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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.

Director:

Daniel Taradash

Writers:

Daniel Taradash (story and screenplay), Elick Moll (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Alicia Hull
Brian Keith ... Paul Duncan
Kim Hunter ... Martha Lockridge
Paul Kelly ... Judge Robert Ellerbee
Joe Mantell ... George Slater
Kevin Coughlin ... Freddie Slater
Sally Brophy Sally Brophy ... Laura Slater (as Sallie Brophie)
Howard Wierum Howard Wierum ... Mayor Levering
Curtis Cooksey ... Stacey Martin
Michael Raffetto ... Edgar Greenbaum
Joseph Kearns ... Mr. Morrisey
Edward Platt ... Rev. Wilson
Kathryn Grant ... Hazel Levering
Howard Wendell 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:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Library See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Rosa, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

George Slater: Sure she talks sweet as honey. All the time you can bet she was working away back there. She has twenty five years to fill those shelves with poison. She and those books of hers. All they want is one thing: smash and destroy. Smash everything we've ever built up in this country.
See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

utterly convincing and politically correct
26 March 2002 | by Clarence AbernathySee all my reviews

There is just a handful of contemporary movies from the fifties dealing with that dark chapter of McCarthyism. "Invasion of the body snatchers" and the allegoric western "Silver Lode" are well known. Hence it's strange that this one, probably the most decided and direct anti-McCarthyism movie of them all, is almost forgotten today. Screenwriter Daniel Taradash's ("Picnic" / "From here to Eternity") directorial debut "Storm Center" is utterly convincing and politically correct. There are fine performances throughout (especially Brian Keith does a good job), and even the kid actors are bearable. The title credits are an early artwork by Saul Bass who obviously must have been involved in directing the climactic burning books sequences.


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