Storm Center is a 1956 production. The film takes place in small-town USA but the setting could be anywhere. The presence of a single objectionable book at a library starts a chain reaction that equals the bubonic plague's proportions by the time everyone's opinion about this one book is taken into account. 1956 is a good year for anti-Communistic beliefs and sentiment. I am willing to draw a parallel to the current Liberals and their abhorrence of any religious sentiment. The modern Left-wing thinking rejects God and I reject them. Bette Davis is perfect for this role. Also, I like the performance of Kim Hunter and Paul Kelley. Watch out for your own storm center in life.
Normally I would give this 1956 film 3.5 stars, but I’ve decided to give it 4.5 stars for the courage of the film-makers to even produce this film. During this period, American film-makers connected with anything considered left-wing had their careers destroyed by Congressional committees like HUAC. The Cannes Film Festival awarded the film for the first time ever the Chevalier de la Barre Prize for promoting “the cause of freedom of expression and tolerance.” It would be just another three years when Hollywood would allow a film to portray an African-American as equal to Whites and to allow the smidgen of the possibility of true romantic interracial love in the 1959 film “The World, the Flesh and the Devil.”
It might not be one of the best screen performances of Ms. Davis but the film can be a good vehicle for understanding the socio-political situation of our times. It was 1956 America but the story can well be 2014 France or the Western world where censorship is under attack from the idea called "Islamophobia." Communism under MCCarthy era in the US can be likened under fear of certain faiths that was twisted to make way for censorship. Alicia Hull is Charlie Hebdo and the Free Public Library is the free, fearless and unintimidated media.
What a great movie. Mature Bette Davis, before the "hag" movies that came later. She plays a small town librarian during the hunt for communists in the US. She refuses to take a book off the shelves about communism, even though she admits it is full of theory that is nothing but rot. Wonderful look at censorship in libraries, the subject is still relevant today.
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