Entertainment & Arts

Big Lebowski, Ferris Bueller and Willy Wonka added to US film registry

Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski, Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption The Dude was a "career-defining role" for Bridges (left), according to the Library of Congress

The Big Lebowski, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory are among 25 new additions to the US National Film Registry.

Saving Private Ryan, Rosemary's Baby and Dustin Hoffman film Little Big Man have also been chosen for preservation at the Library of Congress.

Other new additions include Luxo Jr, one of the earliest short films to be produced by animation powerhouse Pixar.

This year's selections bring the number of films in the collection to 650.

The registry was instigated in 1989 to ensure that notable titles from America's movie history would be preserved for posterity.

The films admitted, which must be at least 10 years old, are selected from hundreds of titles nominated by the public.

Released in 1998, The Big Lebowski was written and directed by the Coen brothers and introduced the world to pot-smoking slacker "The Dude".

Played by Jeff Bridges, the character - real name Jeffrey Lebowski - has developed a dedicated fan following, as has Bueller, the resourceful high school truant immortalised by Matthew Broderick in John Hughes' 1986 comedy.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rosemary's Baby director Polanski has been wanted by US police since 1977

Based on Roald Dahl's children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka - starring Gene Wilder as the eponymous and often sadistic "candy man" - is another perennially popular title.

According to the National Film Registry's list of new additions, "Wilder's brilliant portrayal... caused theatregoers to like and fear Wonka at the same time".

Rosemary's Baby, it continues, is "a masterpiece of the horror-film genre" from director Roman Polanski that "conveys an increasing sense of unease, claustrophobia and paranoia".

This week saw Polanski, now 81, launch a new bid to have a 37-year-old child sex case closed after attempts were made to extradite him to the US during a visit to Poland in October.

Released in 1986, Luxo Jr is a two-and-a-half minute short in which two moving desk lamps interact with a brightly coloured ball.

Its title character has since made an appearance at the start of every feature film produced by Pixar, the studio behind Finding Nemo and the Toy Story films.

Other titles admitted this year include Betty Grable's 1940 musical Down Argentine Way, the 1953 version of horror film House of Wax and John Wayne's 1959 western Rio Bravo.

Also added to the registry are seven reels of untitled and unassembled footage from 1913 featuring African-American vaudeville star Bert Williams.

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