Forrest Gump, Bambi, Silence of the Lambs

Paramount Pictures; MGM; Disney

Life is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you're gonna get. And some movies are like a fine wine fava beans and a nice chianti—they stand the test of time.

That's the case at least for 1994's Forrest Gump, 1942's Bambi and 1991's The Silence of the Lambs, which are among 25 cinematic classics the Library of Congress has tapped for inclusion this year in the National Film Registry.

Helmer Jonathan Demme's fantastic big-screen villain and Robert Zemeckis' Ping Pong-playing, shrimp-catching everyman—roles which netted both Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hanks Oscars—will be preserved in perpetuity along with Walt Disney's beloved 'toon, Charlie Chaplin's 1921 feature The Kid (his first full-length effort), Howard Hawks' 1934 screwball comedy satire Twentieth Century and Otto Preminger's spectacular 1959 adaptation of George Gershwin's musical Porgy and Bess.

Per tradition, this year's list was chosen out of 2,228 titles nominated by the public, with the final 25 determined by Library film curators and esteemed members of the National Film Preservation Board.

Joining the above-mentioned flicks in immortality are two hits from 1953: the great post-war noir The Big Heat, starring Glenn Ford, Lee Marvin and Gloria Graham and following a tough cop taking on a local crime syndicate; and War of the Worlds, a feverish Cold War nightmare based on H.G. Wells' 1898 novel chronicling an alien invasion of Earth.

There's also director Billy Wilder's 1945 landmark look at alcoholism, The Lost Weekend; John Cassavetes' 1968 indie tour de force Faces, depicting the break up of a suburban couple's marriage; 1971 women's liberation documentary Growing Up Female; 1975's groundbreaking Yiddish drama Hester Street; and 1979's Norma Rae, which featured an Academy Award-winning performance by Sally Field playing a Southern textile mill activist pushing to improve working conditions.

Of the more contemporary entries, one definitely deserving is 1988's school drama Stand and Deliver, headlining Edward James Olmos as a crusading teacher in East Los Angeles.

And fans of self-styled rebel filmmaker Robert Rodriguez will be happy to learn his 1992 debut, El Mariachi—which legend has it, he made for $7,000 in two weeks—also made the cut for helping fuel the indie movie boom of the early '90s.

The other films named to the registry are: silent works The Cry of the Children (1912) and A Cure for Pokeritis (1912); John Ford's epic western The Iron Horse (1924); Nicholas Brothers Family Home Movies (1930s-1940s); The Negro Soldier, a documentary about African-Americans' contributions to World War II produced by Frank Capra (1944); Jordan Belon's experimental  gem Allures (1961) Robert Drew's cinema-verite classic Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963); Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull's early example of 3D computer animation, A Computer Animated Hand (1972); undergound auteur George Kuchar's I, an Actress (1977) and Chick Strand's expose on young Mexican women, Fake Fruit Factory (1986).

This year's inductees bring the total number of films in the registry to 575 since it was created by Congress in the 1988 National Film Preservation Act.

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