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Friday, August 7, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: Storm Warning with Ginger Rogers & Doris Day

With so much going for it, it's sad that the 1951 motion picture drama, Storm Warning, lacks the courage of its own convictions. Warner Brothers wimped out. Rumor has it Warners offered this to their then-contract star Joan Crawford. They already had Doris Day signed on. Crawford reportedly rolled her eyes and said to Jack Warner, "Oh, come on! Nobody is ever going to believe Doris Day is my sister!" Ginger Rogers was ultimately signed up to star and her rapport with Ms Day is actually quite credible indeed.

In this sensational drama, let me say that everyone is white, which may seem odd since it's basically about the Ku Klux Klan. However, it's lost none of its relevancy. Nobody has a regional accent in this flick set in an unspecified town in the deep south. Milton Seltzer is in it, tawking very NY for example. Unfortunately, this is a southern town not only without regional drawls but without a black person in sight though it has Klansmen who apparently only kill white people.

Storm Warning is like a politicized Street Car Named Desire. Ginger is a NYC model who goes south to visit sister Doris,  married to the ever-hot Steve Cockring... oops, I meant Cochran! She witnesses the Klan slaying of a white journalist on the first day of her visit. Buddy B would just get on the next flight home. Not that feisty Ginger.

Ronald Reagan is at his most stalwart herein as a detective determined to expose the Klan and their criminal activities.

Storm Warning, though flawed, is basically a solid drama with affecting performances. It is gripping from start to finish with an unpredictable, downbeat ending. Recommended. Now on dvd.

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