A ‘Monster’ librarian?

On the alert for reel librarians in ‘Monsters University’

My mom tipped me off to Monsters University, the sequel to the 2001 film Monsters Inc., possibly including a reel librarian, based on a trailer she had recently seen. And, of course, I had to research it immediately! (That tip-off was soon followed by a similar message from my sister-in-law. I have my family trained, y’all, and on the alert for reel librarians. I’m so proud. 😉 )

Monsters University – Official Trailer #3 (HD) Pixar” video uploaded by JoBlo Movie Trailers is licensed under a Standard YouTube license

The library setting is featured in several short clips in the trailer, including this freeze frame…

Monsters University trailer screenshot
Monsters University trailer screenshot

… and these screenshots at 2:04 of what looks to be… a monster librarian! AAAARGHHHH!

Monsters University trailer library scene screenshot
Monsters University trailer screenshot
Monsters University trailer screenshot
Monsters University trailer screenshot

I’m planning to see this film on the big screen at a local drive-in for a special Independence Day showing, so I should have a “first impressions” post up in a couple of weeks.

Stay tuned!


A promotional peek behind ‘The Librarian’

Promotional materials for The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines

This past weekend, I finally got around to watching the 3rd movie in The Librarian TV movie trilogy, The Librarian:  The Curse of the Judas Chalice (TV, 2008). It was released when I had moved overseas, so I never watched it when it aired on TV. It got me thinking about when a fellow librarian kindly sent me a package of promotional materials back when the 2nd of the series, The Librarian:  Return to King Solomon’s Mines (TV, 2006), was coming out. And I realized I hadn’t yet shared a peek at those materials on this blog.

Behold my personal file box of Reel Librarians ephemera (entitled “Librarian Stuff”):

Reel Librarians box
Reel Librarians box

The folder peeking out behind the packet of saucy librarian postcards is full of those promotional materials for The Librarian. And here’s a closer look:

Promotional materials for The Librarian

Included in the packet is an excerpt from a comic book tie-in, write-ups of characters and artifacts “from the vault,” and my favorite item, Flynn Carsen’s passport:

Passport for The Librarian

My favorite details on the passport are the stamps — quite realistic-looking, no? — that reflect The Librarian’s past adventures. Plus, the bio that points out that he is “a bit awkward meeting women” but that he’s “a brave, resourceful, and (most importantly) smart hero.”

Have you watched the entire Librarian TV trilogy? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Also, click here for a fun collection of quotes from the trilogy.

A life well advertised

Commercial featuring a “fastidious librarian”

Until this week, I had never before seen this Raymond James commercial (apparently, it first aired in Fall 2010) about the “fastidious librarian Emily Skinner,” who lives life to the fullest, even at 187 years young. After viewing it, I turned to Sam and said, “That’s the Liberated Librarian arc in a commercial!” Raymond James is, of course, posturing itself as her savior — but one could make the argument that it’s Emily herself, right?

Raymond James Commercial – “The Woman Who Lived Longer Than Any Person Who Has Ever Lived” video uploaded by Martin Williams is licensed under a Standard YouTube license

I quite enjoyed the ad, and overall, it’s a pretty flattering portrayal of a librarian. Emily, “The Woman Who Lived Longer Than Any Person Who Has Ever Lived,” is obviously intellectually curious (loooove the detail of her dress matching her wallpaper in the shot of hanging up that first diploma) and fun-loving. She pays attention to details but also looks at the big picture with long-term goals. A life well planned, and a life well lived. Go librarians! 🙂

Advertising the reel librarian

Taglines advertising reel librarian films

There are a fair number of films featuring leading roles for reel librarians, but how are they advertised? Are the words librarian or library even mentioned in the taglines? Intrigued, I took a look at movie posters and taglines for movies in the Class I category, films in which the protagonist or other major characters are librarians. It wasn’t until after the first draft of this post that I realized I had chosen at least one film from each decade, spanning the 1930s through the 1990s. So meta.

So let’s take a peek at taglines advertising the reel librarian through the decades, shall we? 🙂

Notes: I’ve arranged the following in order of the U.S. release dates.

Forbidden (1932):

Her greatest dramatic role!

This was quite early in Barbara Stanwyck’s movie career, so it’s interesting that the studio was already heavily promoting her as a major star. Stanwyck had gained notice the year before, in the 1931 Night Nurse (saving two children from Clark Gable in a rare villainous turn!), but she was still a year away from Baby Face (1933) and five years away from her first Oscar nomination in 1937, for Stella Dallas.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

No Man of Her Own (1932):

Gable as You Want him, A love ’em and leave ’em gambler, whose insults only added fuel to a woman’s reckless devotion.

