Raiders of the Lost Archive “Eclipse Clips” – THE POSTMAN (1997)

This week our cinematic history starts to criss-cross itself with a film that was made 20 years ago but set only 4 years ago in a world that echoes…well, you can take from it what you will…

A great deal of post-apocalyptic beauty was found in Central Oregon for this 90’s blockbuster which winds its way from Elvis to St. Rose, Oregon, and Phil Oppenheim argues that it is worth a 3 hour re-look – especially in the (lack) of light along the Path of Totality.

Kevin Costner and the donkey he rode in on.

Celestial events — streaking comets passing close to earth, full moons, seasonal solstices — can make some people go a little nuts.  And eclipses, like the event-of-the-century coming our way on Monday, have for centuries been accompanied by a particularly eschatological popular madness, with plenty of prophecies about the imminent End of the World.  If you’ve had stray thoughts about potentially scary meanings behind the eclipse, I’d like to (1) assure you that everything will turn out OK, as long as you’ve got your protective glasses (if you choose to look at the sun), and (2) recommend a movie to keep you entertained til doomsday, Kevin Costner’s sci-fi dystopia The Postman.

Based on David Brin’s award-winning post-apocalyptic novel — the first third of it, anyway — The Postman might best be known as Costner’s other big-budget sci-fi flop, with the more famous Waterworld (released two years earlier) being his career’s biggest punchline (although the reality is that it made about 6 times more in its theatrical run than The Postman did).  That’s a shame: while the film has its flaws and demands its viewers to stock up on lots of snacks and coffee for its duration (it’s almost three hours long), it has lots of earnest charm, occasional moments of humor, and a stirring (if corny) sense of patriotism and civic pride. 

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor shaggy beard stays Kevin Costner from the swift completion of his appointed rounds.

The 1997 film starts in “the future,” 2013 (ulp!), after a 3-year catastrophic winter (filled with environmental disaster, war, and an infertility-causing plague called “the bad mumps”).  Our average Joe anti-hero drifts his way westward amid the ruins of the now un-United States, play-acting in bad Shakespeare recitals in exchange for meals at ragtag survivor enclaves along his meandering travels.  He borrows a uniform from the skeleton of a long-dead letter carrier (burning a sack full of really, really dead letters for warmth), and cooks up a new scheme for self-preservation: by pretending to be a representative of the Restored United States of America, he can get some hot meals from townspeople longing to connect with long-lost family members (and willing to believe in his fictional tall tale).  He soon learns that he also gives hope of the survival of American civilization to desperate survivors, too — which winds up stoking the ire of villain General Bethlehem, a neo-fascist hypermacho warlord who intends to keep everyone under his bootheels and his ethnically pure empire intact. 

Unlike most Mad-Max clones, though, this film inspires hope and faith in mankind — so without saying much more, I’ll leave it to you to figure out how it all ends.  Critics hated its earnestness, but you may find its lump-in-your throat sincerity refreshing and kind of charming.  Author Brin himself likes the film, despite its box office debacle; he wrote that “watching Kevin Costner’s three hour epic is a bit like having a great big Golden Retriever jump on your lap and lick your face, while waving a flag tied to its tail.”  Given 2017’s political environment, that sounds pretty good to me.

Postman out for his morning job over the Crooked River at Canyons Ranch (he’s the tiny figure on the rope bridge).

Another reason to check it out: it’s also a very Oregonian movie.  Yes, much of it was filmed in neighboring states (with Washington in particular subbing for Oregon in several key scenes), but there’s a lot of Oregon in the finished project — including several towns and sites in prime viewing locations for the total eclipse (including Bend, Redmond, Rimrock Ranch, Crooked River/Ochoco National Forest, and Smith Rock State Park; the BendIsBetter blog has an excellent photo of Costner at Smith Rock here).  Oregon is an integral part of the storyline too: our reluctant hero Postman treks across the state throughout the film, spreading hope along the way of his search for the rumored idyllic coastal community of “St. Rose, Oregon.”  Oregon symbolizes both Western ideals of freedom and opportunity in the film, and also the Cascadian ethos of support the environment and human harmony with nature, which will remind sci-fi readers of Ernest Callenbach’s visionary utopian novel Ecotopia.  It’s weirdly reassuring (at least to me) to imagine that, after all hell breaks loose, America can rebuild itself upon Oregon’s foundation.

