A gutsy, anti-bigotry film about a woman (Ginger Rogers), who plans to a trip to visit her sister in a town that could be anywhere in America, only to witness a killing by a cadre of hooded Klansman.  She finds her sister (Doris Day), but discovers that her sister’s new husband, whose child she’s carrying, is the killer.

Ronald Reagan exercises his legal, good-guy chops as the crusader D.A., trying to convince Rogers – the sole witness – to take the stand, although she knows her admittance will doom her brother-in-law.

Although the ending scene is decided over-the-top and incredibly bleak, Storm Warning is amazingly ahead of its time both in vision and in context.  No mention of the Ku Klux Klan’s war on blacks comes into play, but the advocating albeit simplistic message is startling in its statement: violent ignorance is all around us, amongst those we know who would rather hide their faces, and that seeking justice is most difficult when those aware are too afraid to stand up for the wronged.

Don’t Miss:  Steve Cochran as the brother-in-law.  A veteran villain – James Cagney’s traitorous buddy in 1949’s White Heat – Cochran is so diabolical it’s hard to sit still.  He drips with greasy lies, unconscionable ignorance, and lecherous loathing.  He’s so effective he automatically qualifies for Top 50 Villains all-time, maybe even Top 25.

 

-EB

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