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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, and the 1993 addition HIS GIRL FRIDAY and the 2010 addition THE FRONT PAGE are both listed under 1993.

The Registry featured 575 films when I created this list, 45 of which were Criterion titles. There are now 700 films in the Registry, 91 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, Ashby 2, Drew 2, Frankenheimer 2, Hawks 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: 91, Seen 91, Own 63, DVDs 33, BDs 36. (And of the 700 films currently in the Registry, I've seen 683.)

UPDATES:
1/18/17: Added WOMAN OF THE YEAR, bringing the total to 91 titles.
12/15/16: Added BEING THERE, bringing the total to 90 titles.
12/14/16: The 2016 additions were announced today. Two Criterion titles were added: PUTNEY SWOPE (the first Eclipse Series title) and RUSHMORE, which was my eleventh pick below (see my December 1, 2014 comment). There are now 89 Criterion titles on the Registry.
11/16/16: Added MILDRED PIERCE, bringing the total to 87 titles.
10/14/16: Added HIS GIRL FRIDAY and THE FRONT PAGE, bringing the total to 86 titles.
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.

127 comments

  • By Sean Ramsdell
    December 14, 2016
    04:45 PM

    Also, Atomic Café (Criterion LD), Princess Bride (one of my favorites for which I made a list), Roger Rabbit, Lion King, Thelma & Louise, Decline of Western Civilization, The Birds, Breakfast Club, Steamboat Bill Jr., East of Eden, Paris Is Burning and so on.
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    December 15, 2016
    06:16 AM

    Sean and Donna, I'm not sure why, but your comments aren't showing up. And Sean, if I click on your name, it says your account is private. If that is not a change that you made, contact the Criterion people and let them know. This happens from time to time, and they're good about fixing it. I'm super excited about this year's inductees. Best year in some time!
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    December 15, 2016
    08:53 AM

    Some of my favorites are in here: Atomic Café (Criterion LD), Princess Bride (for which I made a list) and Roger Rabbit alongside Lion King, T&L, Point Blank, East of Eden, Breakfast Club, Lost Horizon and so on.
    Reply
  • By Kilianf286
    December 15, 2016
    01:23 PM

    Glad to see that RUSHMORE got selected. None of my suggestions that I made this year made the list. I'll guess I'll keep on suggesting Nick Ray and David Lynch films (No Blue Velvet on the list, seriously!). Hopefully, we also get some noir titles on the list in the future as I noticed none on this year's list. Well neo-noir this year with Point Blank and cartoon noir with Roger Rabbit.
    Reply
  • By ericgarfield31
    December 15, 2016
    02:23 PM

    Eric, under your inspiration I created my first nomination list for the NFR back in July and submitted it. One of my nominations got accepted this year! The Birds (1963). Very exciting knowing that this film will be preserved forever.
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    December 15, 2016
    06:09 PM

    Thanks Kilian and Eric! Very exciting year this year. Happiest I've been in a while, not least for RUSHMORE and the long-overdue THE BIRDS. Not to mention favorites BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, THE BREAKFAST CLUB, EAST OF EDEN, POINT BLANK, STEAMBOAT BILL JR., THELMA & LOUISE, and WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT! Then BEING THERE gets added to the Collection today, and BLOW-UP--one of my all-time favorite films. Life is good!
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    December 16, 2016
    02:14 PM

    PRINCESS BRIDE, too (I made a list)
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    December 17, 2016
    02:10 AM

    To Sean: Looks like you've been blocked. That's why all of your old messages have disappeared. Don't worry. This happens from time to time and has happened to me before. In their efforts to stop the scammers who have sadly descended to this website, the Criterion spam-blocking machine is sometimes overzealous, and affects us innocent folks for little or obscure reason. Contact Janet Hicks: hicks@criterion.com. Let he know what's going on, and they should be able to restore your account, and when they do, all of your old comments will return. Sorry you're going through this my friend. Don't despair.
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    December 17, 2016
    02:17 AM

    To Killian: Agree with you about Lynch and Ray. BLUE VELVET is conspicuous in its absence to say the least. Though I will acknowledge there is a bit of a conservative streak on the Registry. They've gone out of their way to include so many different genres and types of films--including home movies! Will they ever add a porn film? Admittedly not many great ones out there, but a handful of classics deserve recognition. The same conservative streak leads to the lack of films by Jack Smith, Russ Meyer, and John Waters. O well, at least Criterion is brave enough to acknowledge the latter two. But BLUE VELVET may be pushing it. Just a guess. My biggest beefs with underrepresented directors are Welles and Kubrick--both of whom had films included the first year of the Registry, but currently only have three each. Spielberg has six, and Kubrick just three? What's wrong with this picture?
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    December 19, 2016
    06:48 PM

    I'm back
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    December 19, 2016
    06:51 PM

    https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/film-registry/films-not-yet-named-to-the-registry/
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    December 20, 2016
    04:54 AM

    Hey Sean! Welcome back! Great to finally see your missing comments. Definitely the best year in some time. I already bought 20,000 LEAGUES, and got BALL OF FIRE, FUNNY GIRL, and LOST HORIZON from the library. The entire SOLOMON SIR JONES FILMS collection is available online, and SUZANNE, SUZANNE was released on an obscure DVD label (at institutional pricing--argh!), so I ordered that one at my local library. And Milestone has announced they'll be releasing Lois Weber's SHOES to the home market next year, so a very exciting time for us NFR fans. And I saw your name at the bottom of the not yet named list! Freakin' awesome dude!
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    December 20, 2016
    01:50 PM

    I suggested John Waters, Jack Smith & Russ Meyer thanks to Criterion, BUT NO PORN
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    December 20, 2016
    06:05 PM

    Also suggested BIGGER THAN LIFE alongside DUNE and TWIN PEAKS: PLAYING WITH FIRE
    Reply
  • By Sal U. Lloyd
    January 02, 2017
    02:47 AM

    THE BREAKFAST CLUB!!! Aaaarrrghhhhh!!! My God, it IS the Apocalypse!
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    January 02, 2017
    07:43 AM

    Ferris Bueller was in it before
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    January 02, 2017
    07:45 AM

    Seen my PRINCESS BRIDE list? Also, ATOMIC CAFE was a Criterion LD
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    January 02, 2017
    07:56 AM

    ROGER RABBIT is on my Disney Films List
    Reply
    • By Sean Ramsdell
      January 02, 2017
      07:56 AM

      Bob Hoskins in MONA LISA
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    January 02, 2017
    07:59 AM

    Also made a JOHN HUGHES list
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    January 17, 2017
    06:04 PM

    WOMAN OF THE YEAR?
    Reply