If you’re just looking for a good time, you’ll want to know that The Postman isn’t just all heroism and lofty philosophy — what makes the movie tick is that it’s also goofy fun.  Its heart is in its belief in performance as a balm for grim times; what it loves about American culture is the healing power of entertainment.  Costner’s unnamed hero treats his Postman role as an acting gig (at least at first), as just another character with whom he’s entertaining fans.  Later, the Postman and his nemesis, the evil general, both reveal themselves to be frustrated Shakespeareans, squaring off in an improvised battle of thespian skills (a kind of So You Think You Can Bard for the post-apocalyptic set). 

The movie posits pop music as the connective tissue between the gloomy present and America’s good-ol’-days, and pop music is dotted throughout the movie.  The Postman explains that (his invented) “President Richard Starkey” (h/t Beatles fans) has proclaimed that “Stuff’s Getting Better Every Day” for example; a town of survivors stages Ewok-style dance-parties to homespun versions of songs like Redbone’s 1973 classic “Come and Get Your Love”; Tom Petty makes a funny cameo as a mayor “who used to be famous”; Jono Manson and John Coiman’s “I Miss My Radio” (a sort of jam band version of The Ramones “Do You Remember Rock nRoll Radio?”) plays in the background, reminding viewers of how much of a bummer it is not to hear the radio during the End Times. 

Tom Petty autographs his Greatest Hits for a fan.

As a treat after pillaging towns, General Bethlehem’s troops get the rare treat of watching a movie; they boo the testosterone-fueled action flick Universal Soldier that’s been selected for them, and only start cheering when the projectionist fires up The Sound of Music instead (!).   Hilariously, one of the survivor towns is named “Elvis, Oregon” (although I’d have preferred something more geographically appropriate like ElliotSmithville, Wiperstown, or Dead Moon Junction).  By the time you’re listening to Kevin Costner himself singing with Amy Grant on the soundtrack (their version of the Lovin’ Spoonful’s pop nugget “You Didnt Have to Be So Nice”), the film’s point is made: if the stuff ever really hits the fan, we’re really gonna miss our music.  The Postman presents the fear of a future catastrophic popapocalypse, but offers the salvation of poptimism too — we’ll be in good shape, as long as we’ve got songs in our hearts (and a Kevin Costner and the Modern West LP on a hand-cranked turntable).

And for what it’s worth, If you’re still feel anxious about the doomsday that the eclipse might portend, perhaps you can find comfort in knowing that some Oregonians in the path of the solar eclipse thought that the end of the world was at hand 99 years ago, too.

Watch: The Postman, available on Warner Brothers DVD and on Amazon Video-on-Demand.

  • Written by Phil Oppenheim
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“Lean on Pete” to Premiere at Venice Film Fest & Then At TIFF

"Lean on Pete" , Charlie Plummer Writer-Director, Andrew Haigh  (“45 Years”) adapted Willy Vlautin’s 2010 novel, “Lean on Pete” that shot in Portland and Eastern Oregon Oregon last summer.

“Lean on Pete” follows the story of “fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Pummer) who,wants a home, food on the table and a high school he can attend for more than part of the year. As the son of a single father working in warehouses across the Pacific Northwest, stability is hard to find. Hoping for a new start they move to Portland, Oregon where Charley takes a summer job, with a washed-up horse trainer, (Steve Buscemi) and befriends a failing racehorse named Lean on Pete.” (IMBD)  “Lean on Pete” will premiere at the Venice Film Festival 201728 Aug 2017 – 06 Sep 2017 and then at the Toronto International Film Festival September 7-17th.

 

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Eastern Oregon Film Company

My name is Steve West and I am new to “The Confluence” but not new to making film in Oregon. I am located in La Grande and for the last fourteen years we have produced episodic adventure based outdoor television for The Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, and other networks. However in the last two years we have started a more well rounded media house with documentary projects, commercials, and producing television for other people and companies.

We are now set up to start shooting specialty video for other producers of television or movies. We are a complete RED Digital Cinema house and are rigged with the Freefly MoVi Pro, M5, and other gimbals as well as the Flowcine Black Arm which we can mount to a truck, car, boat, ATV/UTV, or other moving vehicle to shoot chase scenes, motion shots, etc.

