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National Film Registry Criterion Titles

by Eric Levy

Created 07/14/12

Edit List

These Criterion titles are on the Library of Congress National Film Registry, which began in 1989. Films are sorted by year of entry in the Registry, which is listed in the notes, followed by the year of release. In three cases, shorts from collections are included. Because titles cannot be added twice on Criterion lists, the 1990 addition PRIMARY and the 2011 addition CRISIS are both listed under 1990.

The Registry featured 575 films when I created this list, 45 of which were Criterion titles. There are now 675 films in the Registry, 83 of which are Criterion titles. I will continue to update as necessary.

PS. 8/1/14: I have recently read both volumes of AMERICA'S FILM LEGACY by Daniel Eagan. I highly recommend Mr. Eagan's books to my fellow Film Registry enthusiasts.

Directors with multiple films: Chaplin 5, Cassavetes 3, Ford 3, Altman 2, Drew 2, Frankenheimer 2, Kubrick 2, Lubitsch 2, Malick 2, Albert and David Maysles 2, Newmeyer and Taylor 2, Sternberg 2, Sturges 2

Cross-references to my other lists are included in the notes.

Personal statistics: S=Seen, D=Own on DVD, B=Own on Blu-ray Disc, *=non-Criterion edition. Totals: Films: 84, Seen 84, Own 59, DVDs 31, BDs 34. (And of the 675 films currently in the Registry, I've seen 660.)

UPDATES:
9/16/16: added THE ASPHALT JUNGLE, bringing the total to 84 titles.
6/17/16: added CAT PEOPLE, bringing the total to 83 titles.
5/16/16: added McCABE & MRS. MILLER, bringing the total to 82 titles.
3/17/16: Added DR. STRANGELOVE and IN A LONELY PLACE (thanks ericgarfield31!), bringing the total to 81 titles.
1/16/16: Added PRIMARY and CRISIS, bringing the total to 79 titles.
12/18/15: Added THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, bringing the total to 77 titles.
12/16/15: The 2015 additions were announced today. Two Criterion titles were added: SECONDS and SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM TAKE ONE. There are now 76 Criterion titles on the Registry.
11/16/15: Added THE KID and THE GRADUATE, bringing the total to 74 titles.
10/17/15: Added GILDA, bringing the total to 72 titles.
8/18/15: Added IN COLD BLOOD and DONT LOOK BACK, bringing the total to 71 titles.
4/16/15: Added THE BLACK STALLION, bringing the total to 69 titles.
12/17/14: The 2014 additions were announced today. ROSEMARY'S BABY, which was my first pick below (see my December 1, 2014 comment), is the only Criterion film. There are now 68 Criterion titles on the Registry.
12/16/14: Added THE THIN BLUE LINE, bringing the total to 67 titles.
8/16/14: Added IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, TOOTSIE, and GARLIC IS AS GOOD AS TEN MOTHERS, bringing the total to 66 titles.
7/16/14: Added MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, bringing the total to 63 titles.
6/17/14: Added ERASERHEAD, bringing the total to 62 titles.
5/16/14: Added ALL THAT JAZZ, bringing the total to 61 titles.
2/18/14: Added RED RIVER, bringing the total to 60 titles.
12/23/13: I've looked at the Martha Graham disc. The Film Registry added four films of Graham's work this year, including APPALACHIAN SPRING. The film added to the Registry is a silent version from 1944, not the 1958 sound version included on Criterion's MARTHA GRAHAM-DANCE ON FILM set. As it happens, there are excerpts from the 1944 version included on the Criterion disc as a bonus, but as it is not the entire film, it is not eligible for this list. So, alas, we are back to a total of 59 titles.
12/18/13: The 2013 additions were announced today. Just one Criterion title was added: the Martha Graham short APPALACHIAN SPRING (I'm researching whether this is the same film). There are now 60 Criterion titles on the Registry.
12/17/13: Added THE FRESHMAN, bringing the total to 59 titles.
9/16/13: Added NASHVILLE, bringing the total to 58 titles.
8/15/13: Added CITY LIGHTS, bringing the total to 57 titles.
5/15/13: Added TO BE OR NOT TO BE, bringing the total to 56 titles.
3/19/13: Added SAFETY LAST!, bringing the total to 55 titles.
2/15/13: Added MEDIUM COOL and 3:10 TO YUMA, bringing the total to 54 titles.
12/19/12: The 2012 additions were announced today. Four Criterion titles were added: ANATOMY OF A MURDER, SLACKER, THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK, and TWO-LANE BLACKTOP. There are now 52 Criterion titles on the Registry.
12/16/12: Added BADLANDS, bringing the total to 48 titles.
11/15/12: Added ON THE WATERFRONT, bringing the total to 47 titles.
10/31/12: Added THE NAKED CITY (thanks briclegg!), bringing the total to 46 titles.
9/18/12: Added KOYAANISQATSI, bringing the total to 45 titles.

