Since the passing of the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, the Library of Congres annually inducts 25 films into the National Film Registry in efforts to showcase the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. This year, alongside Rio Bravo, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Gangs All Here, librarian of congress James H. Billington has announced both Roman Polanskis Rosemarys Baby and Vincent Price-starrer House of Wax (1953) will be added as well.
Based on the book by Ira Levin, produced by William Castle and starring Mia Farrow in an iconic role, Roman Polanskis Rosemarys Baby is of course an enduring classic. Farrow plays expectant mother Rosemary, who begins to suspect her husband and neighbors are involved in a satanic plot against her and her child. The film is a masterpiece of paranoia, dark humor and absurd horror. Its little surprise it should be honored and preserved in the registry, and is the second Polanski film to be selected following Chinatown.
Directed by André de Toth, House of Wax is considered the first American color 3-D feature and stars macabre master and national treasure, Vincent Price. House of Wax was a massive hit in its year of release, projected in stereoscopic 3-D and later re-released in 1971 in StereoVision. The film is a remake of 1933s Mystery of the Wax Museum and falls in a long line of wax museum terror tales including a segment of 1924 silent Waxworks, 1988s Waxwork and 1969s Nightmare in Wax. House of Wax was remade in 2005, though that film hews closer to David Schmoellers Tourist Trap.
Vincent Price appears in at least three other titles currently found in the National Film Registry, including Roger Cormans Edgar Allan Poe-based classic House of Usher and Michael Jacksons Thriller. The actors voice is heard in 1951s Notes on the Port of St. Francis. Rosemarys Baby and House of Wax join other beloved horrors like Alien, Bride of Frankenstein, Eraserhead, The Exorcist, Freaks, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Jaws, King Kong, Night of the Living Dead, Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs and The Thing from Another World.
For more on the National Film Registry, visit the Library of Congress.