23 user 6 critic

Storm Center (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 31 July 1956 (USA)
During the 1950s, a small-town librarian is shunned by the locals after she refuses the City Council's request to remove a book on Communism from the library's shelves.


Daniel Taradash


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




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


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 »




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Did You Know?


The first movie to criticize the McCarthy era directly. See more »


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.
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Hymn to Our Library
Lyrics by Elick Moll
Music by Morris Stoloff
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User Reviews

powerful anti-censorship, McCarthy-era drama, a classic!!
20 June 2003 | by django-1See 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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Release Date:

31 July 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Library See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Rosa, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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