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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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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8 December 1957 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Well Made Educational Warning
19 August 2016 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

A Day Called X (1957)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

This documentary was produced by CBS and features Glenn Ford playing host and narrator. The story is pretty simple as we're shown a dramatization of Portland, Oregan being evacuated after reports of planes in the air and ready to drop the H bomb.

Back during this era there were all sorts of education films like this one preparing people what to do in case we were attacked. The majority of these shorts scared people but today they're viewed for their camp value. After all, we know now that we never got attacked and no one ever dropped the H bomb on us so we can view these shorts today the same way we view something like REEFER MADNESS.

This film doesn't have any camp value as it's played completely straight and it's a lot more mature than most like it. It's clear that its purpose was just to educate and not really to try and scare people. It also had an upbeat feel to it as if it's trying to assure people that if we were attacked we would be prepared and could handle it.

Ford does a nice job with his narration and for the most part the film is well-made and entertaining. It'a also worth pointing out that CBS didn't want another Orson Welles/War of the Worlds scandal as there are warnings on the screen letting those watching know that this show is just a re-enactment.


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