Tune in Tuesday, Dec. 27, as Turner Classic Movies (TCM) celebrates films chosen to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress because of their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to the nation’s film heritage. Dr. Carla Hayden of The Library of Congress joins TCM Host Jacqueline Stewart to introduce the first four films of the night on TCM.
“I am especially proud of the way the Registry has amplified its recognition of diverse filmmakers, experiences, and a wide range of filmmaking traditions in recent years,” said TCM Host Jacqueline Stewart, Chair of the National Film Preservation Board. “I am grateful to the entire National Film Preservation Board, the members of the public who nominated films, and of course to Dr. Hayden for advocating so strongly for the preservation of our many film histories.”
Learn more about the films selected for this year’s registry here.
The films in TCM’s tribute include:
With the 1963 romantic comic thriller “Charade,” director Stanley Donen gave audiences their first and only opportunity to enjoy the delicious onscreen chemistry of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, two of Hollywood’s most elegant and sophisticated actors. Drawing on a persona Grant created with Alfred Hitchcock that introduced elements of uncertainty and deceit into a developing romance, Stone and Donen, an admirer of “North by Northwest’s” “wonderful story of the mistaken identity of the leading man,” made the true identity of Grant’s character a secret to Hepburn’s and the audience until the final scene. Set in picture-postcard Paris, “Charade” has grown in regard over the years, appreciated at its 50th anniversary as “the last sparkle of Hollywood” by cultural historian and film critic Michael Newton.
Titicut Follies (1967)
With this landmark 1967 film, Frederick Wiseman takes audiences inside the Bridgewater State Prison for the Criminally Insane in Massachusetts to expose the abuse of patients. The film was banned from general release until 1991 when a judge ruled the film could be shown to the general public. The film is a seminal work of American documentary and an illustration of the impact of cinema to bring change to institutions.
Super Fly (1972)
As a classic of the “Blaxploitation” genre, this was also a searing commentary on the American dream in 1972. Directed by Gordon Parks Jr., son of the renowned photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks, the film revolves around a Harlem drug pusher with style who aims to make one final score and then leave the business; criminals and corrupt police have other ideas. Some criticized the film as glorifying drug dealers or for reinforcing stereotypes. Curtis Mayfield’s score, however, received universal acclaim.
Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives (1977)
By the late 1970s, a collective of six queer filmmakers known as the Mariposa Film Group would create Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives. The film would become a landmark in the emerging gay rights movement. Composed of a mosaic of interviews, a diverse group of interviewees discuss their lives as gay men and lesbians at a time when depictions of gay men and lesbians as “everyday people” were extremely rare.
Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)
Produced by Stanley Kramer and directed by Michael Gordon, this was the first U.S. film version of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 French play, and the screenplay used a 1923 English blank verse translation by Brian Hooker. Though critics felt the film suffered from its low budget and appearing too much a stage production, José Ferrer’s star-making performance received much acclaim. Bosley Crowther in the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Ferrer plays Cyrano in a style that is in the theatrical tradition of gesture and eloquence. He speaks the poetry of Rostand with richness and clarity such as only a few other actors have managed on the screen.” For his performance, Ferrer won the Oscar for Best Actor, becoming the first Hispanic actor to win the award.
About Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network that presents classic films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world highlighting “where then meets now.” TCM features the insights from Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz along with hosts Alicia Malone, Dave Karger, Jacqueline Stewart and Eddie Muller, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests and serves as the ultimate movie lover destination. With more than two decades as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers critically acclaimed series like The Essentials, along with annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® and Summer Under the Stars. TCM also directly connects with movie fans through popular events such as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, the TCM Big Screen Classics screening series, and the TCM Classic Cruise. In addition, TCM produces the wildly successful podcast “The Plot Thickens,” which has had more than 7 million downloads to date. TCM hosts a wealth of material online at tcm.com and through the Watch TCM mobile app. Fans can also enjoy a classic movie experience on the Classics Curated by TCM hub on HBO Max.