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Portland Exposé (1957)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 11 August 1957 (USA)
A tavern owner in Portland, Oregon gets involved in a struggle for power between two gangs attempting to control the unions. When his young daughter is attacked by one of the gangsters, he ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Harold Schuster)

Writer:

(original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
George Madison
...
Ruth Madison
...
Clara Madison
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Phil Jackman
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Garnell (as Larry Dobkin)
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Joe
Joseph Marr ...
Larry (as Joe Marr)
Rusty Lane ...
Tom Carmody
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Jimmy Madison (as Dickie Bellis)
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Annie Stoneway
...
Iris
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Storyline

A tavern owner in Portland, Oregon gets involved in a struggle for power between two gangs attempting to control the unions. When his young daughter is attacked by one of the gangsters, he joins the faction fighting against the syndicate and gets important evidence via a tape recorder. He is discovered and he and his daughter are threatened but honest union men, come to his aid. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Plot Keywords:

mob | union | tavern | bar | goon | See All (139) »

Taglines:

Revealed shock by shock...sin by sin! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

11 August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terror in Portland City  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Some highly charged scenes, and a feel for 1950s innocence in America
29 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Portland Express (1957)

Overall, this is often a stilted affair, and it begins and ends with a canned voice-over about Portland, the Oregon city at the center of this unlikely crime scenario. And for people looking for noir, this is not noir at all, though it does have a kind of throwback to some gangster thugs, and there is a good twenty minutes of night stuff that has a noir look.

Portland Express is more about American innocence, and the surprise anachronism of these mobsters in fedoras pressuring a cute roadhouse into using their pinball machines. Which leads to bigger pressures.

The lead man is a small time movie and later t.v. character, Edward Binns, a solid but unexciting actor, sort of perfect for this solid but unexciting town (back then--now I hear it's solid and exciting). And his daughter is a complete unknown who acts her heart out, and really feels like a teenager on the cusp of womanhood in a realistic way. This matters because she becomes central to the plot, including in a harrowing and almost abusive rape scene (it pushes the violence very hard for a movie of this simplicity). But it's a turning point for Binns, the father, and for the plot, as this likable, ordinary family man goes undercover to get the bad guys.

Naturally, we root for him, and see the dismantling of the syndicate. It gets increasingly dark and desperate over time, and a bit unlikely, but you'll still want to watch to the end, when the cavalry arrives--a group of ordinary men in plaid shirts who rush in to save the day. It's not as hilarious as it sounds. There is a quality of really beautiful, ordinary middle-America here that resonates, and that helps show this is really a 1950s movie. It's widescreen black and white, and a genuine slice of its period.


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