Librarians Go Hollywood

What better way to celebrate the end of Law Library Week than to relax to a movie about the adventures of your average librarian?  Here are a few suggestions to get you started:



Jet Li plays Tsui Chik, a genetically-engineered assassin turned shy librarian after his unit is disbanded.  He becomes a mask-wearing superhero when drug lords start turning up dead.


FOUL PLAY (1978)

Goldie Hawn is a San Francisco librarian who, after being encouraged to try something new, meets a mysterious man who gives her a pack of cigarettes secretly containing a roll of film.  After Hawn is attacked, a detective, Chevy Chase, investigates and together they unravel a mystery and attempt to stop a murder.



Betty Lou Perkins (Penelope Ann Miller) is an introverted librarian largely ignored by everyone including her husband, Alex, a detective.  When she finds the gun to a criminal kingpin’s murder, no one will listen to her, so she confesses to the murder – then she gets attention from the police and the kingpin’s associates.



A series of made-for-TV movies featuring Noah Wyle as a brilliant librarian, Flynn Carsen, who holds twenty-two college degrees.  The Metropolitan Public Library where he works houses many rare books as well as historical and magical artifacts in a secret section.


QUEST FOR THE SPEAR (2004):  Someone breaks into the secret section and steals a piece of the Spear of Destiny.  If the thief can unite it with the other two pieces, he will control the destiny of the world and have power over life and death.  Flynn must find the piece of the spear and return it to the library in an Indiana Jones-style adventure.


RETURN TO KING SOLOMON’S MINES (2006):  Flynn receives a map in the mail with the secret location of the mine.  When the scroll is stolen, Flynn must retrieve it before the thief can recover the book hidden in the mine which can give the reader control over space and time.


CURSE OF THE JUDAS CHALICE (2008):  While on vacation, Flynn meets a mysterious woman and they set off in search of the Judas Chalice – a vampire version of the Holy Grail.


THE MUMMY (1999)

Rachel Weisz plays a librarian/Egyptologist, Evelyn Carnahan, in Cairo in the 1920s.  Her brother steals a box with a map from Rick (Brendan Fraser).  When the three team up to follow the map, Evelyn accidentally wakes the mummy of Imhotep.  She and Rick must battle a mummy out for revenge.


MUSIC MAN (1962)

Shirley Jones plays Marian “the librarian” Paroo of the River City, Iowa, Public Library.  Prim and proper, she sets out to prove Professor Harold Hill (Robert Preston) is a fraud, but falls in love with him as she watches him bring the town to life.



Tim Robbins plays a banker, Andy Dufresne,  convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. While in prison he takes over the library (a former janitor’s closet) and greatly expands the prison library over the next 23 years through an intense writing campaign to government officials.



While not an actual movie about librarians, it is a nice accompaniment to Banned Book Week.  Two modern day teenagers (Toby McGuire and Reese Witherspoon) are transported into a fictional TV show about a 1950s town, Pleasantville, where everything is in black and white, and all the books have blank pages.  As the teenagers tell the plots of the books, the pages of the books fill in.   The library quickly becomes a popular place, and as people start learning new things through books and other experiences, they fill with color.  When town members try to stop the spread of colorization and new ideas, they burn books and forbid access to the library.


If interested, you can find a surprising number of movies about librarians at the following links:


By Meghan Starr








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