I want to start networking with other producers in my region and offer our services to be hired on a shot by shot (or project) basis to help bring high quality video content to your project.

Feel free to reach out anytime to [email protected]

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Raiders of the Lost Archive “Eclipse Clips” – PAINT YOUR WAGON (1968)

As Oregon Film starts to think about turning that wily age of 50 we are reflecting on some of the history that brought us to this point in our lifespan – and why not start at the beginning?

The story goes – after he made the beaches available to the public – Gov. Tom McCall needed just that little bit more to cement his legacy, so he assigned staffer Warren Merrill to help out a large Hollywood production creating No Name City at the confluence of two rivers in Baker County and, Lo and Behold, the beginnings of Oregon Film were born and so was…

PAINT YOUR WAGON (Joshua Logan, 1969)

Contributor Phil Oppenheim takes us from there.


Folks fortunate enough to be near Baker City on Eclipse Day, August 21, are probably already prepared for the solar event: you’ve secured your protective eyewear and are ready to wear them to protect your corneas.  What locals and visitors might not have heard, though, is that the best way to watch the musical Paint Your Wagon — shot largely around the confluence of East Eagle Creek and Little Kettle Creek, prime viewing for the eclipse — is to jam your ears with industrial-grade plugs

Paint Your Wagon has become infamous for stretching the vocalizing of its non-singing male leads, Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood, far, far beyond the stars’ vocal abilities, resulting in oft-mocked sub-American Idol performances.  Unkind critics skewered the results, likening Marvin’s singing to a “pained, bough-break wheeze” and describing Eastwood’s as an “earnest amateur fashion” (as, for example, in The Hollywood Reporter); even the movie’s co-star, Jean Seberg, got into the act, describing Marvin’s singing as sounding like “rain gurgling down a rusty pipe” (which might explain why her own lack of ability was dubbed by the off-screen warbling of Anita Gordon).  

Lee Marvin demonstrates approved protective precaution for listening to his singing.

The truth, though, is that the movie is often fun, weird, interesting, and occasionally disturbing, and much better than you might have heard; it’s also undeniable that its widescreen use of the Oregon locations is stunning.  Paint Your Wagon was a 1951 Broadway hit created by the team of Frederick Loewe (music) and Alan J. Lerner (lyrics and book), and legendary writer Paddy Chayefsky  (Oscar winner for Marty in 1955, The Hospital in 1971, and Network in 1976) was charged with making it a bit hipper and contemporary, fit for late 1960s audiences.  Chayefsky turned the rollicking frontier comedy into something stranger and much more provocative than the stage show, poking at his audience’s conventional morality.   

Marvin’s drunken prospector Ben Rumson meets, befriends, and teams up with good-guy newcomer Eastwood, whom he refers to only as Pardner, in a friendship that quickly deepens; the grizzled Rumson confesses to Pardner that “I get melancholy now and then … but if you stay with me, I’ll be OK.”  They find gold in them thar hills, and soon their adopted wilderness home booms into No-Name City, stuffed to the brim with an all-male horde of fortune hunters.  A Mormon wanders into town with his two wives, and is quickly persuaded to auction off one of them (why should one man have two when so many have none, goes the argument), and Rumson is the lucky winner, buying himself a brand new wife (complete with deed).  As you’d expect, the addition of a pretty blonde soon disturbs the precarious balance between Rumson and his younger, handsome Partner.

Instead of choosing one man over the other, though, Mrs. Rumson reasons that what’s good for her bigamist ex-husband goose is good for the gander, too: she decides to stay with both men in a polyamorous threesome, revealing a truly pioneering spirit, dismissively flouting domestic conventions (and flying on her own wings).  Man and man and wife live happily under one roof — until Civilization and Respectability crawl their way into No-Name City as it grows into a more modern metropolis in the film’s chaotic second half.  Nothing gold can stay, and the trio’s wedded bliss comes to a bittersweet end (the details of which I won’t spoil here).

Audiences might not have been ready to singalong with a morality-busting, upapologetic ménage à trois in their big-screen Western musical — although one could imagine slashfic Eastwood and Marvin fans having a blast with the material — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.  Brace yourself, put your protective earpieces within easy reach, and enjoy.

