American Portrait (1940)



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Credited cast:
Alan Ladd ... Young Man / Old Man
Mary Brodel ... Barbara
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ben Alexander ... David
Marvin Davis Marvin Davis
Charles Miller Charles Miller ... Mr. Wilkes
Milburn Stone ... George
Hal Taliaferro ... Calvin


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Release Date:

13 July 1940 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[Prologue] This is the story of improvements and better ways of life which have come into being over the course of the last one hundred years. Inventiveness and ingenuity created the improvements - but the force which brought them into widespread use has been American salesmanship. Improved commodities and services never have been quickly or universally accepted. They have to be sold. So, it is to these salesmen that this picture is dedicated - to the men and women who, in the performance of their daily tasks, are building a better world in which to live. See more »

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User Reviews

Selling Life Insurance and Kerosene Lamps
25 February 2014 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Alan Ladd was starting to move into credited parts in 1940, a year in which he had roles in a dozen and a half movies, including this one. He plays this in heavy make-up as an old man and using a voice that would be unrecognizable to anyone familiar with his starring movies. At the time he was doing a lot of radio work which called for a facility with voices; two years later, his voice would be part of his starring persona and he would use it for the following two decades.

Milburn Stone, now best remembered for his continuing role in TV's GUNSMOKE is also on hand.

This is a nice little industrial film with good production values and a cast and crew that worked hard. It speaks of the importance of salesmen in getting people to accept new and valuable ideas. It's actually to sell life insurance.

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