'Thriller' Lands in National Film Registry

3:30 AM PST 12/30/2009 by Gregg Kilday

Michael Jackson video among 2009 selections

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Michael Jackson has made it into the National Film Registry.

The late performer's 1983 video "Thriller" is among the 25 motion pictures that have been selected this year for preservation by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

The list of films, announced Wednesday, ranged from the 1911 silent film "Little Nemo," which mixed animation with live action, to 1995's "Scratch and Crow," an animated short film made by Helen Hill.

The films named to the 2009 National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress include the 1957 sci-fi classic "The Incredible Shrinking Man" as well as The Muppets' movie debut in 1979's "The Muppet Movie."

This year's selections bring the number of films in the Registry to 525.

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the registry that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant, to be preserved for all time. These films are not selected as the "best" American films of all time; rather, they are chosen as works of enduring importance to American culture.

"Established by Congress in 1989, the National Film Registry spotlights the importance of protecting America's matchless film heritage and cinematic creativity," Billington said. "By preserving the nation's films, we safeguard a significant element of our cultural patrimony and history."

The 2009 lineup embraces a wide array of genres: Rouben Mamoulian's 1940 adventure tale "The Mark of Zorro," starring Tyrone Power; William Wellman's World War II movie "The Story of G.I. Joe," starring Burgess Meredith; Michael Gordon's frothy 1959 romantic comedy "Pillow Talk," starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day; and 1975's "Dog Day Afternoon," the gritty streets-of-New-York drama starring Al Pacino and directed by Sidney Lumet.

The choices include star vehicles like 1938's "Jezebel," starring Bette Davis, and 1942's "Mrs. Miniver," starring Greer Garson; Sergio Leone's 1968 spaghetti Western "Once Upon a Time in the West"; the 1967 docudrama "The Jungle," made by a group of young African-American gang members; 1972's "Hot Dogs for Gauguin," a New York University student film by Martin Brest; and 1932's "A Study in Reds," directed by amateur filmmaker Miriam Bennett.

For each title named to the registry, the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation works to ensure that the film is preserved for future generations, either through the library's motion-picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion-picture studios and independent filmmakers.

The complete list of 2009 selections:

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
The Exiles (1961)
Heroes All (1920)
Hot Dogs for Gauguin (1972)
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
Jezebel (1938)
The Jungle (1967)
The Lead Shoes (1949)
Little Nemo (1911)
Mabel's Blunder (1914)
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Pillow Talk (1959)
Precious Images (1986)
Quasi at the Quackadero (1975)
The Red Book (1994)
The Revenge of the Pancho Villa (1930-36)
Scratch and Crow (1995)
Stark Love (1927)
The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)
A Study in Reds (1932)
Thriller (1983)
Under Western Stars (1938)

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