Based on the hard-hitting Life Magazine expose of crime in Portland’s underbelly, a perfect example of 1950’s film noir.

A Senate investigating committee’s real-life (and widely publicized) probe into organized crime in Portland, Oregon, sparked this hard-hitting drama with Edward Binns as a tavern owner who finds himself–and his family–caught in the battle between rival gang lords. Frank Gorshin, “The Riddler” to TV’s Batman, has a you’ll-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it scene attempting to rape Binns’ teen daughter!

Portland Exposé is a 1957 American film noir directed by Harold Schuster and starring Edward Binns and Carolyn Craig. The plot follows a tavern owner in Portland, Oregon, who is involved in a struggle for power between two gangs attempting to control the unions. The film was inspired by crime boss Jim Elkins and The McClellan Committee’s investigation into Portland’s underground criminal ventures in the 1940s and 1950s, and were the subject of an extensive article published in Life magazine in March 1957.

The film was distributed theatrically by Allied Artists in August 1957, though it was banned by local agencies from being screened within a 30-mile radius of the city of Portland.

The incredible cast features

  • Edward Binns (12 Angry Men, The Verdict)
  • Carolyn Craig (Giant,. Northwest Passage)
  • Lawrence Dobkin (Patton, Mike Hammer)
  • Virginia Gregg (Operation Petticoat, Police Story)
  • Frank Goshin (12 Monkeys, Batman: The Movie)

“Portland Expose is presented in an above average enhanced B&W transfer with clear audio. It’s a pleasure to watch. The music score uses sound-alike cues for hits like Night Train and others. A stentorian narrator opens and closes the picture telling us how nice Portland is and how honest 99% of Union bosses are. But the overall tone makes a strong link between Crime and Unions, a gambit still used by politicians to weaken confidence in organized labor.” – DVD Talk

1957 / 72 minutes / Black & White / English / A film by Harold D. Schuster (Power of the Resurrection, Wings of the Morning, The Twilight Zone).


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Watch the trailer