Another in a unrelated series of Warner's penitentiary tours in three different decades. This one is California's notorious Folsom Prison prior to its 1944 reformation make-over. Ben Rickey... See full summary »
When the nephew and his friend of Phyllis Carter are killed in an automobile crash while under the influence of narcotics, she persuades Police Lieutenant Jim Hahan to use her as an ... See full summary »
Immediately after the prison break, there's a shot of a crowd of people leaving a movie theatre, with Abbott & Costello in The Noose Hangs High (another Eagle-Lion release) prominently displayed on the readerboard. Only problem is, the break took place 30 December 1947, and The Noose Hangs High wasn't released until the end of the following April. See more »
Without the occasional irrelevant narration, it would have been a bit better--though it was still awfully good.
"Canon City" is an interesting prison movie. It has a VERY unusual pedigree, as it was filmed at an actual prison and most of the inmates are real ones! Additionally, the story is true and was filmed in the actual locations where the events unfolded. This, along with the narration, give this a documentary feel much of the time. However, I really don't think the narration was even needed. But, I did like the strange way it was used at the beginning. Reed Hadley (who has a very unmistakable voice and starred in "Racket Squad") begins telling about the story and then introduces the Warden to the audience. Then, the warden begins talking with Hadley and it's all seen from Hadley's perspective--so when he walks about, so does the camera. Innovative but as the film progressed it just seemed a bit intrusive.
The story is about a mass prison break. The plot depended on a guy who initially had no interest in breaking out--Sherbondy (Scott Brady). However, they use extortion to force him into participating. While this did make the escape possible, the prisoners might have chosen better, as Sherbondy seemed to have a soul and several times prevented the escaped goons from committing atrocities. This and the family's reaction to this make the film rather interesting. I also thought it was interesting to see Jeff Corey playing such a nasty part, as it was a bit of a departure for him playing such a role.
This is not a great prison film--and there are a lot of them. But it is very good and its realism is quite a plus. Good acting and a lot of tension also helped.
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