Iron Man, When Harry Met Sally headline 2022 National Film Registry picks

The original Iron Man movie.
Iron Man (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Iron Man, the movie that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and When Harry Met Sally, one of the best romantic comedies of all time, have added another special honor to their resume, a place in the US National Film Registry. They join 23 other movies, headlined by Disney's The Little Mermaid, Sissy Spacek's Stephen King adaptation of Carrie and the '90s comedy House Party, as part of the 25 movies added to the registry in 2022.

The National Film Registry is associated with the Library of Congress. Each year it selects 25 movies, based on deliberations by the National Film Preservation Board and nominations from the general public, that are deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" and are at least 10 years old.

Iron Man was released in 2008, starring Robert Downey Jr. as the superhero, and began the dominance of Marvel that continues today, including three new movies in 2022 alone — Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — a growing list of TV shows on Disney Plus and even more movies as we head into the MCU Phase 5 and MCU Phase 6.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige commented on Iron Man's selection:

"All of our favorite movies are the ones that we watch over and over again and that we grow up with. The notion that here we are, almost 15 years after the release of Iron Man, and to have it join the Film Registry tells us it has stood the test of time and that it is still meaningful to audiences around the world."

The inclusion of Disney's 1989 animated classic The Little Mermaid also comes as its legacy is set to add a new chapter, with a live-action The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey, among the new movies in 2023. The same goes for House Party, which has a modern-day remake coming in the new year.

The 25 movies that were included as part of the 2022 National Film Registry selection range from 1898 (Mardi Gras Carnival) to 2011 (Dee Rees' Pariah). Fifteen of the movies were directed or co-directed by filmmakers of color, women or those who identify as LGBTQ+. Nine documentaries were added among the picks, including Union Maids, which was co-directed by Julia Reichert, who passed away in early December 2022, but was notified of her movie's inclusion before her death. The National Film Registry now features 850 movies.

Here is the full list of new additions to the National Film Registry. Turner Classic Movies is hosting a TV special on December 27 at 8 pm ET, where it'll screen a selection of these movies, with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and TCM host Jacqueline Stewart co-hosting.

  • Mardi Gras Carnival (1898)
  • Cab Calloway Home Movies (1948-1951)
  • Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)
  • Charade (1963)
  • Scorpio Rising (1963)
  • Behind Every Good Man (1967)
  • Titicut Follies (1967)
  • Mingus (1968)
  • Manzanar (1971)
  • Betty Tells Her Story (1972)
  • Super Fly (1972)
  • Attica (1974)
  • Carrie (1976)
  • Union Maids (1976)
  • Word is Out: Stories of Our Lives (1977)
  • Bush Mama (1979)
  • The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)
  • Itham Hakim, Hopiit (1984)
  • Hairspray (1988)
  • The Little Mermaid (1989)
  • Tongues United (1989)
  • When Harry Met Sally (1989)
  • House Party (1990)
  • Iron Man (2008)
  • Pariah (2011)

Learn more about the National Film Registry on its website, where you can also nominate movies to be added in 2023. 

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.