December 6, 2014 – The Moscow Times reports that Russia’s Ministry of Culture has added Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope to its list of officially recognized “foreign classics”. Neither The Empire Strikes Back (widely rated by film critics as perhaps the best of the six Star Wars films) nor Return of the Jedi (a fan favorite) made the cut.
The Russian list is the rough equivalent to the U.S. National Film Registry. The Registry, located within the U.S. Library of Congress, added A New Hope in 1989 and Empire in 2010 to its list for archival preservation.
The Russian list recommends 100 films to Russian citizens for viewing. Other American-produced films on the list include Gone With the Wind (1939), Citizen Kane (1941), Bambi (1942), Cabaret (1972), Apocalypse Now (1979), Scarface (1983) and Titanic (1997).
Non-U.S. foreign films include Seven Samurai (Japan, 1954), Ashes and Diamonds (Poland, 1958), An Andalusian Dog (France, 1929), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Germany, 1920) and Bicycle Thieves (Italy, 1948).
Russian-dubbed excerpt from Star Wars: A New Hope: