Storm Warning (1951)

93 mins | Drama | 10 February 1951

Director:

Stuart Heisler

Producer:

Jerry Wald

Cinematographer:

Carl Guthrie

Production Designer:

Leo Kuter

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's working title was Storm Center . On 20 Oct 1949, HR reported that Lauren Bacall was suspended by Warner Bros. after she refused the role of "Marsha." The following day, Ginger Rogers was named as star. According to a 22 Oct 1949 LAT article, Bacall stated, "I am neither a puppet nor a chattel of Warner Bros. studio to do with as it sees fit." Shortly afterward, Bacall was released from her contract with the studio. According to HR , the production began a two-week location shoot at Corona, CA on 28 Nov 1949. After completing this film, Ronald Reagan left Warner Bros., where he had been under contract since ... More Less

The film's working title was Storm Center . On 20 Oct 1949, HR reported that Lauren Bacall was suspended by Warner Bros. after she refused the role of "Marsha." The following day, Ginger Rogers was named as star. According to a 22 Oct 1949 LAT article, Bacall stated, "I am neither a puppet nor a chattel of Warner Bros. studio to do with as it sees fit." Shortly afterward, Bacall was released from her contract with the studio. According to HR , the production began a two-week location shoot at Corona, CA on 28 Nov 1949. After completing this film, Ronald Reagan left Warner Bros., where he had been under contract since 1937. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Dec 1950.
---
Daily Variety
6 Dec 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Dec 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 49
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 49
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 49
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 50
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 51
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
22 Oct 1949.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Dec 50
p. 605.
New York Times
3 Mar 50
p. 15.
New Yorker
10 Mar 1951.
---
Newsweek
29 Jan 1951.
---
Variety
6 Dec 50
p. 15.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Paul E. Burns
Dave McMahon
Dale Van Sickle
Eddie Hearn
Mike Donovan
Carl Harbough
Ed Peil Sr.
Doug Carter
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Storm Center
Release Date:
10 February 1951
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Miami Beach: 17 January 1951
Production Date:
11 November 1949--late January 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 January 1951
Copyright Number:
LP633
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14344
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Model Marsha Mitchell takes advantage of an out-of-town assignment to visit her newly married younger sister, Lucy Rice. On her arrival, Marsha is struck by the unfriendliness of the townspeople, and when the taxi driver refuses to drive her to her destination, she is forced to walk to the recreation center where Lucy has a night job. On the way, Marsha secretly witnesses a lynching. Greatly upset, she finally reaches the recreation center and tells Lucy what she saw. Lucy realizes that the victim must have been Walter Adams, a reporter who had denounced the Ku Klux Klan. Although Marsha recognizes some of the men at the center as part of the lynch mob, she does not expose them when county prosecutor Burt Rainey questions the crowd. Later, Lucy, who is pregnant, takes Marsha home and introduces her sister to her husband Hank. Aghast, Marsha realizes that Hank was also one of the mob. When Lucy tells Hank what Marsha witnessed, he explains that he thought they were only going to try to scare Adams. Not wanting to hurt her sister, Marsha plans to catch the first bus out of town in the morning. A worried Hank then hurries to the recreation center to confer with Charlie Barr, his boss and the Klan leader. Rainey returns, having identified the rope used to hang Adams as belonging to Barr's company, but Barr dismisses Rainey's accusations, and George Athens, the recreation center proprietor, testifies that Barr was there the entire night. Rainey is waiting for Marsha when she picks up her suitcase the following morning. Marsha claims not to know anything, but when she inadvertently reveals that the killers were wearing ... +


Model Marsha Mitchell takes advantage of an out-of-town assignment to visit her newly married younger sister, Lucy Rice. On her arrival, Marsha is struck by the unfriendliness of the townspeople, and when the taxi driver refuses to drive her to her destination, she is forced to walk to the recreation center where Lucy has a night job. On the way, Marsha secretly witnesses a lynching. Greatly upset, she finally reaches the recreation center and tells Lucy what she saw. Lucy realizes that the victim must have been Walter Adams, a reporter who had denounced the Ku Klux Klan. Although Marsha recognizes some of the men at the center as part of the lynch mob, she does not expose them when county prosecutor Burt Rainey questions the crowd. Later, Lucy, who is pregnant, takes Marsha home and introduces her sister to her husband Hank. Aghast, Marsha realizes that Hank was also one of the mob. When Lucy tells Hank what Marsha witnessed, he explains that he thought they were only going to try to scare Adams. Not wanting to hurt her sister, Marsha plans to catch the first bus out of town in the morning. A worried Hank then hurries to the recreation center to confer with Charlie Barr, his boss and the Klan leader. Rainey returns, having identified the rope used to hang Adams as belonging to Barr's company, but Barr dismisses Rainey's accusations, and George Athens, the recreation center proprietor, testifies that Barr was there the entire night. Rainey is waiting for Marsha when she picks up her suitcase the following morning. Marsha claims not to know anything, but when she inadvertently reveals that the killers were wearing Klan hoods, Rainey orders her to stay in town for the inquest. Barr then warns Marsha not to blame the Klan when questioned under oath, because Hank killed Adams and will hang for murder. Marsha begs Lucy to leave her husband, but she is too much in love with him to listen to Marsha's pleas. At the inquest, no one, including Marsha, will testify about the previous evening's events, and Adams' death is attributed to unknown assailants. Rainey, who is also getting community pressure to let the matter drop, tells Marsha that she has just given the Klan license to write their own laws. Later, a drunken Hank comes home while Marsha is alone packing and tries to force himself on her, but Lucy interrupts and finally agrees to leave with Marsha. Now Marsha resolves to testify against the Klan. Hank beats her, and later, the Klan brings her before the membership to be punished. Lucy brings Rainey to the meeting, and a gunfight ensues. Hank shoots at Marsha, but accidentally kills Lucy. After Barr is arrested, the mob panics and runs away. Although the Klan's power is broken, Marsha blames herself for the death of her sister. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.