him the first Hispanic actor to win a best actor Oscar.
The registry is housed at the US Library of Congress, which since 1988 has selected films for preservation based on their cultural and historic importance.
We are proud to add 25 more films by a group of vibrant and diverse filmmakers to the National Film Registry as we preserve our cinematic heritageLibrarian of Congress Carla Hayden
This year’s picks bring the total number of films in the registry to 850 — many of which are among the 1.7 million films in the library’s collections.
The oldest film selected this year is the 1898 Mardi Gras Carnival, a silent era documentary with the earliest known footage of the carnival in New Orleans.
A copy was recently found at the Eye Filmmuseum in the Netherlands.
Showing floats, spectators and marchers at a parade, the film is one of nine documentaries chosen, covering topics like the Attica prison rebellion, female union workers, mental health treatment, LGBTQ history and others.
The most recent film on this year’s list is the 2011 Pariah, by Dee Rees, a coming-out story about a lesbian teenager in Brooklyn that is considered a prominent film in modern queer cinema.
Among a number of other LGBTQ-themed films chosen this year is the 1967 student short film Behind Every Good Man by Nikolai Ursin, a look at black gender fluidity in Los Angeles.
Another is the 1977 Word Is Out: Stories Of Some of Our Lives, which interviewed more than two dozen gay people about their lives, becoming a landmark of the early gay rights movement.
“We are proud to add 25 more films by a group of vibrant and diverse filmmakers to the National Film Registry as we preserve our cinematic heritage,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.
Among the films entering the registry are:
— When Harry Met Sally (1989), Rob Reiner’s much-loved rom-com starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan with a script by Nora Ephron, and one of the best scenes filmed in a deli.
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— Iron Man (2008), the Marvel superhero film starring Robert Downey Jnr and Gwyneth Paltrow, directed by Jon Favreau.
— Carrie (1976), the Brian de Palma horror classic based on Stephen King’s book about a teenage outcast (Sissy Spacek) with telekinetic powers.
— Hairspray (1988), the John Waters version of the story about teenagers in Baltimore, starring Ricki Lake, Debbie Harry, Jerry Stiller, Sonny Bono and Divine. The film went on to become a successful Broadway musical.
— Charade (1963) by Stanley Donen, the only film to pair Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
— Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) directed by Michael Gordon, the first US film version of Rostand’s 1897 French play. It made Ferrer an Oscar winner for best actor.
— The Little Mermaid (1989), the classic Disney production with the Alan Menken and Howard Ashman songs (Part Of Your World and Under The Sea, for example) about Ariel, who lives under the sea but wishes she were human.
Also being preserved are Cab Calloway Home Movies (1948-1951), Scorpio Rising (1963), Titicut Follies (1967), Mingus (1968), Manzanar (1971), Betty Tells Her Story (1972), Super Fly (1972), Attica (1974), Union Maids (1076), Bush Mama (1999), The Ballad Of Gregorio Cortez (1982), Itam Hakim, Hoplit (1984), Tongues Untied (1989) and House Party (1990).