Watch: Paint Your Wagon, Paramount Home Video (H/T Multnomah Public Library)

Visit: Paint Your Wagon Interpretive Site (US Forest Service)

Watch: Paint Your Wagon Location visit from 2012 (YouTube)

Watch: “Making Of” link (Baker Heritage Museum – Visit BHM)

Additional note for pop music obsessives:

Marvin’s introspective, melancholy version of “Wand’rin Star,” his grumbly showstopper of a talking-song, became a huge hit when it was released as a single in the UK in 1970.  It peaked at Number One in the charts, and held the spot for three weeks — besting The Jackson 5ive’s “I Want You Back,” The Beatles’s “Let It Be,” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in the process, ultimately winding up at #6 for the year (beating, among many others, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Moody Blues, and Black Sabbath in the singles charts).  I love its humble poignance and earworm melody, and I bet some of you will start singing it along with me too …

Listen: Lee Marvin, “Wand’rin Star,” YouTube

  • Written by Phil Oppenheim
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The 8th Annual “We Like ’em Short Film Festival” Opens in Baker City

Just before you hunker down somewhere within the Path of Totality, make sure you find time to do something fun right in the Heart of Totality.

The We Like ‘Em Short Film Festival allows young, first time, filmmakers and professionals from around the world the chance to show their films in our beautiful small town known for its lively arts community. The goal for WLES is to bring films from local, national and international filmmakers to our region and showcase why the Baker Valley is so inspiring.

This is the eighth year the Historic Eltrym Theater has hosted WLES and it’s grown by leaps and bounds. Our home at the Eltrym is due to the generosity of Teresa and Dan McQuisten who have been tremendous supporters of the arts and film over the past eleven years. We couldn’t do what we do in Baker City without them.

In October of 2016 we started the selection process that ended on April 1st this year. We received over 250 submissions from 30 different countries. It was the largest number of films we’ve ever had to consider for inclusion which made the process more fun and difficult than ever.

We hope you’ll agree that our “Official Selections” for 2017 are some of the best animations and funniest comedies we’ve ever had. WLES is funded in part by a grant from the Baker County Cultural Coalition, Oregon Film and Baker County Tourism, with the proceeds from the festival benefiting the student filmmakers at Baker High School.

We are so pleased you came to enjoy one of the many great events Baker County has to offer and now it’s time to enjoy the shorts!

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Raiders of the Lost Archive “Eclipse Clips” – THE OLD OREGON TRAIL (1928)

As we begin down the Path of Totality on August 21, we felt like it was appropriate to look back on projects that found themselves along that same Path, albeit far before the Totality cometh.

“Raiders” contributor Phil Oppenheim calls this sub-series “Eclipse Clips.”

THE OLD OREGON TRAIL (Victor Adamson, 1928)

A horse, a gal, and the John Day River — what more does a feller need?

If you find yourself strangling your steering wheel in frustration while parked in bumper-to-bumper Route 206 traffic on the way to your overbooked hotel room in downtown Condon for the eclipse, you may want to consider the plight of the poor Mercer family (or better yet, see if you can find it on disc for the SUV’s back-seat DVD player and pop it in when the kids in the back seat start losing their minds).  In this silent B Western (silent western?  Ok, the kids will hate you if you make them watch it), a small family makes its way westward “just south of the Old Oregon Trail,” as the title card reads, looking for a nice place to homestead; instead, they find hardship and woe.  And, as will sound familiar to SUV-driving parents of young-uns, they find boredom, too.  As the comely teenage daughter whines to her dad, in a sagebrush version of kids’ eternal Are We There Yet lament, “Will we get there?”; her mom, in a similarly eternal gesture of frustration, counters “Stop asking your father so many questions!” 

Unfortunately for the Mercers, boredom is the least of their problems, as calamity quickly befalls them: gun-totin’ cattle rustlers steal their horses and head off alongside the John Jay River, leaving them stranded.   What at first appears to be another approaching crisis — a drunk cowboy passing along the trail — turns out to be a calamity of a different sort: Calamity Joe that is, a “seldom sober” cowpoke with a heart of gold, and the hero of our picture.  Before the 50 minute flick ends its last reel, Joe has beaten up a passel of bad hombres, helped the family establish their Condon ranch, given up likker for good, and won the heart of young Billie Mercer (and I’m betting you saw that coming).

