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Storm Center (1956)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  31 July 1956 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 734 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 2 critic

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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Title: Storm Center (1956)

Storm Center (1956) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Alicia Hull
...
Paul Duncan
...
Martha Lockridge
Paul Kelly ...
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
Joseph Kearns ...
Mr. Morrisey
...
Rev. Wilson
...
Hazel Levering
Howard Wendell ...
Sen. Bascomb
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 July 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Library  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unfortunately, Storm Center was not well received by either critics or viewers, which Davis believed to be the fault of the film, not the subject matter. She did not agree with the casting of little Kevin Coughlin as Freddie, complaining that Taradash did not direct him well. According to Davis, this resulted in a lack of emotional rapport between her and Coughlin, making it difficult to believe the extent of the little boy's feelings of betrayal. Not all of this can be attributed to Taradash's direction, however. Both Davis and Taradash were shocked at Coughlin's mother, who prepared the little boy for his crying scenes by pinching him till it hurt. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
powerful anti-censorship, McCarthy-era drama, a classic!!
20 June 2003 | by (south Texas USA) – See all my reviews

In today's environment--with civil liberties in question and with a book praising Joe McCarthy on the best-seller lists--this powerful and eloquent anti-censorship film needs to be reissued. Bette Davis plays a small-town librarian asked to remove a communist-oriented book from her library. The city council tries to buy her off by offering to build a children's wing to the library that she has been asking for--after thinking, she refuses to remove the book. Not only do they try to take her job from her, but she becomes the target of a smear campaign based on half-truths and innuendo. As other reviews have

stated, both the "good" and the "bad" characters are three-dimensional, and Paul Kelly in particular is superb as an old friend of Bette's who tries to defend her but is caught up in the hysteria. The scene where Kelly is asked to vote to condemn her, pauses, and lowers his head in shame is quite moving. Columbia always made good, solid B-movies, and the direct, matter-of- fact presentation of this material only strengthens the overall impact. Also, The musical score, although subtle and not calling attention to itself, is perfectly crafted. In fact, the film is filled with nice little touches. Note to Columbia/Sony: put this out on DVD immediately! It will get uniformly positive reviews from the critics and it has a message needed now more than ever. If you have any opportunity to see this, do not miss it.


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