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‘The Last Waltz,’ ‘Purple Rain’ among movies selected for the National Film Registry

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MGM; Warner BrothersThe Martin Scorsese-directed concert film The Last Waltz, documenting The Band‘s star-studded 1976 farewell show, and Prince‘s semi-autobiographical 1984 movie Purple Rain are among the 25 films just added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

Each year the Library of Congress selects a number of films for preservation that are considered to have “cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation’s film heritage.”

The Last Waltz, which was released in 1978, focuses on the final concert ever by The Band’s original lineup, which took place Thanksgiving Day 1976 at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom. The show featured a jaw-dropping lineup that included Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, Ronnie Wood and Ringo Starr.

Purple Rain featured Prince as a character based on himself called “The Kid” who was the talented frontman leader of a Minneapolis band. The film spawned a hugely successful soundtrack album that featured four top-10 singles, including the #1 hits “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy.”

Albert Magnoli, who directed and co-wrote Purple Rain, says he’s “deeply honored” that the movie was chosen for the National Film Registry.

“All of us strived to create a film that would capture the attention of what we believed at the time was a small audience,” he noted. “None of us expected this longevity. We simply worked hard every day to get it right, and this honor is a testament to the music, story and characters that were created by all of us so many years ago.”

Purple Rain‘s soundtrack also was recognized by the Library of Congress when it was added to the National Recording Registry in 2012.

Here’s the National Film Registry’s complete 2019 class:

Amadeus (1984)
Becky Sharp (1935)
Before Stonewall (1984)
Body and Soul (1925)
Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Clerks (1994)
Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island (1903)
Employees Entrance (1933)
Fog of War (2003)
Gaslight (1944)
George Washington Carver at Tuskegee Institute (1937)
Girlfriends (1978)
I Am Somebody (1970)
The Last Waltz (1978)
My Name Is Oona (1969)
A New Leaf (1971)
Old Yeller (1957)
The Phenix City Story (1955)
Platoon (1986)
Purple Rain (1984)
Real Women Have Curves (2002)
She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Zoot Suit (1981)

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