(from Variety On-Line used without permission)
By LEONARD KLADY, November 17, 1998

 “Tootsie” and “The Bride of Frankenstein” were
officially sanctioned as important cultural icons
of American film history Monday. Librarian of
Congress James Billington made the 10th
anniversary presentation of 25 new entries to the
National Film Registry in Hollywood at the
Margaret Herrick Library, bringing the number
of priority preservation films to 250.

This year’s eclectic selections range from
Mickey Mouse’s first screen appearance
(“Steamboat Willie”) to an ethnographic study,
as well as early newsreel footage, a Puerto
Rican drama and such entertainment favorites as
“42nd Street,” the noir classic “Gun Crazy” and
“Easy Rider.”

 “What the selections have in common is their
 influence on the language of the movies,” said
Billington. “Americans have been particularly
good at speaking that language and coming up
 with new and innovative ways of expression. It’s
a great pleasure to make up the list but also very
taxing to decide on which films to select.”

Billington indicated that the task is somewhat
easier now that the “classics” have been
 installed and the registry’s mandate has been
broadened to include films of all descriptions and
lengths. He receives hundreds of suggestions
from scholars, archivists, the National
Preservation Board and others annually before
designating the final 25 selections based on their
 “historical, cultural or aesthetic significance.”

Other popular studio fare added to the registry
 included James Cagney’s star breakthrough in
 the seminal gangster study “The Public Enemy,”
the groundbreaking Western social drama “The
Ox-Bow Incident,” “The Phantom of the Opera”
starring Lon Chaney, “The Last Picture Show”
and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Immigrant.” Ida
Lupino’s much admired and influential 1953
thriller “The Hitch-hiker” and “Twelve O’Clock
 High” (1949), a vivid portrait of WWII bomber
crews, were also among the chosen.

The list also included the 1912 religious saga
“From the Manger to the Cross” and one of the
first special effects spectacles, “The Lost
World” (1925). Other representatives from the
silent era were the two-reel comedy “Pass the
Gravy,” headlining the largely forgotten Max
Davidson; “Sky High” (1922), starring Tom Mix;
and “Westinghouse Works 1904,” a
commissioned industrial on production-line life in
East Pittsburgh shot by D.W. Griffith
cameraman G.W. “Billy” Bitzer.

Nonfiction films added to the registry include
D.A. Pennebaker’s 1967 portrait of Bob Dylan,
“Don’t Look Back,” and such rarities as “The
City,” a look at Manhattan by Willard Van Dyke
and Ralph Steiner that premiered at the 1939
 World’s Fair, and “Dead Birds,” a feature on the
Dani of New Guinea made in 1964. The work of
innovative filmmakers Charles and Ray Eames
was recognized with the inclusion of “Powers of
Ten,” an expressionistic piece that has a series
of shots that initially magnify but then reduce
perspective by multiples of 10.

The most unexpected selection, however, was
 unquestionably the Puerto Rican production
“Modesta.” Produced in 1956, the 35-minute
drama is considered one of the best films from
 the island’s indigenous film community, centering
on a group of women who start their own
domestic rebellion over their husbands’