April 17th, 2014: The Attic (1980)

Cast and Crew:  George Edwards (Director, Screenplay); Tony Crechales (Screenplay, Associate Producer); Gary Graver (Cinematographer); Frances Bay

What It’s About:  Repressed, suicidal, alcoholic, pyromaniac librarian Louise Elmore (Carrie Snodgress) never recovered from the disappearance of her fiancé on her wedding day.  She lives with her tyrannical father Wendell (Ray Milland), who was paralyzed when he jumped from his burning department store-a fire set by Louise.  Exactly what happened to Louise’s fiancé, and how long can she stand living with Wendell and working in her soul crushing job before she snaps?

Why Watch it Today?: It’s Library Week, the American Library Association’s annual celebration of all things library and call for proper funding and recognition of libraries and the work they do all across the nation.  Yesterday we suggested Desk Set, a charming Hepburn/Tracey romantic comedy that features one of the more rounded and positive portrayals of librarians on film; today we’re highlighting one of the worst (and most hilarious) portraits of a librarian.  From the scene where Louise burns a pile of books in the middle of the library and manages, somehow, to hold on to her job, to the moment when her co-worker tries to cheer her up….with a gift of a chimpanzee(!), to Louise’s sleazy encounter with a sailor, the film goes so over-the-top in presenting Louise’s miserable life that one can’t help but laugh.  Louise even performs a good deed in the course of the film-making sure that her younger coworker Emily (Ruth Cox) avoids her fate by ensuring that she leaves her job to reunite with a boyfriend.  My fellow librarians, go find a mate and get out of the profession, stat, because according to The Attic there’s no worse fate than to be a librarian!

Where to Get ItThe Attic is not available legitimately at this time.  You can find it in 11 parts on YouTube:

No trailer, but, for a taste of the strange, here Louise tells Emily about the time she tried to burn down the library (starts about 2 minutes in):

One comment on “April 17th, 2014: The Attic (1980)

  1. peppery says:

    “Repressed, suicidal, alcoholic, pyromaniac librarian Louise Elmore..”

    And with that, I’m sold. 😀

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