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Storm Center Reviews

Davis is a widowed librarian in a small town. She's worked so long at the library that she feels she is the proprietor, rather than the custodian, of the books. Since her husband died in WW I, she's devoted herself to shaping the minds of her small town's children. The children adore her and will ask her questions they might not even ask their parents. One of her pets is Coughlin, a boy who spends every waking moment at the library, eagerly devouring everything he can. The town council gets together and asks her to take a book off the shelves which they feel is communistic. She feels that their decision is stupid, but removes the book from the shelves. She then realizes that this is against her principles and defiantly returns the book to circulation. As a result, she loses her job and is replaced by Hunter, her assistant and longtime pal. The town's judge, Kelly, thinks she has been unfairly sacked and calls a town meeting to discuss the issue. Keith, Hunter's politically ambitious boy friend, sees an opportunity to make a name for himself at the meeting and he vehemently denounces Davis as a communist. His fiery rhetoric does the trick and soon everyone in town has turned against Davis, except for young Coughlin. As Davis is shunned by others in the town, Coughlin grows more and more upset, eventually setting fire to the library. While the library burns, the townspeople have a sudden change of heart and, led by their mayor, Wierum, ask Davis to come back to work for the town and supervise the building of a brand new library, an offer Davis accepts. While the film was forthright in its attempt to deal with censorship, the execution was dismal. The sudden alteration in the town's beliefs is just too nonsensical to accept. Davis, however, is quite convincing as the principled librarian, but there just isn't enough of a story to complement her performance. In a small role, note Kathryn Grant who gave up acting soon afterward to become Mrs. Bing Crosby.