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A Day Called X (1957)

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Portentously portrays the evacuation of Portland, Oregon, when threatened by a nuclear attack on its state-of-the-art civil defense system.


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Title: A Day Called X (TV Movie 1957)

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Credited cast:
Narrator, on-screen
The People of Portland Oregon ...


Portentously portrays the evacuation of Portland, Oregon, when threatened by a nuclear attack on its state-of-the-art civil defense system.

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Release Date:

8 December 1957 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Educational 1957
19 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a narrated piece of how Portland Oregon would handle an evacuation in case of a "possible" nuclear bomb attack in 1957.

The procedures are fairly sound. Some people actually stay in the city, to handle essentials. Most are evacuated.

Does the enemy plane drop the bomb? Probably not on the original target area, as a population as large as Portland would obviously have spies relaying messages back about the evacuation. A dropped bomb would only take out a few people and needed materials for invaders. The people who would evaporate would be the self sacrificing people an enemy would prefer to have as a civilian population they could control.

So an attack would probably be changed to a new target, and the fallout would be a huge problem.

How relevant is it today? While the attack by plane is unlikely, evacuation is still something that must be considered. Not just from missiles, but from tsunamis, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and other disasters.

Since 1957, the roads have changed, and more people drive. Jams are a major issue, due to lower classes who are abused by dishonest mechanics, whose cars would probably die on the road. Eventually, because of corrupt, greedy, dishonest mechanics and garage owners, the dead vehicles would be an impassable mountain, much quicker than most people could imagine.

That would mean "alternate routes" to be taken into consideration, and this film goes into that. The method of transmitting information is more high tech today, and the hugest problem would be too many "chiefs" trying to play God, especially in a metropolitan U.S. area.

Where do people go? The film touches upon that, ironically more so than most modern educational videos. If a million people leave an area into about six vectors, then each vector will see over a hundred thousand immigrants, literally a new city. It would be nice to see how that would be handled. How a rural community could adapt to being a new government to a new city.

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