Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan is among 25 films to be added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

James H. Billington, librarian of Congress, released a statement regarding the new additions, saying “The National Film Registry showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant. By preserving these films, we protect a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history.”

The National Film Preservation Act takes films into the Registry that are at least 10 years old. The National Film Registry serves as a Hall of Fame of sorts for films. The 25 additions this year brings the total films in the Registry, guaranteed to be preserved through cooperation of studios and filmmakers, up to 650 total films.

Saving Private Ryan, Spielberg’s epic 1998 World War II film is one of the headliners of the new group. Other notable inclusions are The Big Lebowski, Joel and Ethan Coen’s comedy that has become arguably the biggest cult classic in American film history, and the landmark 80s comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off starring Matthew Broderick.

Roman Polanski’s satanic 1968 horror film, Rosemary’s Baby, regarded by most as one of the best in the genre, is also added to the Registry in the group of 25. Other highlights include Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and the John Wayne classic Rio Bravo. Rounding out the list of 25 are the lesser known films Down Argentine Way, The Dragon Painter, Felicia, House of Wax, The Gang’s All Here, Luxo Jr., Little Big Man, Moon Breath Beat, Please Don’t Bury Me Alive!, The Power and The Glory, Into the Arms of Strangers, Shoes, Unmasked, State Fair, Ruggles of Red Gap, The Way of Peace, and VE+1.

The National Film Registry’s marquee addition, Saving Private Ryan, lost the 1998 Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love in one of the more controversial upsets in Oscar history.

[photo credit: moviesinla]