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Storm Center (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 31 July 1956 (USA)
A small-town librarian is branded as a Communist by local politicians when she refuses to withdraw a controversial book from the library's shelves.



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Complete credited cast:
Alicia Hull
Paul Duncan
Martha Lockridge
Judge Robert Ellerbee
George Slater
Kevin Coughlin ...
Freddie Slater
Sally Brophy ...
Laura Slater (as Sallie Brophie)
Howard Wierum ...
Mayor Levering
Curtis Cooksey ...
Stacey Martin
Michael Raffetto ...
Edgar Greenbaum
Mr. Morrisey
Rev. Wilson
Hazel Levering
Howard Wendell ...
Sen. Bascomb


A small-town librarian is branded as a Communist by local politicians when she refuses to withdraw a controversial book from the library's shelves. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who really set the town aflame?... See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 July 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Library  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mary Pickford was originally slated to make her comeback with this film but later dropped out of the project. See more »


Martha Lockridge: Whatever was the issue? A stubborn woman was fired. Your council blew itself up with civic virtue. The city got something to buzz about. I got a better job. You got a platform.
Paul Duncan: You make it sound like a grab bag.
Martha Lockridge: Well, what do you think it was? Patriotism?
See more »


Hymn to Our Library
Lyrics by Elick Moll
Music by Morris Stoloff
See more »

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User Reviews

A classic! Need to be in re-release!
7 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is a classic; maybe not in the conventional sense of classic film-making, but certainly for librarians, for anyone interested in the topics about intellectual freedom, censorship and/or strongly principled individuals who believe in free speech! This should be available on DVD.If there are any issues involved, such as copyright, someone at Sony should work them out and make this film available for classroom and library discussion groups. The relevance to contemporary issues is significant. This was the height of the Cold War with the former Soviet Union, the era of Senator Joe McCarthy and the "Red scare," and the blacklisting of Hollywood industry folks. Bette Davis is the principled librarian who challenges her City Council's dictate that she remove a book on Communism from the library because there are complaints from patrons. Some of the dialog and characters are stilted but the feel is definitely the '50s. The challenges to libraries have not gone away but the commitment and dignity of the true librarian spirit has not changed. Here we are, almost 50 years later, confronted with the Patriot Act. George Clooney's recently released film "Good Night and Good Luck" about McCarthy and Edward R. Murrow's effort to expose McCarthyism prove that some things, unfortunately, never do go away, they just come around again.

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