WASHINGTON -- It was "Back to the Future" in more ways than one when the Library of Congress added to the National Film Registry the popular 1985 comedy that helped introduce the world to product endorsement and advanced special effects.
Thursday's list of 25 pictures brings to 475 the number of "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant films selected by the Librarian of Congress to be preserved for all time.
The Robert Zemeckis film with its memorable Pepsi push wasn't the only icon of that era selected: Steven Spielberg's 1977 hit "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" also was included.
"We're always a little short on the science fiction genre, and this year we wanted to get more entries from the 1970s," National Film Preservation Board staff director Stephen Leggett said.
Among the films also selected were car-chase classic "Bullitt" (1968); "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962), John Ford's last great Western; Kevin Costner's epic "Dances With Wolves" (1990); New York film noir "The Naked City" (1948); Sidney Lumet's claustrophobic courtroom drama "12 Angry Men"; Humphrey Bogart's Hollywood satire "In a Lonely Place" (1950); Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical "Oklahoma!" (1955); the star-studded "Grand Hotel" (1932); William Wyler's "Wuthering Heights" (1939); and the Bette Davis masterpiece "Now, Voyager" (1942).
The films selected aren't necessarily the "best" or most popular films made, the Library noted, but are chosen for their artistic character, historical significance or their reflection of both the good and bad sides of American culture.