Each film’s number corresponds to the year in which it was inducted, followed by when it was originally released, relative to its other inductees. For example, the film “Intolerance” is #0001 because it was inducted in 1989 (the first year of the NFR), and it was the oldest film inducted that year. “Freedom Riders” is #0800 because it was inducted in 2020, and it was the newest film inducted that year. Inductees aren’t in perfect chronological order within their induction year, however. If multiple films within an induction year came out during the same release year, their number is assigned according to alphabetical order. So, for example, “High Noon” and “Singin’ in the Rain” were both inducted in 1989, and both released in 1952. “High Noon” (#0017) comes before “Singin’ in the Rain” (#0018) alphabetically, hence their respective numbers. The reason the numbers initially start with three leading zeros is because within a few years, there will be 1000 films in the NFR (thus all films will have a uniform four digit number). This numbering system is my own, and is not used by the National Film Registry.