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Red Cross Will Live on in Celluloid History
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January 5, 2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2019 — An American Red Cross film is joining a group of notable motion pictures that are preserved in the Library of Congress National Film Registry.

Walter Reed Hospital, 1918-19.
Walter Reed Hospital, 1918-19.

The Red Cross film “Heroes All” (1920) is one of 25 films selected this year by the Library of Congress for inclusion in the Registry. The films are selected on the basis of their cultural, historical or aesthetic significance and are seen as works of enduring importance to American culture.

Other works selected this year include “The Incredible Shrinking Man” and Michael Jackson’s video “Thriller.”

“Established by Congress in 1989, the National Film Registry spotlights the importance of protecting America’s matchless film heritage and cinematic creativity,” said James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. “By preserving the nation’s films, we safeguard a significant element of our cultural patrimony and history."

“Heroes All” covers a theme that still resonates today—returning veterans from World War I and their treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The film documents the arrival of wounded GI’s to Union Station in Washington, D.C., with the assistance of Red Cross staff, and includes footage of the veterans’ rehabilitation at Walter Reed.

In 1980, the film was duplicated from original 35mm materials to 16mm as part of the Centennial Restoration Film Project.

“We’re honored this film was chosen for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry,” said Susan Watson, archivist at the American Red Cross. “The preservation of ‘Heroes All’ will give future generations additional insight into an important era in American history.”  

The Red Cross Bureau of Pictures was formed in 1917 to promote the Red Cross image, and made more than 100 films from 1917-1921, including “Heroes All.” These films now provide valuable historical footage from World War I and its aftermath.

Several cinematographers gained early experience with the Bureau of Pictures and went on to have distinguished careers in filmmaking, including Meryl LaVoy, Ernest Schoedsack and A. Farciot Edouart.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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