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Dirty Harry and The Matrix added to US National Film Registry

Dirty Harry

Story by Jack Foley

THE Librarian of Congress in America look to have made Clint Eastwood’s day by including his seminal movie Dirty Harry in the National Film Registry.

The registry spotlights the importance of preserving America’s unparalleled film heritage and each year picks 25 films to add to the National Film Registry that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant.

The films must be at least 10 years old.

Dirty Harry first introduced the character of Inspector Harry Callahan, famed for his no-nonsense approach to law-enforcement and his .44 Magnum. Among the catchphrases synonymous with the character are “do you feel lucky, punk” (from the 1971 original) and “go ahead punk, make my day” (from Sudden Impact).

Also included on this year’s list are seminal sci-fi movie The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves, Born Yesterday (1950), featuring Judy Holliday’s Oscar-winning performance; Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), starring Audrey Hepburn and Penny Marshall’s baseball period piece A League of Their Own (1992) featuring Tom Hanks and Madonna.

Other film titles on the list include Laurel & Hardy comedy Sons of the Desert (1933), Elmore Leonard Western 3:10 to Yuma (1957), Otto Preminger’s suspenseful Anatomy of a Murder (1959), starring James Stewart, road movie Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), featuring singer James Taylor and Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson as its non-musical stars, and Richard Linklater’s indie hit Slacker (1991).

Among the documentaries named are The Times of Harvey Milk, a revealing portrait of San Francisco’s first openly gay elected official, They Call It Pro Football, which has been described as the Citizen Kane of sports movies, and a 1914 version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which marked the first black actor (Sam Lucas) to star in a feature-length American film.

Commenting on this year’s selection, which brings the number of works in the Library of Congress registry to 600, James Billington commented: “These films are not selected as the ‘best’ American films of all time but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture. They reflect who we are as a people and as a nation.”

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