Storm Center (1956)

Approved   |    |  Drama


Storm Center (1956) Poster

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.


6.8/10
1,058

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  • Bette Davis and Kim Hunter in Storm Center (1956)
  • Storm Center (1956)
  • Kevin Coughlin in Storm Center (1956)
  • Bette Davis and Joe Mantell in Storm Center (1956)
  • Bette Davis in Storm Center (1956)
  • Storm Center (1956)

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1 December 2008 | blanche-2
5
| The Dewey Decimal System Up in Flames
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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