7.2/10
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23 user 2 critic

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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(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Alicia Hull
...
Paul Duncan
...
Martha Lockridge
...
Judge Robert Ellerbee
...
George Slater
...
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
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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Storm Center was the first movie to criticize the McCarthy era directly. See more »

Quotes

Alicia Hull: How about helping out an old friend?
Freddie Slater: Your not my friend!
Alicia Hull: Freddie.
Freddie Slater: You're not anybody's friend! They kicked you out! You don't belong here. They found out about you! You want to destroy us! Your like all the rest of them! They found out what you were doing! You don't belong here! Your not the librarian anymore. Your a communist! A communist! A communist! A communist!
See more »

Soundtracks

Hymn to Our Library
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Elick Moll
Music by Morris Stoloff
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User Reviews

 
The Dewey Decimal System Up in Flames
1 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I guess I'll have to be the outlier here and state that "Storm Center" is an overdone B movie starring Bette Davis. The premise is excellent -a librarian, Mrs. Hull (Davis) refuses to remove a book about Communism from the library. An ambitious politician, played by Brian Keith, discovers that Mrs. Hull joined a few organizations during the war that were Communist fronts. The fact that she quit them when she realized this doesn't make much of an impression on him. She ends up losing her job and being branded a Communist.

There isn't any doubt that a Communist was about the worst thing you could be called or suspected of being in the '50s, and the film makes an excellent point about the damage gossip and innuendo can do, and how people used the accusations as a soap box for their own means. The main problem I had with the film was the 9-year-old boy (Kevin Coughlin) who was close to Mrs. Hull and turns on her once his idiot father badmouths her. I'm sorry, but are we supposed to believe this kid is normal, and his reactions are because he thinks this woman is a Communist? The kid is another Unibomber in the making - a deeply disturbed child. I just can't blame it on Communist rumors.

Davis gives a good, if mannered performance, and is very effective when she talks about how she could have stood anything but the children turning away from her. "Storm Center" has a good message even today, but I could have done without the psycho kid.


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