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Storm Center (1956)

 -  Drama  -  31 July 1956 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 638 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 1 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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Airs Thu. Jan. 01, 7:30 AM on TCM

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Title: Storm Center (1956)

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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
Edit

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:

LONG AWAITED EVENT - BETTE DAVIS Hits the Screen in a Cyclone of Dramatic Fury! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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