The selections were made as part of a program aimed at preserving the nation's movie heritage. Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act of 1992, each year the Librarian of Congress, with advice from the National Film Preservation Board, names 25 films to the National Film Registry to be preserved for all time. The films are chosen because they are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant. This year's selections bring to 475 the number of motion pictures in the registry.
Dances With Wolves (1990)
A personal project for star Kevin Costner, "Dances with Wolves" disproved a reputation Western films had acquired in the latter years of the 20th Century for being money-losers. The film also became the second Western to win the Academy Award for Best Film. The movie presents a fairly simple, intimate story (the quest of a cavalry soldier to get to know a nearby Sioux tribe and his resulting spiritual transformation) in an epic fashion, with sweeping cinematography and a majestic John Barry score. The film marks one of the more sympathetic portraits of Native-American life ever shown in American cinema, and introduced the American public to Lakota Sioux folklore, traditions and language.
Now, Voyager, 12 Angry Men, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind should've been in the registry long ago. They're among the top 100 American films, not to mention the top 475.