What’s most noteworthy about the film is the way it captures unspoiled majesty of the John Day River cliffs and the late 1920s burgeoning of downtown Condon (“A gateway of vast resources,” explains a title card).  Writer-Director-Producer “Denver Dixon” (aka Victor Adamson — father of trash-cult filmmaker Al “Satan’s Sadists” Adamson!) probably should have handed some of the writing duties over to someone else (there’s a head-scratching decades-long leap in the story, which at least allows gearheads to see some cars anachronistically zooming through an oater), but he, and cinematographer Paul Allen, allow us to see beautiful images of what Eastern Oregon looked like in the ‘20s.  And in stunning, blazing daylight — 89 years before it dips into daytime darkness for a couple of minutes on August 21.

You can stream The Old Oregon Trail on Fandor and watch a trailer of it here.

– by Phil Oppenheim

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Position: Executive Assistant/Production Coordinator

BENT Image Lab is currently accepting applications for an Executive Assistant/Production Coordinator

The executive assistant/production coordinator works directly with the Executive Producer to effectively prioritize, organize, and manage the production workflow. Assistant responsibilities include managing the EP’s daily schedule, meeting and conference call facilitation, providing regular status updates to keep EP informed of all important production information, and completing a variety of ad hoc support tasks independently and on schedule. Coordination responsibilities include scheduling, budgeting and monitoring production work assigned by the EP and serving as the general internal point of contact between the EP and all studio departments, facilitating effective and timely communication between EP and various production teams.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Manage EP’s daily schedule, including scheduling all calls, meetings and travel plans.
  • Serve as key communication liaison between the EP and all in-house parties and departments, providing the EP with concise updates regarding all assigned projects, working independently to ensure targets are met, and prioritizing all needs to ensure that EP can complete in-house responsibilities efficiently.
  • Work with EP to define and manage the schedule for completion of projects. Track and manage assigned work to ensure projects are on schedule for each department and are meeting internal and external deadlines.
  • Design, complete and review project plans and budgets with EP.
  • Conduct research and provide concise reports to EP in preparation for meetings, pitches and production.
  • Organize and file all relevant documents, communications, and internal studio records; provide records to EP as needed.
  • Update EP on key staff schedules (sick days, vacation approvals) daily, weekly, as needed.
  • Facilitate meetings and calls including internal production meetings, external client/agency meetings and conference calls. This includes scheduling, drafting agendas and taking minutes.
  • Supervise and train assigned Production Assistants and/Production Coordinators as needed.
  • Assist in answering phones and taking messages
  • Receive meeting participants
  • Ensure EP is informed and prepared for all daily operations of the Studio.

Required Experience

  • At least 3 years working in animation or live-action production in an organizational capacity, or at least 5 years working as an executive assistant with significant project management responsibilities in a creative-media, deadline-oriented environment.
  • Experience working in high-pressure creative environments to meet tight deadlines.
  • Experience creating project plans including schedules, milestones, and budgets and effectively managing work within as part of a team to hit goals.
  • Demonstrated track record of conducting research to produce high-quality written, oral and visual communications on tight deadlines.
  • At least 4 years experience working with Microsoft Office products including Word and Excel in a professional capacity.

Desired Experience

  • The ideal candidate will have at least 3 years of direct commercial animation production experience, including both project management and hands-on production/post-production experience.
  • Hands on experience in animation production.
  • Experience managing production pipelines, asset archives and operational records.
  • Experience writing and/or reviewing creative bids and RFPs.
  • Experience in client-facing role such as reception or client services for a commercial film or animation company.
  • Demonstrate proficiency and interest in assisting social media messaging for BENT corporate; including LinkedIn site, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in film, animation, advertising, design or related field.
  • Must possess very strong organizational and communication skills and be able to handle a variety of tasks in an efficient manner while meeting deadlines.
  • Attention to detail; ability to multi-task.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of production/post-production techniques and terminology.
  • Demonstrated discretion, good judgment and ability to make effective, independent decisions with incomplete information on tight deadlines.
  • Ability to maintain professional, friendly demeanor when under pressure.
  • Excellent relationship-building skills; this position requires someone comfortable collaborating with a diverse range of people to produce quality work on deadline and on budget.
  • Willingness to work after-hours and weekends when necessary.
  • Great sense of humor.

BENT IMAGE LAB is a hybrid animation laboratory and live action production studio where award-winning filmmakers, artists, storytellers, animators, and designers come together to create projects for a diverse clientele. The studio stretches the boundaries of concept and design. It is a laboratory where exploration and play go hand in hand. We are located in Portland, Oregon.

