For Reel

Storm Warning (1951)
November 21, 2013, 4:44 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Stuart Heisler
4 Stars
Storm WarningWarner Brothers had the distinction of being particularly socially-conscious when compared to the other major studios of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Yet Storm Warning, developed as an expose of the violent crimes committed by the Ku Klux Klan, is shockingly apprehensive in its failure to discuss the racial bigotry of the group. Despite its failings as a social-problem picture, however, the film is quite successful as a thriller, more akin to the gangster genre than any other. Ginger Rogers is remarkable as Marsha, the traveling model who happens to witness a murder committed by the KKK and must face the dilemma of whether or not to testify against her sister’s new husband. Her disgust–of the Klan, of her brother-in-law, of her own inability to testify–is palpable, making it one of her most self-loathing roles. Although Ginger’s best work came in the early 40s, she still had a few remarkable performances ahead of her, especially as a gun moll with a heart of gold in Tight Spot. Carl E. Guthrie’s photography is striking, having a great sense of how to capture the violent frenzy of a crowd.

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