George Lucas doubles up in 2010 National Film Registry with THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK


Detailed in a press release this morning by the Library of Congress, 25 films selected for 2010 inductees have been added to the National Film Registry, preserving “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant works of cinema to be preserved for all time:

Spanning the period 1891-1996, the films named to the registry range from a rare glimpse of San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake and the political thriller ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN to George Lucas’ student film in 1967 and his sci-fi special-effects extravaganza THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.  Also included in the registry are lesser-known, but culturally vital films such as the black independent film CRY OF JAZZ, Luis Valdez’s “I AM JOAQUIN and John Huston’s war documentary LET THERE BE LIGHT, which was banned by the War Department for 35 years. This year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 550.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK joins the National Film Registry of significant American filmsAs noted, filmmaker George Lucas doubled up in this year’s selections as his USC student film ELECTRONIC LABYRINTH: THX 1138 4EB (1967) was added to the Registry, a dark and technically complex impression of an Orwellian dystopia of the future which showed off Lucas’ editorial prowess of bold, montage filmmaking. His 15-minute film won the 1968 United States Student Film Festival drama award and lead Warner Brothers to hire Lucas to expand the short into the 1971 feature film release THX 1138
starring Robert Duvall.

Just in time for its 30th anniversary, Lucas’s fifth episode of the STAR WARS sage, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, also joined the Registry this year as a deserving nominee and a timely tribute to its late director, Irvin Kershner:

“The much anticipated continuation of the “Star Wars” saga, Irvin Kershner’s 1980 sequel sustained the action-adventure and storytelling success of its predecessor and helped lay the foundation for one of the most commercially successful film series in American cinematic history.”

Other FilmEdge favorite films joined the National Film Registry class of 2010 as well, including the zany disaster film parody AIRPLANE, Alan J. Pakula’s tense political thriller ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, William Friedkin’s blockbuster horror hit THE EXORCIST and Blake Edwards’ detective spoof THE PINK PANTHER.

The complete list of 2010 films selected to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress:

1.  AIRPLANE! (1980)

2.  ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN (1976)

3. BARGAIN, THE (1914)

4. CRY OF JAZZ (1959)

5. ELECTRONIC LABYRINTH: THX 1138 4EB (1967)

6. EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE (1980)

7. EXORCIST, THE (1973)

8. FRONT PAGE, THE (1931)

9. GREY GARDENS (1976)

10. I AM JOAQUIN (1969)

11. IT’S A GIFT (1934)

12. LET THERE BE LIGHT (1946)

13. LONESOME (1928)

14. MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937)

15. MALCOLM X (1992)

16. MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER (1971)

17. NEWARK ATHLETE (1891)

18. OUR LADY OF THE SPHERE (1969)

19. THE PINK PANTHER (1964)

20. PRESERVATION OF THE SIGN LANGUAGE (1913)

21. SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (1977)

22. STUDY OF A RIVER (1996)

23. TARANTELLA (1940)

24. TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, A (1945)

25. TRIP DOWN MARKET STREET, A (1906)

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