Clark Gable gets the attention in the tagline, but no hint that Carole Lombard plays a librarian. The real-life romance between Gable and Lombard didn’t begin until four years after this film — which, incidentally, tells you a lot about this film.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

Adventure (1945):

Gable’s back and Garson’s got him!

Gable’s back with another reel librarian romance! The tagline emphasizes its leading stars, Clark Gable and Greer Garson, and their so-called chemistry. Unfortunately, the movie does not live up to its adventurous title.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

Good News (1947):

M-G-M’s Terrific Technicolor Musical!

This tagline trumpets the news of “M-G-M’s Terrific Technicolor Musical!” but doesn’t reveal anything about the plot, college setting, or librarian role.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

Storm Center (1956):

Bette Davis hits the screen in a cyclone of dramatic fury!

In all the years, no picture has said this!

Those taglines say a whole lot of nothing, don’t they? The storyline is one to make librarians stand up and cheer — standing up to censorship in a small town — but the end result? Dismal.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

Desk Set (1957):

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn… make the office such a wonderful place to love in!

Meet the Desk Set… from 9 o’clock coffee to 5 o’clock cocktails — and, oh, those fabulous Christmas parties!

One of my favorite reel librarian movies ever… and NO mention of the library! True, the library in question is a TV company’s research library, not the first kind of library one thinks of. And there IS a fabulous Christmas party in this film. The taglines definitely play up the zany comedy angle, and highlight its successful stars. Hepburn and Tracy made 9 films together over 25 years, and this was their next-to-last pairing together.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

Rome Adventure (1962):

This was her European plan for learning about love.

She wanted to learn about love from a mature, suave Italian with a villa by the sea – until a young, handsome American came along and changed her European plan.

The original title for this film was Lovers Must Learn (read all about it, plus view the movie’s trailer, in a prior blog post here). I wonder how late in the game they changed the title to Rome Adventure, because the whole “learning” aspect is quite prominent in those taglines.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

Only Two Can Play (1962):

Two’s company… three’s a comedy!

This film hails from the UK, with Peter Sellers playing a very sexually frustrated librarian looking for a promotion in all the wrong places. But again, no mention of the library setting, characters, or plot.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

The Music Man (1962):

We’ve got the man, we’ve got the music, we’ve got “The Music Man”

The story of that man and his 76 trombones, and the wonderful, wonderful tune he played on every heart in town!

1962 was a banner year for major reel librarian characters, no?

There are several taglines for this hit musical, which was based on the 1957 hit play by Meredith Willson. This movie immortalized “Marian the Librarian” but the title character is Robert Preston’s Harold Hill, the con man who sweeps the town — and the reel librarian — off their collective feet. The taglines all focus on the central character, not the librarian.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

You’re a Big Boy Now (1966):

The odyssey of a young youth who wants no part of sex. He wants it all!

The motion picture that’s happening now!

Oh, those “young youths,” how they tease us! 😉 I love the randomness and vagueness of these taglines.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

Foul Play (1978):

A new comedy thriller from the creators of “Silver Streak.”

Another major reel librarian character (Goldie Hawn as Gloria Mundy) with no mention of that occupation on the poster. True, the plot moves quickly from the library and into the streets of San Francisco, but Gloria’s resourcefulness begins with kicking some butt with an umbrella while locking up the library. And no, that’s not a metaphor.

The tagline focuses on the accomplishments of writer/director Colin Higgins, who had a hit two years earlier with the comedy-action flick Silver Streak. Higgins also had another cult classic on his filmography, Harold and Maude (1971), and would go on to write and direct the comedy hits Nine to Five (1980) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982). Smart advertising strategy.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

Off Beat (1986):

The real life adventures of a make-believe cop.

This movie involves a whole host of oddball reel librarians (star Judge Reinhold included), a case of mistaken identity, satiny cop costumes, a dancing cop routine, show tunes, and a bank heist in which well-timed choreography saves the day. Oh, and roller skates. I’m actually glad there’s no hint of librarianship in the tagline!

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag (1992):

She was a nobody, until someone found… The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag!”

Betty Lou is a children’s librarian, the “nobody” in the tagline. FAIL.

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

Party Girl (1995):

There’s a new librarian in town!

The new queen of the art house

Finally, the word librarian makes it into a tagline! One more reason to love this film. The other tagline puts the spotlight on breakout indie film star Parker Posey (hence, the “queen of the art house” mention).

Read more about the movie and basic plot by clicking here

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