The Library of Congress unveiled its annual list of new additions to the National Film Registry on Tuesday. Only 25 films make the cut per year, and the 2021 selection boasts some beloved classics spanning from 1902-2008. Among those are Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), WALL-E (2008), and many more well-deserving must-sees.
Each year, the Librarian of Congress selects films for the National Film Registry from thousands of public nominations, with input from members of the National Film Preservation Board and Library film curators. Some other additions for 2021 include What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, the 1962 psychological horror-thriller starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Fantasy geeks will be pleased to see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) finally added to the list, while others will appreciate the nods to Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979) as well as Stop Making Sense, Jonathan Demme’s 1984 Talking Heads doc.
Notably, this year’s list also includes a number of films that tell crucial stories pertaining to underrepresented groups. Selena, the 1997 biopic which stars Jennifer Lopez as the late Tejano legend Selena Quintanilla, has now been honored. Michael Schultz’s 1975 comedy Cooley High, about a group of teenagers in Chicago’s historically Black Cabrini-Green neighborhood, got recognized as well. Additional honorees include The Murder Of Fred Hampton (1971), Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987), and Requiem-29 (1970), dramas that depict stories of violence against Black, Asian, and Latinx Americans, respectively.
“Films help reflect our cultural history and creativity — and show us new ways of looking at ourselves — though movies haven’t always been deemed worthy of preservation,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in a statement. “The National Film Registry will preserve our cinematic heritage, and we are proud to add 25 more films this year. The Library of Congress will work with our partners in the film community to ensure these films are preserved for generations to come.”
The total number of films in the registry now adds up to 825. Revisit last year’s honorees here, and see the full list of 2021’s additions below.
Films Selected for the 2021 National Film Registry:
Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)
The Flying Ace (1926)
Hellbound Train (1930)
Flowers and Trees (1932)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
Pink Flamingos (1972)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Cooley High (1975)
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
The Wobblies (1979)
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Stop Making Sense (1984)
Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
The Watermelon Woman (1996)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)