(AFP) Clint Eastwood cop drama "Dirty Harry," sci-fi epic "The Matrix" and timeless romantic comedy "Breakfast at Tiffany's" are among 25 films being added to the US National Film Registry.
"The Times of Harvey Milk," a 1984 documentary about the life and assassination of San Francisco's first openly gay lawmaker, will also join classics like "Citizen Kane" and "Casablanca" in America's official film archive, the registry announced Wednesday.
Librarian of Congress James Billington said the National Film Registry, established in 1989, "spotlights the importance of preserving America's unparalleled film heritage.
"These films are not selected as the 'best' American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture. They reflect who we are as a people and as a nation," he added.
To qualify for possible inclusion films have to be at least 10 years old and "culturally, historically or esthetically" significant, said the registry, part of the Library of Congress.
"The Matrix" from 1999 is the most recent of the new additions, while 1971's "Dirty Harry" is probably the most popular and classic in the mainstream sense of the word.
"Breakfast at Tiffany's," starring Audrey Hepburn as New York society girl Holly Golightly and with a screenplay co-written by Truman Capote from his own novella, dates from 1961.
Others chosen to join are less well known: they include "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1914), which features the first black actor to star in a feature-length US film, and "One Survivor Remembers," a 1995 short about a Holocaust survivor.
"A Christmas Story" (1983) is based on humorist Jean Shepherd's "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," while "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959) broke barriers due to its blunt language and willingness to openly discuss adult themes.
More well known perhaps are 1957 western "3:10 to Yuma" and "Born Yesterday" (1950), featuring an Oscar-winning turn from Judy Holliday," while 1991's "Slacker" marked the blossoming of American independent cinema in the 1990s.
The National Film Registry was created in 1989 and now has some 600 movies dating from 1897 to 1999, with 25 new ones chosen each year.
Well-known movies already in it include everything from 1930's "All Quiet on the Western Front" through "Easy Rider" (1969) and Woody Allen's "Manhattan" (1979) to 1977 blockbuster "Star Wars" and 1989's "Sex, Lies and Videotape."