When it comes to the world of movies, getting into the National Film Registry is a big deal.
In fact, it’s considered an official recognition that a film’s impact on society was significant in some way when the Library of Congress inducts titles into its National Film Registry. And with the announcement of the titles receiving the honor this year, many of them fall comfortably in the realm of celebrated pop culture staples.
Among the eclectic mix of 25 films announced Tuesday: Return of the Jedi, Lord of the Rings, Selena, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and WALL•E, according to the Library of Congress’ announcement.
The films were chosen for their “cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to preserve the nation’s film heritage,” according to the release. For 2021, that includes epic trilogies, films that represented major roles for Jennifer Lopez and Cicely Tyson, amazing animated films, comedy, music, and films that addressed the issue of racially-motivated violence against people of color decades ago.
“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,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement.
In the release, Star Wars creator George Lucas and the Lord of the Rings filmmaking team of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens each called the induction of their respective films a “great honor”
Here’s the complete list of this year’s inducted movies, which spans nearly 120 years, right here and in chronological order:
- Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)
- Jubilo (1919)
- The Flying Ace (1926)
- Hellbound Train (1930)
- Flowers and Trees (1932)
- Strangers on a Train (1951)
- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
- Evergreen (1965)
- Requiem-29 (1970)
- The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
- Pink Flamingos (1972)
- Sounder (1972)
- The Long Goodbye (1973)
- Cooley High (1975)
- Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
- Chicana (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)
- Selena (1997)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
- WALL•E (2008)