What…you never thought of yourself or your library as glamorous? Then how about a reminder of some of the star turns taken by librarians and libraries in the movies?
[Photo:] Shirley Jones starred as Marian in the 1962 hit "The Music Man." Copyright 1962, Warner Brothers.
There are plenty to choose from, and included here are just a few:
- The Music Man (1962): You've got to top the list with the film that introduced a song called “Marian the Librarian.”
- The Day After Tomorrow (2004): A group of people attempting to survive a global ice storm huddle inside the New York Public Library and argue about which books are “burnable.” (Spoiler alert: tax codes immediately make the cut.)
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994): A determined inmate transforms the prison library—and the lives of his fellow convicts.
- Desk Set (1957): Katharine Hepburn plays the know-it-all head of a TV network research department, determined to stop Spencer Tracy’s attempts to computerize her out of a job.
- Ghostbusters (1984): Another starring role for the New York Public Library, which serves as the setting for the opening sequence of the film.
- The Mummy (1999): A beautiful British librarian and others accidentally dig up more than just archeological treasures—including a cursed and annoyingly undead mummy—in an ancient Egyptian city.
- National Treasure (2004): Secret treasure maps and intrigue in the National Archives!
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): As an angel shows George Bailey, his missus would have become—horrors!— the town librarian and therefore (in the parlance of the day) an “old maid” if George had never existed.
- The Breakfast Club (1985): Five high school students representing every sort of clique spend a Saturday in detention at their school library.
- Storm Center (1956): Betty Davis fights for freedom of expression and against censorship as a small-town librarian, but finds herself branded a Communist for her efforts.
- All the President’s Men (1976): Woodward and Bernstein investigate every book in the Library of Congress that was requested by the Nixon White House.
- A Beautiful Mind (2001): A tortured mathematical genius spends two straight days in the library, writing formulas on the windows.
Other great library scenes were featured in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Philadelphia (1993), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and all of the Harry Potter films.
What are your favorite library scenes and characters from the movies?
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