95 comments

  • By Eric Levy
    May 16, 2016
    09:18 PM

    Got it!
    Reply
  • By ALVideoholic
    May 18, 2016
    04:33 PM

    Appalachian Spring (which is on Martha Graham: Dance On Film; spine #406) made the NFR in 2013.
    Reply
  • By ALVideoholic
    May 18, 2016
    04:41 PM

    As a follow up: Martha Graham's Early Dance Films was included on the NFR in 2013. I am fairly certain this also included Appalachian Spring, which is on the Criterion release.
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    May 19, 2016
    04:35 AM

    Thanks AL! As I mention in the introduction to this list (see the 12/18 and 12/23/13 entries under Updates), the version of APPALACHIAN SPRING included on the Criterion disc is a different one than the one that was added to the Registry. Thanks though!
    Reply
    • By ALVideoholic
      May 19, 2016
      10:55 AM

      Guess I missed that, sorry.
  • By Eric Levy
    May 19, 2016
    03:04 PM

    Looks like you responded, but it hasn't shown up. The Reply function hasn't worked in quite a while. Just post new comments. Sometimes the missing replies show up if a new post comes, so fingers crossed.
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    May 19, 2016
    03:09 PM

    Worked! Nothing to apologize about. That's a confusing one. Those four silent Graham films are among the rarest NFR titles. I'd love it if Criterion re-released their Graham disc, on Blu-ray for instance, with those as new additions. As I mention in my intro, a section of the silent APPALACHIAN SPRING is included on the existing disc, so obviously the creators of the disc had access to the silent one (and presumably the other three NFR/Graham titles). Meanwhile they are completely unavailable unless you want to visit the Library of Congress :-(
    Reply
  • By Kilianf286
    June 14, 2016
    11:21 AM

    A William Wyler phantom has popped up this week. Not sure if title could be the THE HEIRESS or ROMAN HOLIDAY. BEN-HUR & THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES do not seem to be possibilities.
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    June 16, 2016
    09:39 PM

    Cat People
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    June 17, 2016
    01:12 PM

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    June 17, 2016
    11:42 PM

    And thanks Kilian! With nine films on the registry, Wyler is second only to John Ford. It will be interesting to see what Criterion releases, though phantom pages are often there for years, e.g. Peter Greenaway.
    Reply
  • By Collection
    August 12, 2016
    05:21 PM

    It appears as if the release date for McCabe & Mrs. Miller has been pushed back several months from August 2016 to October 11, 2016 for the time being. You may recall that a similar delay in release date had occurred previously with Moonrise Kingdom. Here's hoping that next week's November 2016 announcement bring you anticipation and a reason to update your list(s).
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    August 13, 2016
    05:18 AM

    I did notice that. Disappointing. The Ingrid Bergman doc got pushed back a week too. Well, I suppose there are worse things happening in the world, but it is frustrating. And yes, Monday should be exciting. I'm anxious to add HIS GIRL FRIDAY to this list. Still a couple NYD lingerers too: THE SQUID AND THE WHALE being the most obvious...
    Reply
  • By Kilianf286
    August 20, 2016
    04:21 PM

    Quick Reminder: Nominations for the 2016 Registry close on September 2 Entries received after that date will roll over for consideration in 2017
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    August 21, 2016
    09:23 AM

    Thanks man! I sent mine in a while ago. Already excited for December! So I've been burning through Kino's new PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA box set, which I got as a gift for contributing to the Kickstarter campaign. It includes three Film Registry titles, including the Criterion film BODY AND SOUL. I'm about halfway through, and it's been amazing so far. I can promise more films from that will be added to the Registry this year.
    Reply
  • By ericgarfield31
    September 01, 2016
    05:13 PM

    Do you ever share your votes for The NFR with others? I'm curious to see how your 50 nominations match up with mine.
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    September 15, 2016
    05:41 PM

    Is The Asphalt Jungle part of film registry?
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    September 15, 2016
    05:42 PM

    I got the two books, too.
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    September 16, 2016
    08:56 AM

    It IS! Just added it. I love when there are unexpected ones like that. And HIS GIRL FRIDAY has been hinted, so the CC NFR titles keep expanding :-) So glad you got the books. I read them both cover-to-cover like a novel. So well researched and well written. I've e-mailed a bit with Mr. Eagan, and he told me he's working on a new volume. Hopefully soon...
    Reply
  • By TruffautBergman
    September 16, 2016
    10:34 AM

    Hi! Hope you're doing well; haven't talked to you in a while.
    Reply
  • By TruffautBergman
    September 21, 2016
    02:41 PM

    If you want to start a minuscule 'film/music deal' with me {again}, just let me know.
    Reply