Storm Center

The only directorial effort of screenwriter Daniel Taradash (Don’t Bother to Knock, From Here to Eternity), this 1956 melodrama about a small-town librarian (Bette Davis) who’s fired when she refuses to remove a communist book from the shelves sounds better than it plays, though it certainly isn’t devoid of interest. It’s basically one of those black-and-white, issue-oriented town-in-an-uproar pictures the 50s seemed to specialize in, though there are many better examples (e.g., The Well, The Phenix City Story). This was originally planned as a comeback vehicle for Mary Pickford, though Davis is fine as her replacement; with Brian Keith and Kim Hunter. (JR)

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