Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Michael Jackson's Thriller added to US film archive

Michael Jackson's Thriller
Thriller's inclusion is a mark of its cultural importance in the US

Michael Jackson's Thriller has become the first music video to be added to the US national film archive.

The 1983 zombie classic is among 25 films which will be preserved for their cultural importance.

The Muppet Movie, from 1979, and Bette Davis's black and white classic Jezebel are among the other new entrants to the Library of Congress film registry.

The archive, established 20 years ago, ensures important films are "preserved for future generations".

Oscar-winning films which made the cut include Jezebel, which won Davis her second Academy Award.

The Mark of Zorro (pictured) (1940)
Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
Pillow Talk (1959)
The Story of GI Joe (1945)
Quasi at the Quackadero (1975)

Mrs Miniver (1942) won the Academy Award for best picture among its haul of six trophies.

Science fiction classic The Incredible Shrinking Man has been added to the archive, while the oldest film is Little Nemo from 1911.

Steve Legett, the National Film Preservation Board's (NFPB) co-ordinator, said "the time was right" for Thriller's inclusion after Jackson's death earlier this year.

"Because of the way the recording industry is evolving and changing, we thought it would be good to go back to the development of an earlier seismic shift, the development of the music video," he added.

The landmark video, which was directed by John Landis and features Jackson as a werewolf and zombie, helped the star to promote his album Thriller around the world.

The final 25 films are picked every year from hundreds of public nominations and consultation with the NFPB.

They are not necessarily the biggest box office hits or major award winners, but are considered to be of national significance.

"By preserving the nation's films, we safeguard a significant element of our cultural patrimony and history," said Librarian of Congress James H Billington.

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