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Storm Warning (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 10 February 1951 (USA)
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Marsha Mitchell, a traveling dress model, stops in a southern town to see her sister who has married a Ku Klux Klansman. Marsha sees the KKK commit a murder and helps District Attorney Burt Rainey in bringing the criminals to justice.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marsha Mitchell
...
Burt Rainey
...
Lucy Rice
...
Hank Rice
Hugh Sanders ...
Charlie Barr
Lloyd Gough ...
Cliff Rummel
Raymond Greenleaf ...
Faulkner
...
George Athens
...
Frank Hauser
Walter Baldwin ...
Coroner Bledsoe
Lynn Whitney ...
Cora Athens
...
Walt Walters
...
Shore
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Storyline

En route to a job, New York based model Marsha Mitchell decides to stop for less than 24 hours in the southern American town of Rock Point to visit her sister, Lucy Rice, who she has not seen in two years, and meet Lucy's husband, Hank Rice, for the first time. Upon arriving in Rock Point, Marsha witnesses a Ku Klux Klan slaying of who she would later learn is Walter Adams, an out of town reporter who was going to write an exposé on the Klan. Marsha even saw two of the men's faces after they removed their hoods, but they didn't see Marsha. Upon later arriving at Lucy's house, Marsha is shocked to see that Hank was one of the Klansmen committing the murder, he being a Klansman of which Lucy is unaware. Marsha decides to confront Hank and Lucy about what she saw. Meanwhile, county prosecutor Burt Rainey knows that the Klan committed the murder, everyone in town is aware that the Klan committed the murder, but Rainey knows that no one will come forward to implicate the Klan for what they... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Behind this burning cross...Behind the loopholes in the law...Behind their cowardly hoods...They hide a thousand vicious crimes! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 February 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Storm Center  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Doris Day's first non-singing role. See more »

Goofs

At about 52 minutes in, Reagan's character puts on his suit jacket -- twice. See more »

Quotes

Cliff Rummel: I can't show the new summer line without a model.
Marsha Mitchell: Show 'em on hangers.
Cliff Rummel: Hangers haven't got what you've got!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Veronica Mars: Weapons of Class Destruction (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep Cool, Fool
(uncredited)
Music by James P. Johnson and Josef Myrow
Played at the recreation center after the verdict
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Taking On The KKK
22 August 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Not that the subject matter of Storm Warning lends itself to music, but isn't it fascinating that Warner Brothers cast two of the best female musical performers in the history of film as the two leads. Sisters even.

For Ginger Rogers this was hardly her first dramatic part, having won an Oscar for Kitty Foyle. But this was Doris Day's first non-singing role and she acquits herself very well.

Ginger gets off a Greyhound Bus in some small southern town where her married younger sister Doris lives with her husband Steve Cochran. In those wee small hours during the graveyard shift, Ginger witnesses a murder committed by several men in white sheets. And lo and behold she recognizes one of them as Doris's husband.

Cochran is the best one in the film, a real boorish lout of a redneck. But Doris loves him although bit by bit she gets disillusioned. Rogers spends the whole film trying to make Doris see Cochran for what he is.

The Ku Klux Klan might have been the Elks in white sheets. No pun intended, but they get quite a white washing here. No mention at all of their racism or hatred of Catholics, Jews, and foreign born of all kinds. Still they are a nasty bunch who have a habit of doing in people who disagree with them.

Ronald Reagan here is a District Attorney who is bland in a very poorly written role. The problem with the Klan was that the various county District Attorneys in the south were more than likely Klan members or who at best just looked the other way. After all these cretins with the hoods were the very voters who put in the District Attorneys. When the Klan was prosecuted, if witnesses were found against it back in those days, it was always done at the federal level by appointed United States Attorneys.

Still Cochran and Day got the deserved best notices for this film which unfortunately defuses the issues it brings up.


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