National Film Registry adds ‘Dark Knight,’ ‘Blues Brothers,’ ‘Shrek’ and more to Library of Congress

on Dec14
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Twenty-five films, including “The Dark Knight” and “The Blues Brothers,” have been selected to join the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry for 2020.

Each year, the National Film Registry selects 25 of America’s most influential motion pictures that have not already been added to the list and inducts them into the coveted spot for preservation in the Library of Congress. 

According to an announcement of the 2020 inductees, this year sees a record number of films from women as well as people of color alongside familiar hits like “Grease,” “Shrek” and “Suspense.” For example, “Lilies of the Field,” the film that propelled actor Sidney Poitier to become the first Black person to win the Oscar for best actor, is among the 2020 inductees. 

“‘Lilies of the Field’ stirs up such great remembrances in our family, from the littlest Poitiers watching a young and agile ‘Papa’ to the oldest – Papa Sidney himself!” Poitier said in a statement with his family.


"The Blues Brothers" was inducted into the National Film Registry.

“The Blues Brothers” was inducted into the National Film Registry.
(Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images)

The announcement notes that each of the 25 films added to this year’s list was selected based on criteria related to their “cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to the nation’s film heritage.” In addition, all the films selected must be at least 10 years old. The list ranges wildly from musicals and blockbusters to silent films and documentaries, all of which showcase American film excellence. 

“This is not only a great honor for all of us who worked on ‘The Dark Knight,’ this is also a tribute to all of the amazing artists and writers who have worked on the great mythology of Batman over the decades,” said Christopher Nolan, director of “The Dark Knight” trilogy.

“Having ‘The Blues Brothers’ chosen to be included in the National Film Registry is both a great honor and a delightful surprise. The film is the result of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s genuine passion for rhythm and blues and our mutual love for these great African American artists and the city of Chicago,” director John Landis said.

Landis can boast of having two other films on the list from previous years, “Animal House” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Aykroyd added: “Judy Belushi and I are exhilarated to see the performances of the African American musical stars in ‘The Blues Brothers’ film formally treasured for all time by the people of the United States. We feel grateful at being participants in making the movie and for this most worthwhile cultural preservation initiative.”

Producer Janet Yang expressed how excited she is to see “The Joy Luck Club,” a 1993 film telling the story of two generations of Asian American women based on a bestselling book by Amy Tan, get recognition from the Film Registry.


Actor Christian Bale stars as Batman in "The Dark Knight Rises."

Actor Christian Bale stars as Batman in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“I could have never imagined, after reading a few chapters of Amy’s manuscript that eventually became ‘The Joy Luck Club’ book, that my dream of its adaptation would result in a movie that is still talked about decades later,” she said. “When people tell me – and so many from so many cultures have – that the movie helped heal a rift with their family, I am immensely gratified, and it reminds me of the power of the moving image.”

The films selected for the 2020 National Film Registry are: 

1. Suspense (1913)

2. Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)

3. Bread (1918)

4. The Battle of the Century(1927)

5. With Cara and Camera Around the World (1929)

6. Cabin in the Sky (1943)

7. Outrage (1950)

8. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

9. Lilies of the Field (1963)


10. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

11. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)

12. Wattstax (1973)

13. Grease (1978)

14. The Blues Brothers (1980)

15. Losing Ground (1982)

16. Illusions (1982)

17. The Joy Luck Club (1993)

18. The Devil Never Sleeps (1994)

19. Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

20. The Ground (1993-2001)

21. Shrek (2001)


22. Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2006)

23. The Hurt Locker (2008)

24. The Dark Knight (2008)

25. Freedom Riders (2010)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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