Watch: National Film Registry

by Barbara Ann O'Leary | created - 21 Dec 2012 | updated - 19 Dec 2014 | Public

Intention: Watch at least one of these each week - more if the occasion arises... until I'm all caught up. This is my National Film Registry to watch list - films I've yet to see or I'd like to see again to refresh my memory of the experience. An incomplete list. Just getting started... A - Z so far. And a few I couldn't find in IMDB - though I may have to look again later. This will keep me way busy anyway... for now.

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1. America America (1963)

Not Rated | 174 min | Drama

A young Anatolian Greek, entrusted with his family's fortune, loses it en route to Istanbul and dreams of going to the United States.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Stathis Giallelis, Frank Wolff, Elena Karam, Harry Davis

Votes: 4,041

2. All My Babies: A Midwife's Own Story (1953)

Not Rated | 55 min | Documentary

This beautiful film is the story of "Miss Mary" Coley, an African-American midwife more than half a century ago in rural Georgia. Conceived as a demonstration film for illiterate "granny" ... See full summary »

Director: George C. Stoney | Star: Mary Coley

Votes: 88

3. Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman (1974)

G | 58 min | Documentary, Biography

A special deluxe edition of the 1974 Oscar nominated documentary film about the first female conductor to conduct major orchestras in the US and Europe, Antonia Brico!

Director: Jill Godmilow | Star: Antonia Brico

Votes: 57

4. Baby Face (1933)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Romance

A young woman, sexually exploited all her life, decides to turn the tables and exploit the hapless men at a big city bank - by gleefully sleeping her way to the top.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook, Alphonse Ethier

Votes: 4,904

5. The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

Passed | 118 min | Drama, Romance

An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell

Votes: 11,038

6. The Band Wagon (1953)

Passed | 112 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A pretentiously artistic director is hired for a new Broadway musical and changes it beyond recognition.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray

Votes: 8,431

7. The Bank Dick (1940)

Not Rated | 72 min | Comedy

Henpecked Egbert Sousè has comic adventures as a substitute film director and unlikely bank guard.

Director: Edward F. Cline | Stars: W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel, Evelyn Del Rio

Votes: 5,835

8. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)

Not Rated | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.

Directors: Fred Niblo, Charles Brabin, Christy Cabanne, J.J. Cohn, Rex Ingram | Stars: Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman, May McAvoy, Betty Bronson

Votes: 6,561 | Gross: $12.45M

9. Big Business (1929)

19 min | Short, Comedy, Family

Ollie and Stanley are two Christmas Tree sales reps who get into one of their usual mutual destruction fights with a homeowner.

Directors: James W. Horne, Leo McCarey | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Charlie Hall

Votes: 2,362

10. The Big Heat (1953)

Not Rated | 89 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Alexander Scourby

Votes: 19,004

11. The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated | 151 min | Drama, Romance, War

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors: King Vidor, George W. Hill | Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, Claire McDowell

Votes: 5,406 | Gross: $11.00M

12. The Big Trail (1930)

Passed | 125 min | Adventure, Western, Romance

Breck Coleman leads hundreds of settlers in covered wagons from the Mississippi River to their destiny out West.

Directors: Raoul Walsh, Louis R. Loeffler | Stars: John Wayne, Marguerite Churchill, El Brendel, Tully Marshall

Votes: 2,791

13. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Not Rated | 195 min | Drama, History, War

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper

Votes: 19,133 | Gross: $10.00M

14. The Black Pirate (1926)

PG | 88 min | Adventure, Action

Seeking revenge, an athletic young man joins the pirate band responsible for his father's death.

Director: Albert Parker | Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Billie Dove, Tempe Pigott, Donald Crisp

Votes: 1,428 | Gross: $0.68M

15. The Black Stallion (1979)

G | 118 min | Adventure, Family, Sport

84 Metascore

While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion who is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on. When it tragically sinks ... See full summary »

Director: Carroll Ballard | Stars: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Clarence Muse

Votes: 9,970

16. The Blue Bird (1918)

Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy

Two peasant children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, are led by Berylune, a fairy, to search for the Blue Bird of Happiness. Berylune gives Tyltyl a cap with a diamond setting, and when Tyltyl turns the... See full summary »

Director: Maurice Tourneur | Stars: Tula Belle, Robin Macdougall, Edwin E. Reed, Emma Lowry

Votes: 656

17. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 36,613

18. Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp, Arthur Howard

Votes: 7,993

19. A Bronx Morning (1931)

Not Rated | 11 min | Documentary, Short

Arrival in the Bronx is shown with a view from an elevated train as it enters the city. Then follows a montage of sights from the Bronx. Many typical neighborhood activities are shown, along with scenes from many local businesses.

