How to Watch the 25 New Movies Added to the National Film Registry in 2021

Ben Bowman

It’s a huge honor for 25 important films. Library of Congress’ National Film Registry just selected titles like “Return of the Jedi,” “WALL-E” and “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” to join the list of 800 other classics deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant.

While some titles are too obscure or the footage may be too damaged, you can still watch many of these gems on streaming services today.

New Entries in the National Film Registry

  • ロード・オブ・ザ・リング

    December 18, 2001


  • スター・ウォーズ エピソード6/ジェダイの帰還

    May 25, 1983


  • ウォーリー

    June 22, 2008


  • エルム街の悪夢

    November 9, 1984


  • Richard Pryor: Live in Concert

    January 26, 1979

    Richard Pryor delivers monologues on race, sex, family and his favorite target—himself, live at the Terrace Theatre in Long Beach, California.

  • セレナ

    March 21, 1997
  • The Watermelon Woman

    February 7, 1996

    A young black lesbian filmmaker probes into the life of The Watermelon Woman, a 1930s black actress who played ‘mammy’ archetypes.

  • 何がジェーンに起ったか?

    October 12, 1962
  • Who Killed Vincent Chin?

    March 11, 1987

    This film recounts the murder of Vincent Chin, an automotive engineer mistaken as Japanese who was slain by an assembly line worker who blamed him for the competition by the Japanese auto makers that were threatening his job. It then recounts how that murderer escaped justice in the court system.

  • Sounder

    September 24, 1972

    The Morgans, a loving and strong family of Black sharecroppers in Louisiana in 1933, face a serious family crisis when the husband and father, Nathan Lee Morgan, is convicted of a petty crime and sent to a prison camp. After some weeks or months, the wife and mother, Rebecca Morgan, sends the oldest son, who is about 11 years old, to visit his father at the camp. The trip becomes something of an odyssey for the boy. During the journey he stays a little while with a dedicated Black schoolteacher.

  • The Wobblies

    September 15, 1979

    “Solidarity! All for One and One for All!” With that slogan, the Industrial Workers of the World, aka the Wobblies, took to organizing unskilled workers into one big union and changing the course of history. This award-winning film airs a provocative look at the forgotten American history of this most radical of unions, screening the unforgettable and still-fiery voices of Wobbly members—lumberjacks, migratory workers, and silk weavers—in their 70s, 80s, and 90s.

  • ストップ・メイキング・センス

    November 16, 1984


  • 見知らぬ乗客

    June 27, 1951


  • ロング・グッドバイ

    March 7, 1973


  • Cooley High

    June 25, 1975

    In the mid-1960s, a group of high school friends who live on the Near North Side of Chicago enjoy life to the fullest…parties, hanging out, meeting new friends. Then life changes for two of the guys when they meet a pair of career criminals and get falsely arrested in connection with stealing a Cadillac. We follow their lives through the end of high school and the dramatic end to their school.

  • 花と木

    July 23, 1932
  • The Flying Ace

    January 1, 1926

    A veteran World War I fighter pilot returns home a war hero and immediately regains his former job as a railroad company detective. His first case: recover a stolen satchel filled with $25,000 of company payroll, locate a missing employee, and capture a gang of railroad thieves.

  • Hell-Bound Train

    January 1, 1930

    A jeremiad against intemperance, jazz music, and abortion, set on a train filled with unrepentant sinners hurtling toward damnation.

  • ピンク・フラミンゴ

    March 17, 1972
  • Jubilo

    December 7, 1919

    Jubilo, a tramp, makes himself useful doing odd jobs in a small farming community while he looks for the wife who deserted him while he was off in the war. He discovers that young Rose is his own daughter and not the daughter of prominent Judge Hardy, with whom Jubilo’s wife had run off years before….

  • The Murder of Fred Hampton

    May 1, 1971

    Fred Hampton was the leader of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. This film depicts his brutal murder by the Chicago police and its subsequent investigation, but also documents his activities in organizing the Chapter, his public speeches, and the programs he founded for children during the last eighteen months of his life.

Unavailable to Stream

  • “Evergreen” (1965) is a student film. The movie has been digitally restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
  • “Chicana” (1979) is a 22-minute collage. UCLA has digitally scanned the best surviving picture sources for interim preservation purposes and hopes to turn this provisional work into a full restoration effort.
  • “Requiem-29” (1970) is another student film. The original elements for the movie disappeared more than 40 years ago. The UCLA Film & Television Archive has facilitated a 4k scan of the surviving faded 16mm print for preservation purposes and hopes to turn this provisional work into a full restoration effort.
  • “Ringling Brothers Parade Film” (1902) is a 3-minute film recently restored by the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.


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