A new group of films added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry includes some geeky favorites, including DIE HARD!
When the National Film Preservation Act was established in 1988, the Library of Congress’ National Film Preservation Board began to select 25 movies per year to “ensure the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s film heritage.”
The selections for 2017 date as far back as 1905’s “Interior New York Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street” and run all the way up to one from 2000 (we’ll get into that selection more later). For a complete listing of ALL the movies that have been included into the National Film Registry, you can visit their website.
While looking through the list, some of my favorite movies have been included this year, ensuring that geeky favorites will survive the test of time – at least as long as the Library of Congress is still around. Let’s take a look at five of the movies on this year’s list that any geek should be excited about.
SUPERMAN THE MOVIE (1978)
The fact that Christopher Reeve’s first turn as the Man of Steel is JUST NOW being included in the National Film Registry is a real head-scratcher that even the genius of Lex Luthor couldn’t unravel. But the film – whose tag line was “You Will Believe A Man Can Fly” – now takes its place of honor. For its time, Richard Donner’s film was an amazing technical achievement, basically creating the special effects it needed to wow audiences and establishing a baseline to which every actor who has played Superman since has been compared. Heck, every actor who has played any superhero has had to live up to the legacy of Christopher Reeve’s nearly pitch-perfect turn as both Superman and his alter-ego, Clark Kent.
DIE HARD (1988)
The greatest Christmas movie ever made gets honored, just in time for the film’s 30th anniversary. In addition to creating a new action hero in Bruce Willis, the formula used in director John McTiernan’s film has been copied and adapted for almost three decades now. The film was also the feature film debut of the late Alan Rickman, who played the villain Hans Gruber. The mystique of Die Hard has grown steadily over the years, and with it the film’s popularity, and it has left an indelible mark on American popular culture.
THE GOONIES (1985)
A movie about a group of young friends banding together on a hunt for treasure in order to save their neighborhood from becoming a golf course is maybe one of the most quintessential films of the 1980s. Again, how did it take so long for the National Film Preservation Board to accept this into its ranks? Another Richard Donner film, (written by Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus) The Goonies introduced the world to The Truffle Shuffle, and inspired a generation of young moviegoers with the refrain, “GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!”
FIELD OF DREAMS (1989)
Based on the WP Kinsella novel “Shoeless Joe,” Field of Dreams tells the story of an Iowa corn farmer (played by Kevin Costner) who hears a voice telling him, “If you build it, he will come.” So the farmer does what any man would do in this situation – he builds a baseball field in his corn crop, bringing out the shamed 1919 Chicago Black Sox. The film is an emotional journey of a man looking for a chance to play catch with his dad one more time. Most notably, it’s a film that would draw a tear from even the toughest of guys.
The most recent film on the 2017 list, Memento is an amazing piece of noir cinema written and directed by Christopher Nolan, about a man who suffers from short-term memory loss every five minutes, along with an inability to form new memories, and who is looking for the people who killed his wife. The unique storytelling in Memento, following threads in both chronological and reverse chronological orders, fascinated moviegoers, and the critical success of the film cemented Nolan as a master filmmaker.
What’s your favorite movie on the 2017 National Film Registry List? Let us know in the comments!