Pulp Fiction: Storm Warning

Ronald Reagan, Ginger Rogers, Doris Day, and Steve Cochran in Storm Warning.

The featured image is a publicity shot for the 1951 movie Storm Warning. It features three unlikely noiristas with Steve Cochran who prowled noir alley many times in his prime. Cochran steals every scene, but all the principals are good, as is the film itself. It’s one of the few times Cochran plays a dumbass and he played it well. Doris Day’s character married him for his looks, not his brainpower, which is minimal.

Storm Warning is a short, taut, and tight movie that runs a mere 93 minutes, but a lot of action is crammed into it. I wish more current films stressed quality over quantity. A movie better be damn good if it’s over 3 hours without an intermission.

Storm Warning tells the tale of the Ku Klux Klan in a small town somewhere in America. Unlike previous KKK flicks, they use the name BUT race was not a factor in the movie. The Klan were equal opportunity haters so that’s okay on one level but wrong on another.

This Klan iteration hates outsiders to their benighted burg. Ginger Rogers gets caught up in their madness as does the 40th POTUS who plays the local DA:

Ginger and Ronnie, we hardly knew ye or is that y’all.

I don’t want to reveal more of the plot because this feature is called pulp fiction, not pulp spoilers. BUT something happens to one of the stars that never happens again in any of their movies. End of teaser.

Storm Warning was restored by Warner Brothers in celebration of its 100th anniversary. It looks swell and can be streamed on MAX the last I checked.

The movie was directed by Stuart Heisler and has an original screenplay by Daniel Fuchs and future Oscar winning director, Richard Brooks.

Grading Time: I deducted points for Storm Warning’s fudging the true nature of the Klan and the dubious ending. I give it 3 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B.

It’s poster time. We begin with the quad poster, which has a helluva tagline:

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the American and French long sheet posters. Note the French title, which gets right to the point. Plus, they give Steve Cochran top billing. The French know a thing or three about film noir.

I like intermissions during long movies because of the big-ass sodas served in cinemas. Let’s follow one to the lobby.

We have two color lobby cards for this black and white film. But who can complain when Ginger and Doris are in the frame? They were excellent casting as sisters.

Let’s leave the lobby and jump in the trailer for a wild ride with Storm Warning.

The last word goes to Eddie Muller with his Noir Alley intro and outro.

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