Pay commensurate with experience.

Submit resumes to [email protected].

NO PHONE CALLS OR DROP-INS PLEASE.

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MovieMaker Votes PSU One of “The Best Film Schools in the U.S. + Canada”

PSU School of Film + Theatre (photo: Peter Simon)

MovieMaker Magazine voted Portland State one of the “The Best Film Schols in the U.S. and Canada 2017.”  This is what they had to say about the PSU courses:“Forget about basic “film history”—the in-depth courses at PSU are sure to inspire academic curiosity. Suzanne Gray, marketing and communications manager at the school, calls the “strong curriculum and faculty” in the criticism arena a major attraction. A sample of course options: “Forbidden Love in Israeli Film,” “Transnational Stardom,” “Danish Films from Dreyer to Dogme” and “Disney: Gender, Race, and Empire.” There’s a class on the theory and practice of the remake, another on music videos, one on mockumentaries… and the list goes on. “

 

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Rummage Sale At Oregon Shakespeare Festival Costume Rentals!

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is planning an amazing rummage sale and are cleaning out their #DreamCloset! OSF Costume Rentals will be hosting  the sale on Saturday, August 5. Most items they are parting with “are those that have seen heavy use, so although they may not be ideal for long term production use they are perfect for Halloween, short term use, or distressed costume options.” The sale will be at OSF Costume Rentals, 408 Talent Ave, Talent, Oregon, 97540, Saturday 9am-1pm.

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Raiders of the Lost Archive – THE DAY CALLED X (1955)

We have decided that there is just way too much wonderful Oregon Film History to ignore. So, as we head into Oregon Film’s 50th anniversary year in 2018, we’ve been taking a more detailed look at the projects – both well-known and little-known – that have come from, or come to, Oregon in the last century.

So, with the help of Phil Oppenheim, who worked for twenty-five years in the trenches of network cable television before working on a doctorate within the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas-Austin focusing on fringe broadcasting phenomena of the 1950s, we are delighted to bring you, for your weekend viewing pleasure, the first installment of a series we’re calling:

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVE

“Ladies and gentlemen.  You’ve heard the reports that enemy planes are approaching.  In less than three hours, an H bomb might fall over Portland.”  Portland Mayor Terry Schrunk, A DAY CALLED X.

Multnomah County successfully scared the bejeezus out of Portlanders earlier this month when it released a video simulation of what might happen to the Burnside Bridge during a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake – and its computer-generated, video-gamey depiction of the destruction is terrifying.  The dramatization becomes even more haunting when the earth-shaking starts and the computer-generated Sim Portlanders disappear from the scene; the video spares us the sight of the city’s denizens getting squashed under tons of debris, but I still wonder: where did all the people go?

Sixty years ago, CBS threw greater devastation Portland’s way — in the form of an atomic bomb dropped on the City of Roses — in a dramatized documentary called THE DAY CALLED X, but its focus isn’t on falling bridges or decimated downtown buildings, but on the city’s people.  Bona fide celebrity Glenn Ford hosts the show, but it’s really Portland’s citizens that are its stars, stoically facing bomb-carrying planes that are only three hours away.  Working stiffs, stay-at-home moms shuffling kids off to school, auto mechanics, cops, ambulance drivers, hospital staff members, and crossing guards are among the real-life heroes of the orderly, civilized evacuation that saves most of the population in the film, with nary a freak-out or panic attack among the people at the center of the Bomb’s bullseye.  Watching THE DAY CALLED X today feels like a combo of a gritty film noir procedural and campy ‘50s drive-in sci-fi flick; a testament to the city’s much-lauded Civil Defense planning on the one hand and a laughable example of ‘50s “Duck and Cover” nuclear naivete on the other.  By the early ‘60s Portland’s nuclear evacuation plan was scrapped (thanks in part to the unsurvivable lethality of the world’s growing nuclear-arms stockpile) and the Kelly Butte Civil Defense bunker that provides the location for the command center sequences was decommissioned (and eventually sealed off in 2006), but the quiet heroism of the Oregonians in THE DAY CALLED X still resonates today.

See THE DAY CALLED X at archive.org by clicking here.

– by Phil Oppenheim

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