Retro PDX Video Roundup!’s amazing Prelinger Archives got me started on a flurry of searching for Portland-related videos from days past. My current favorite is this gem from 1971, “This Is Portland”. It’s a parody travelogue of the city, made by Tim Smith at age 15 and it’s wonderful.

It’s also available with some commentary from the filmmaker over here from the folks at the portland that was.

Read on for some other highlights of my video-searching frenzy including more Tim Smith, newsreels and Evel Knievel.

  • Salmon St. Saga (1970) – Another from Tim Smith, it’s about high school greasers and car geeks (and Matt Groening appears in the last act with a knife).
  • The Case of the Kitchen Killer (1972): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 – Yet one more Tim Smith film, a comedic murder mystery shot in PDX about a man who enters a public restroom only to be confronted by a stranger brandishing a pair of kitchen tongs.
  • The Videos of The Portland that Was from last year’s TBA festival intermingle old footage of portland with interviews. Quality stuff, these.
  • Evel Knieval, Portland Coliseum 1973 – Motorcycle jumping over 17 vans and trucks, we should be proud.
  • This one’s odd. It’s a trippy, improvy thing from 1973. There’s nudity. You’ve been warned.
  • For the concert junkies, there’s The Bags and the Dead Kennedys in ’79.
  • This isn’t really old, but it was shot with a camera from 1946 and looks the part. Last year’s Reed college Ren Fayre in 45 Seconds.
  • It Can Be Done – A promotional piece from PGE in 1937 pushing for rural electrification.
  • This Universal Newsreel from 1952 shows footage of the 44th annual Rose Parade while this one features footage of the Portland premiere of Canyon Passage.
  • Elvis comes to town, 1957 ‘Nuff said.
  • CBS breaks the news of D.B. Cooper.
  • The Mighty Columbia River – A coronet educational film about our mighty river (and the dams that are on it). We really only get a couple of brief mentions, but we do get to be referred to as “The Great River Seaport of the West Coast”.
  • The Far Western States – 1955. Okay, so this doesn’t actually show us anything in Portland, but it includes the line “the life of the lumberjack attracts hardy men; men who are not afraid of work”. and a list of the kinds of people you can find in the far west. It seems to be trying to edumacate little east-coasters about the “far west” and its exports.
  • And, of course, no list like this would be complete without a mention of A Day Called X, the 1957 civic defense masterpiece, which we’ve mentioned before.

Comments are closed.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.