Honorable Mention

A few extras rounding out my top picks for reel librarian portrayals

Miss Franny in Because of Winn-Dixie (2005):

At first glance, Miss Franny seems to be a spinster librarian in this Class II film, but we soon see her as a warm, friendly kindred spirit to the film’s heroine.

Microfilm Clerk in The Changeling (1980):

In this Class III film, John Russell (George C. Scott) — whose wife and daughter are killed in a freak road accident — rents a house with a mysterious (and murderous) past. John researches old newspapers at the library, and a clerk sets up microfilm in a viewing room. In fact, the young clerk is able to take the microfilm box out of the drawer, roll the microfilm out of its box, thread it through the microfilm reader in the next room, AND spin it through to the requested article — all in 4 seconds (!!!!). WOW. He personifies the concept of “efficiency” for all librarians ever after. 😉

Related posts: The fastest librarian in the West, as seen in ‘The Changeling’

The librarian in Curse of the Demon, aka Night of the Demon (1957):

Psychologist John Holden (Dane Andrews) investigates a colleague’s death and becomes the next target of a satanic cult in this Class III film. In one segment, Holden investigates his colleague’s research at the British Museum and gets help from a librarian. The librarian is polite, very knowledgeable, conscientious, and efficient — a very positive onscreen depiction of a reference librarian!

Related posts: Positive portrayal of a reel librarian in ‘Curse of the Demon’

Kala in The Golden Child (1986):

In this Class III film, private detective Chandler Jarrell (Eddie Murphy) sets out to find the “Golden Child,” a Buddhist mystic who has been kidnapped by an evil sorcerer (Charles Dance). A mysterious dragon lady librarian, Kala, supplies him with information about the Golden Child and his quest, and he is told that she is the librarian at a Sacred Depository library, a half-dragon lady over 300 years old (!). Kala is seen onscreen for less than 5 minutes total, yet her presence is quite memorable. Right on cue throughout the film, Kala provides the vital plot points to propel the plot forward.

Related posts: The dragon lady librarian in ‘The Golden Child’ (1986)

The librarian in The Human Comedy (1943):

In this Class III film, there is a brief, but heartwarming, scene in which the elderly librarian shares her love of books to two young boys.

Related posts: Reel librarians on library ladders ; Battle of the sexes ; Updating the list of Best Picture nominees featuring librarians

The librarian in Lorenzo’s Oil (1992):

This Class II film features one of the best reference interviews on film—an academic librarian calms an irritable patron without patronizing him.

Marian the Librarian in The Music Man (1962):

This Class I film is not one of my personal favorites (sorry, Robert Preston fans), but it is a good film notable for its influence in cementing librarians in popular culture. Also, a reel librarian gets her own song!

Related posts: Marian or Marion? ; Revisiting favorites | ‘Marian or Marion?,’ May 28, 2012 ; Marian and Ms. Jones ; Best librarian films by decade, Part II: 1960s-2000s ; Musical numbers for the library-minded ; A love song for a librarian ; Reel librarian love for Valentine’s Day: Movies for different romantic moods ; Updating the list of Best Picture nominees featuring librarians

The Records Keeper in RED (2010):

In this comedy-action, Class III film, retired but extremely dangerous (“RED”) agents team up against people trying to kill them. In one of his final roles, Ernest Borgnine pays Henry, the CIA records keeper. “They don’t make them like that anymore.

Related posts: The ultimate Information Provider in ‘RED’

The school librarian in The Substitute (1996):

A school librarian stands up to hoodlums in this Class III film—and backs it up by packing a pistol! Probably not the most family-friendly reel librarian (she’s got a potty mouth, as well) but one of the most memorable!

Related posts: Reel school librarians ; It all started with a big list


Author: Jennifer

Librarian, blogger, movie lover

4 thoughts on “Honorable Mention”

  1. Julia Roberts works in a library [both before and after leaving her husband] in the film “Sleeping with the Enemy”.

    1. Yes, I definitely need to rewatch that film and do a post about it soon! If I remember correctly (and I may not be), she uses the excuse of working in a library in the beginning… but then ends up working at an actual library after she leaves her husband.

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