Director: Jay Leyda

Votes: 338

20. The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man (1975)

40 min | Documentary, Short

A look at the Buffalo Creek disaster, which occurred when a coal-waste dam collapsed. Includes interviews with survivors, mining officials, and union representatives, along with footage of the flood itself.

Director: Mimi Pickering

Votes: 46

21. The Cameraman (1928)

Not Rated | 69 min | Comedy, Romance, Family

Hopelessly in love with a woman working at MGM Studios, a clumsy man attempts to become a motion picture cameraman to be close to the object of his desire.

Directors: Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin, Sidney Bracey

Votes: 8,612

22. Carmen Jones (1954)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Olga James

Votes: 3,738

23. Castro Street (1966)

Not Rated | 10 min | Documentary, Short

Inspired by a lesson from Erik Satie; a film in the form of a street - Castro Street running by the Standard Oil Refinery in Richmond, California ... switch engines on one side and refinery... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Baillie

Votes: 410

24. Cat People (1942)

Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph

Votes: 15,755 | Gross: $4.00M

25. Chan Is Missing (1982)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Mystery

85 Metascore

Two cabbies search San Francisco's Chinatown for a mysterious character who has disappeared with their $4000. Their quest leads them on a humorous, if mundane, journey which illuminates the... See full summary »

Director: Wayne Wang | Stars: Wood Moy, Marc Hayashi, Laureen Chew, Peter Wang

Votes: 898

26. The Cheat (1915)

Not Rated | 59 min | Drama

A venal, spoiled stockbroker's wife impulsively embezzles $10,000 from the charity she chairs and desperately turns to a Burmese ivory trader to replace the stolen money.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Fannie Ward, Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Dean, James Neill

Votes: 2,022

27. The Chechahcos (1923)

Unrated | 87 min | Adventure, Drama

A fire engulfs a shipload of prospectors and adventurers making their way to Alaska. In the confusion, Mrs. Stanlaw is separated from her young daughter, who ends up in the care of '... See full summary »

Director: Lewis H. Moomaw | Stars: William Dills, Albert Van Antwerp, Eva Gordon, Baby Margie

Votes: 172

28. Chulas Fronteras (1976)

58 min | Documentary, Music

"Chulas Fronteras" is a documentary about the music of the Mexican community on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border, particularly of migrant farmers. It includes material about the roots ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank | Stars: Los Alegres De Teran, Flaco Jiménez, Lydia Mendoza

Votes: 103

29. The City (I) (1939)

43 min | Documentary, Short

Visionary documentary that contrasts the conditions of life in small towns and in the industrialized cities, starting with a brief portrait of pre-industrial United States, then moving into... See full summary »

Directors: Ralph Steiner, Willard Van Dyke | Star: Morris Carnovsky

Votes: 248

30. City Lights (1931)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers

Votes: 133,124 | Gross: $0.02M

31. Civilization (1915)

78 min | Drama

Christ takes on the form of a pacifist count to end a senseless war.

Directors: Reginald Barker, Thomas H. Ince, Raymond B. West, Walter Edwards, David Hartford, Jay Hunt, J. Parker Read Jr. | Stars: Howard C. Hickman, Enid Markey, Lola May, Kate Bruce

Votes: 224

32. Clash of the Wolves (1925)

Passed | 74 min | Adventure, Romance, Western

A fire in the mountains drive a wolf pack into the nearby desert where they terrorize the local residents. The leader of the wolf pack is Lobo, actually a halfbreed (Rin Tin Tin). When the ... See full summary »

Director: Noel M. Smith | Stars: Rin Tin Tin, Nanette, Charles Farrell, June Marlowe

Votes: 205

33. Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort South Carolina, May 1940 (1940)

42 min | Documentary, Short

Field recordings of religious services in a South Carolina Gullah community.

Director: Zora Neale Hurston

Votes: 48

34. A Computer Animated Hand (1972)

1 min | Animation, Short

Displays the hand turning, opening and closing, pointing at the viewer, and flexing its fingers, ending with a shot that seemingly travels up inside the hand.

