Merry Christmas, y’all! It feels like past time to update our holiday round-up with reel librarians. I’ve added more titles, info, and post links to the Christmas-themed reel librarians lists I began in 2011 and updated in 2013 and 2015. The holiday films below are organized alphabetically by title.
The Age of Adaline (2015)
This film is admittedly set around the New Year’s holiday, but I included it on this list because why not extend the holiday season?! Adaline (Blake Lively) stopped aging at 29 years old, and after decades of living alone, she meets a man (Michiel Huisman) who makes her question her life choices. Adaline works in the archives at the San Francisco Heritage Society library — even coming in to work on New Year’s Eve! — and there are several scenes set in the library.
Christmas on Division Street (1991, TV movie)
Emmy-nominated TV movie that includes a “Librarian” and “Library Guard” in its credits. IMDb.com reviews mention a library scene, although I still haven’t seen this TV movie.
Desk Set (1957)
A classic librarian film that takes place around the holidays and includes a funny — and boozy — office Christmas party in the research department library.
Home by Christmas (2006, TV movie)
After a woman (Linda Hamilton) gets divorced from her cheating husband, she ends up homeless. A friend urges her to go to the library for books to study for the real estate license exam. There are a few shots in a public library and a few glimpses of an older reel librarian, complete with cardigan and half-moon glasses on a chain.
Related posts: ‘Home by Christmas’ librarian
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Top 5 on my list of Christmas movie favorites — as well as my “Hall of Shame” list for reel librarian portrayals! It’s a wonderful film, indeed, but one that also includes the most notorious “Spinster Librarian” scene of ’em all. 😉
Related posts: ‘It’s a wonderful’… stereotype? ; Revisiting ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ ; All hail Mary? ; War films and reel librarians ; It all started with a big list ; The Spinster Librarian ; Best librarian films by decade, Part I: 1910s – 1950s ; Librarian as nightmare ; Hall of Shame
The Last American Virgin (1982)
This teen flick includes a brief scene set in the school library around the holidays. The school librarian is at the front counter, where there is a small — and sparsely decorated — Christmas tree, as seen in the screenshot below.
The Librarians (2014-2018, TV series)
The first season of The Librarians TV series — a spin-off of The Librarian TV movies starring Noah Wyle as Flynn Carsen — featured a Christmas episode entitled “And Santa’s Midnight Run,” which originally aired Dec. 21, 2014. Bruce Campbell plays Santa, and he gets kidnapped… who else can save him but librarians?! 😉
The third season of the TV series also featured a Christmas story line in the third episode, “And the Christmas Thief,” which originally aired Dec. 20, 2017. In the episode, the librarians go to a party hosted by Santa Claus, and Santa’s sleigh is left in the care of The Library.
Related posts: Rating ‘The Librarians’
Ma and Pa Kettle at Home (1954)
The seventh entry in the “Ma and Pa Kettle” film series, one that includes character actress Mary Wickes as a “maiden lady librarian” who finds love under the mistletoe during a holiday party at the end of the film.
My Side of the Mountain (1969)
A young boy, Sam (Ted Eccles), leaves home to spend a year in nature, like Thoreau. He goes to the public library in one scene, and librarian Miss Turner (Tudi Wiggins) helps him find information about peregrine falcons. Miss Turner also helps save him after a snow storm and spends a memorable Christmas in Sam’s nature hideout. The character of Miss Turner also made my “Hall of Fame” list!
I discovered this holiday-themed title from both the Movie Librarians website and the “Libraries on Film” Pinterest site (neither of which are active anymore). Here’s the write-up and pin from the latter:
This examination of the librarian stereotype focuses on Kerry Wall as small-town librarian Marjorie Worthington, whose scruffy librarian looks disqualify her for the role of Mary in a living nativity scene, according to the local priest (David Wall as Father Jonathan Keene) and her boyfriend (Curt Dewitz as Seth). She reads Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to children in the library.
True Colors (1991)
Another film I have not seen yet… I got this title from the Librarians in the Movies: An Annotated Filmography website. Here is the write-up for True Colors on that site:
An ambitious law student must spend Christmas at school so he uses the library to read magazines. Set in the University of Virginia Science and Engineering Library (formerly the law school library).
The Twelve Trees of Christmas (2013, TV movie)
This Lifetime TV movie is not only Christmas-themed but also boasts a reel librarian as the main character! Plus, it stars Lindy Booth, who also played a librarian on “The Librarians” TV series.
With Honors (1994)
Rounding out the list is a college-themed film that includes a few scenes in the college library, including one set during the Christmas holidays. In one brief scene, captured below in a screenshot, one can glimpse in the background a few college librarians exchanging gifts and holiday cheer.
Related posts: With or without honors
Happy holidays! Is there another Christmas-themed film I need to add to this ongoing list? Please leave a comment and let me know. 🙂
- The Age of Adaline. Dir. Lee Toland Krieger. Perf. Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn. Lionsgate, 2015.
- Desk Set. Dir. Walter Lang. Perf. Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Gig Young, Joan Blondell, Dina Merrill. 20th Century Fox, 1957.
- Home by Christmas (TV movie). Dir. Gail Harvey. Perf. Linda Hamilton, Brenda Crichlow. Lifetime, 2006.
- It’s a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers. RKO, 1946.
- The Last American Virgin. Dir. Boaz Davidson. Perf. Lawrence Monoson, Diane Franklin, Steve Antin.Golan-Globus Productions, 1982.
- The Librarians (TV series). TNT, 2014-2018.
- Ma and Pa Kettle at Home. Dir. Charles Lamont. Perf. Marjorie Main, Percy Kilbride, Alan Mowbray. Universal, 1954.
- My Side of the Mountain. Dir. James B. Clark. Perf. Ted Eccles, Theodore Bikel, Tudi Wiggins. Paramount, 1969.
- Raish, Martin. “The B Group.” Librarians in the Movies: An Annotated Filmography, 5 Aug. 2011.
- The Twelve Trees of Christmas. Dir. Michael DeCarlo. Perf. Lindy Booth, Robin Dunne, Shauna MacDonald, Melanie Brown, Casper Van Dien. Chesler/Perlmutter Productions, 2013.
- “User Reviews.” Christmas on Division Street (1991 TV Movie), IMDb.com.
- With Honors. Dir. Alek Keshishian. Perf. Joe Pesci, Brendan Fraser, Moira Kelly, Patrick Dempsey. Warner Bros., 1994.