Stylish male reel librarians

It is rare to get to see a reel librarian’s style evolve, which is only possible with a lead role for a reel librarian.

Last week, I highlighted stylish female reel librarians… this week I shine the spotlight on stylish male reel librarians! Note:  I compiled this list in a totally unscientific way. I first jotted down a list of stylish reel librarians — from nothing more than my memory — and then narrowed the list down to 5 female and 5 male reel librarians.

Flynn Carsen in The Librarians:

All of the librarians in The Librarians spinoff TV series are stylish in their own ways, as seen in the screenshot directly below, but Flynn Carsen’s style has really come into its own. It is rare to get to see a reel librarian’s style evolve, which is only possible with a lead role for a reel librarian. It has been a pleasure to witness Flynn’s style evolution from oversized and ill-fitting trousers and unevenly buttoned shirts, as seen in 2004’s The Librarian: Quest for the Spear TV movie, to sharply tailored and layered in the spinoff TV series.

The librarians' style in the Season 2 premiere of The Librarians TV show
The librarians’ style in the Season 2 premiere of The Librarians TV show

Vox in The Time Machine (2002):

Vox in the 2002 remake of The Time Machine is one of my favorite reel librarian characters. He is the heart and soul of that movie — and of knowledge itself — as well as the epitome of the Information Provider character type. His style is as timeless as he is.

Vox's style in The Time Machine (2002)
Vox’s style in The Time Machine (2002)

Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV, 1996-2003):

Ah, Giles the school librarian at Sunnydale High, as played by British actor Anthony Head. A TV librarian who has reached iconic status — and I would venture to say, that status has been aided by his classic wardrobe. His wardrobe (and manner) of an English gentleman serve up a perfect contrast to modern California culture. That means lots of tweed, ties, striped button-downs, waistcoats, and three-piece suits. Well suited, indeed, Giles.

Giles the school librarian at Sunnydale High
Giles, the school librarian at Sunnydale High, looking sharp in a suit and waistcoat

You can read more about my analysis of the first episode of the series in my “Welcome to Sunnydale, or: How I learned to stop worrying and love Buffy” post.

Frank in Miranda (2002):

In Miranda, John Simm plays Frank, a reel librarian in charge of a library scheduled for demolition. His opening narration also reveals his retro-inspired style choices:

Frank. Barracloff. Rock star. Astronaut. Secret agent. Sex god. That was me, wishing my life away, listening to Elvis, munching on nuts.

His suits and wide-lapel shirts are a specific style — one not suitable for everyone — but I have to admire the way his character commits to that look!

Frank's retro-inspired style in Miranda
Frank’s retro-inspired style in Miranda
Frank's retro-inspired style in Miranda
Frank’s retro-inspired style in Miranda

Edgar Marsh in The Tell-Tale Heart (1960):

This final choice might prove a controversial or unusual choice, but stick with me. In this 1960 adaptation of the classic Edgar Allan Poe short story, The Tell-Tale Heart, Laurence Payne plays Edgar Marsh, described on the back of the DVD case as “a mentally unstable librarian.” Payne commits 110% to this film, going over-the-top in his acting and facial expressions (which you can see more of in my post about the film). To counter this, Edgar dresses quite conservatively and formally, all buttoned up in jackets, silk vests, ties, and top hats to reflect the 19th-century time period.

Edgar's style in The Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar’s style in The Tell-Tale Heart

For me, though, it’s all about the poet shirt — white and billowing and ruffled and pleated. 😉 I like to think that particular sartorial choice reflects Edgar’s inner turmoil and frustrated heart beating and yearning to break free underneath all those layers of jackets and vests and ties. And when it does break free…. watch out! I love when costume choices add an extra layer to character development.

So there you have it, five stylish male reel librarians, along with five stylish female reel librarians last week.

This is not an exhaustive list, and my opinions expressed here on the stylishness of the librarians are based on personal and biased opinions.

Do you agree or disagree? Do you have more stylish reel librarians to add to the list? Please share and leave a comment!

Sources used:

  • The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (TV movie). Dir. Peter Winther. Perf. Noah Wyle, Sonya Walger, Bob Newhart, Kyle MacLachlan, Kelly Hu. TNT, 2004.
  • Miranda. Dir. Marc Munden. Perf. Christina Ricci, John Simm, Kyle MacLachlan, John Hurt. Feelgood Films, 2002.
  • The Tell-Tale Heart. Dir. Ernest Morris. Perf. Laurence Payne, Adrienne Corri, Dermot Walsh. Danziger Productions, 1960.
  • The Time Machine. Dir. Simon Wells. Perf. Guy Pearce, Samantha Mumba, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory, Orlando Jones. Warner Bros., 2002.
  • “Welcome to the Hellmouth.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The WB, 10 March 1997.

Author: Jennifer

Librarian, blogger, movie lover

5 thoughts on “Stylish male reel librarians”

  1. I can’t think of anyone you’ve missed, offhand. Male librarians are so rare in movies to begin with, and roles big enough that we get any chance to appreciate their wardrobe even moreso, that it would be hard to add to this list. I figured you’d have to give us “The Librarians,” although I admit I forgot about “Buffy.” Much as I enjoy Wally Cox in “The Night Strangler,” I don’t think I’d advise anyone to dress that way!

    1. There are definitely fewer male librarian portrayals, but there’s still a sizable number! I did have to whittle down the list to my top 5! And yes, I agree with you that Wally Cox’s newspaper archivist is not high on the style inspiration list! 😉

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