Director: Ed Catmull

Votes: 315

35. The Cool World (1963)

105 min | Crime, Drama

Filmmaker Shirley Clarke ("The Connection") directs this powerful, stark semi-documentary look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a ... See full summary »

Director: Shirley Clarke | Stars: Rony Clanton, Carl Lee, Yolanda Rodríguez, Clarence Williams III

Votes: 360

36. Cops (1922)

Unrated | 18 min | Short, Comedy, Family

A series of mishaps manages to make a young man get chased by a big city's entire police force.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline, Virginia Fox, Steve Murphy

Votes: 4,656

37. The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight (1897)

20 min | Documentary, News, Sport

The first known feature film! A very unusual filmed record of the Corbett-Fitzsimmons fight originally ran over 90 minutes in length.

Director: Enoch J. Rector | Stars: James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Billy Madden, George Siler

Votes: 251

38. A Corner in Wheat (1909)

G | 14 min | Short, Drama

An unscrupulous and greedy capitalist speculator decides to corner the wheat market for his own profit, establishing complete control over the markets.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Frank Powell, Grace Henderson, James Kirkwood, Linda Arvidson

Votes: 1,761

39. The Court Jester (1955)

Approved | 101 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king.

Directors: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama | Stars: Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 10,004

40. Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963)

Not Rated | 52 min | Documentary

Governor George Wallace will not let two black students into an Alabama school, against the wishes of President Kennedy. Loud shouts come from both sides of the issue as JFK stands by his decisions.

Director: Robert Drew | Stars: John F. Kennedy, George Wallace, Robert F. Kennedy, Vivian Malone

Votes: 457

41. The Crowd (1928)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Romance

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach, Estelle Clark

Votes: 6,404

42. The Cry of the Children (1912)

Not Rated | 29 min | Short, Drama

An indictment of the evils of child labor, the film was controversial in its time for its use of actual footage of children employed in a working mill.

Director: George Nichols | Stars: Marie Eline, Ethel Wright, James Cruze, Lila Chester

Votes: 208

43. A Cure for Pokeritis (1912)

13 min | Comedy, Short

Wife plots to cure her husband of his inveterate poker playing.

Director: Laurence Trimble | Stars: John Bunny, Flora Finch, Leah Baird, Charles Eldridge

Votes: 268

44. The Curse of Quon Gwon: When the Far East Mingles with the West (1916)

35 min | Short

The members of a Chinese family living in the US have a curse put upon them for becoming to "westernized".

Director: Marian E. Wong | Star: Marian E. Wong

Votes: 53

45. Czechoslovakia 1918-1968 (1969)

13 min | Documentary, Short, History

Short documentary about 50 years of history of Czechoslovakia, with archive images.

Directors: Robert M. Fresco, Denis Sanders | Stars: Leonid Brezhnev, Neville Chamberlain, Alexander Dubcek, Adolf Hitler

Votes: 137

46. Daughter of Shanghai (1937)

Passed | 62 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Chinese-American woman tries to expose illegal alien smuggling ring.

Director: Robert Florey | Stars: Anna May Wong, Charles Bickford, Buster Crabbe, Cecil Cunningham

Votes: 155

47. Dead Birds (1963)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

DEAD BIRDS is a film about the Dani, a people dwelling in the Grand Valley of the Baliem high in the mountains of West Irian. When I shot the film in 1961, the Dani had an almost classic ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Gardner | Star: Robert Gardner

Votes: 163

48. Deliverance (1972)

R | 109 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox

Votes: 85,628

49. Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short

The sound has been found in the form of an old Edisonian recording cylinder. The cylinder was repaired, then Walter Murch ACE MPSE synced the film to the correct music in (I believe) 2002. Total running time is approximately 17 seconds.

Director: William K.L. Dickson | Star: William K.L. Dickson

Votes: 1,619

50. Disneyland Dream (1956)

30 min | Documentary, Short

In July 1956, the five-member Barstow family of Wethersfield, Connecticut, won a free trip to newly-opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in a nationwide contest. This 30-minute amateur... See full summary »

Director: Robbins Barstow | Stars: Daniel Barstow, David Barstow, Mary Barstow, Meg Barstow

Votes: 121

51. D.O.A. (1949)

Approved | 83 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

7.4