National Film Registry Adds Carrie, Iron Man, The Little Mermaid

Sf and fantasy films Iron Man and The Little Mermaid, and horror film Carrie are on the list of 25 movies inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress this year. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the selections today.

Films Selected for the 2022 National Film Registry

(chronological order)

  • Mardi Gras Carnival (1898)
  • Cab Calloway Home Movies (1948-1951)
  • Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)
  • Charade (1963)       
  • Scorpio Rising (1963)
  • Behind Every Good Man (1967)
  • Titicut Follies (1967)
  • Mingus (1968) 
  • Manzanar (1971)
  • Betty Tells Her Story (1972)
  • Super Fly (1972)
  • Attica (1974)
  • Carrie (1976)
  • Union Maids (1976)
  • Word is Out: Stories of Our Lives (1977)
  • Bush Mama (1979)
  • The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)
  • Itam Hakim, Hopiit (1984)
  • Hairspray (1988)
  • The Little Mermaid (1989)
  • Tongues Untied (1989)
  • When Harry Met Sally (1989)
  • House Party (1990)
  • Iron Man (2008)
  • Pariah (2011)    

Selected for their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to preserve the nation’s film heritage, the newest selections bring the number of films in the registry to 850, many of which are among the 1.7 million films in the Library’s collections.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will host a television special Tuesday, December 27, starting at 8 p.m. Eastern to screen a selection of motion pictures named to the registry this year. Hayden will join TCM host, film historian and Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Director and President Jacqueline Stewart, who is chair of the National Film Preservation Board, to discuss the films.

“I am especially proud of the way the Registry has amplified its recognition of diverse filmmakers, experiences, and a wide range of filmmaking traditions in recent years,” Stewart said. “I am grateful to the entire National Film Preservation Board, the members of the public who nominated films, and of course to Dr. Hayden for advocating so strongly for the preservation of our many film histories.”

The public submitted 6,865 titles for consideration this year. Several selected titles drew significant public support through online nominations. They include Betty Tells Her Story, Carrie, Iron Man, The Little Mermaid and When Harry Met Sally.

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names to the National Film Registry 25 motion pictures that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. More information about the National Film Registry can be found at loc.gov/film.

The press release’s commentary on the films named in the lede follows:

Carrie (1976)

Brian De Palma stands as an icon of the new wave of filmmakers who remade Hollywood and its filmmaking conventions beginning in the 1960s and 70s. After some intriguing independent efforts, De Palma burst onto the national spotlight with “Carrie.” Never one to feature subtlety in his films, De Palma mixes up a stylish cauldron of horrific scenes in “Carrie,” adapted from the Stephen King novel. Combine a teen outcast with telekinetic powers facing abuse from cruel classmates and a domineering religious mother, and you have a breeding ground for revenge, with the comeuppance delivered in a no-holds barred prom massacre. The flamboyant visual flair and use of countless cinema techniques may occasionally seem overdone, but the film’s influence remains undeniable to this day, often cited by other critics and filmmakers for its impact on the horror genre.

Iron Man (2008)

Marvel Studios enthralled audiences with 2008’s “Iron Man,” a superhero film that transcends and elevates the genre. Key factors in the film’s success include the eclectic direction of Jon Favreau, superb special effects and production design, and excellent performances from Gwyneth Paltrow as the sidekick and Robert Downey Jr., as the brooding, conflicted hero out to make amends for his career as an armaments mogul. Critics sometimes love to take shots at superhero movies but many recognized “Iron Man” for its unexpected excellence. Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal wrote: “The gadgetry is absolutely dazzling, the action is mostly exhilarating, the comedy is scintillating and the whole enormous enterprise, spawned by Marvel comics, throbs with dramatic energy because the man inside the shiny red robotic rig is a daring choice for an action hero, and an inspired one.” Richard Corliss in Time noted the film’s place in a uniquely American tradition: “Some of us know that there’s an American style — best displayed in the big, smart, kid-friendly epic — that few other cinemas even aspire to, and none can touch. When it works, as it does here, it rekindles even a cynic’s movie love.”

The Little Mermaid (1989)

When you combine a beloved Hans Christian Andersen tale with the beauty and heart of truly remarkable Disney magic, you end up with an animated film for the ages. Ariel, the titular mermaid, lives under the sea but longs to be human. She is able to live her dream with a little help from some adorable underwater friends and despite the devious efforts of a sea witch named Ursula (a recent addition to Disney’s peerless rogue’s gallery of cartoon villains). Alan Menken composed the memorable score and collaborated with Howard Ashman on songs that have become modern standards such as “Under the Sea;” “Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl.” Adding to the film’s irresistible charm is a fantastic array of voice artists including Jodi Benson, Buddy Hackett, Pat Carroll and Kenneth Mars. An extraordinary success — artistically and commercially — at the time of its release, “Mermaid” proved a touchstone film during the “The Disney Renaissance” of the 1980s and 90s.

[Based on a press release. Thanks to N. for the story.]

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