‘Purple Rain’ Added to Library of Congress National Film Registry
The 1984 title was one of 25 which are chosen annually for preservation. Among those were music-themed films The Last Waltz, Martin Scorcese’s 1978 documentary of the Band’s farewell show, and Amadeus, the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Spike Lee’s first feature-length production She’s Gotta Have It was also honored. A total of seven films by women, the most since the Registry was opened, were also added.
“By 1984, Prince was already being hailed by critics and fans as one of the greatest musical geniuses of his generation,” the Registry’s entry on Purple Rain read. “This post-modern musical secured his place as a movie star and entertainment legend. Largely autobiographical, Purple Rain showcased the late, great showman as a young Minneapolis musician struggling to bring his revolutionary brand of provocative funk rock to the masses. The film's soundtrack includes such decade-defining tracks as ‘When Doves Cry’ and the title song. The film's multi-platinum soundtrack previously was named to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.”
The Registry preserved movies considered "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" and “works of enduring importance to American culture” are selected over simply the “best” films. Announcing the new entries, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said: “The National Film Registry has become an important record of American history, culture and creativity. Unlike many other honors, the registry is not restricted to a time, place or genre. It encompasses 130 years of the full American cinematic experience — a virtual Olympiad of motion pictures. With the support of Congress, the studios and other archives, we are ensuring that the nation’s cinematic history will be around for generations to come.”
“The National Film Registry is an essential American enterprise that officially recognizes the rich depth and variety, the eloquence and the real greatness of American cinema and the filmmakers who have created it, film by film,” said board member Scorsese. “The board is comprised of representatives from across the film community – studios, archives, guilds and artists – and that’s vitally important because it allows all of us to work together on one great cause: the preservation of one of our most precious sources of sustenance and inspiration – our cinema.”