Every once in a while my Google alert for “National Film Registry” sends me a gem that’s worth sharing with all of you. Over the years, many of the NFR’s more popular entries got on the list thanks to extensive fan campaigning, and it looks like we might be adding one or two more of these to the list.
In 2007, BacktotheFuture.com encouraged fans to nominate “Back to the Future” for National Film Registry consideration, and lo and behold, it worked! Now, 13 years later (and 5 years after the film’s “future”), the website is at it again with a petition to induct Parts II & III into the NFR. Also supporting this is none other than “Back to the Future” producer/co-writer Bob Gale, who suggested the campaign after some BTTF fans noticed that the version of “Part II” on Netflix was a slightly edited version made for a foreign release. (This cut eliminates Michael J. Fox’s outstanding line reading of “Oh La La? OH LA LA!?“). Now that Netflix is streaming the uncut version, Gale suggested that the BTTF sequels might have earned a place as culturally significant films, ending a letter to fans with “Preserve the Trilogy!”
I’ve already submitted my 50 films for 2020 consideration (full list coming soon), so all I can do is mull over the film’s chances. Pop culture-wise, “Part II” definitely has more going for it than “Part III”. Many have tried emulating what Part II predicted 2015 would look like (Hoverboards! Flying Cars! ’80s Nostalgia!) When October 21st, 2015 finally arrived, the day was declared “Back to the Future Day” by the White House (back when that meant something!). As for “Part III”…that’s a tougher sell. It’s a great movie and a wonderful conclusion to the trilogy, but is it referenced as often as, say, other 1990 films like “Goodfellas“? Plus, while there are a few sequels on the list, no “threequel” has ever made the National Film Registry. If that distinction is going to any movie, it would probably go to “Return of the Jedi” first [UPDATE: Called it].
As much as I support this campaign, I think the BTTF fan community has a bit of an uphill battle if they want the sequels on the NFR. That being said, I will always endorse movie buffs to submit their favorite movies for NFR consideration every year. Here’s the nomination form! You don’t have to stop at the BTTF sequels either, you can nominate 48 more movies too! I always recommend consulting with this list of well-known movies missing from the Registry first. Good luck, Future Fans. As Doc Brown never actually said, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”
…To Be Continued…