Canon City (1948)

 |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  30 June 1948 (USA)
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Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

This movie centers around a prison escape from the Colorado State Penitentiary. There are 12 escapees and it shows the efforts placed to capture these men.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Clements ...
Billy New
Officer Joe Gray
Roy Best ...
Himself (as Warden Roy Best)
Alfred Linder ...
Robert Bice ...
Ray Bennett ...
Willie Bennett
Robert Kellard ...
Officer Winston R. Williams
Richard Irving ...
George Hernandez
Bud Wolfe ...
Officer Clark


This movie centers around a prison escape from the Colorado State Penitentiary. There are 12 escapees and it shows the efforts placed to capture these men. Written by Gerald W. Riley

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Filmed with the naked fury of FACT!


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Release Date:

30 June 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

12 mand bryder ud  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


References The Noose Hangs High (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining Docu-Drama
5 March 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Noirish docu-drama based on 1947 Colorado State Prison break.

The movie's best parts are the location shots in and around the Colorado State Pen. We get at least a flavor of prison routines and the small town atmosphere. At the same time, the chase sequence at the Royal Gorge provides a scenic, if fictionalized, passage. Then too, ace photographer Alton's studio recreation of the actual winter-time blizzard lends good noirish atmosphere. There's also some tension around convict Schwartzmiller's home invasion; otherwise, the movie's a pretty routine slice of thick ear.

To me, the screenplay surrounding the break and its aftermath seems muddled. Scenes follow in no particular developmental order. Characters are glimpsed and then dropped. It may be that writer Wilbur felt constrained by the film's factual basis and hurry-up schedule. After all, the movie wrap-up came only four months (January-May) after the breakout itself. (Contrast this rather disjointed narrative with the streamlined smoothness of the fictional, albeit thematically similar, Crashout {1955}.)

As a youngster growing up a few miles from Canon City, I still have a recollection of the hubbub surrounding the breakout. The name Sherbondi suddenly became a household alarm, though I'm not sure he was the sympathetic character of the screenplay. Guns abruptly sprouted across the Arkansas (river) Valley like deer season. Speaking of those memorable few days, I'm glad the movie re-creates the blizzard that certainly hampered the getaway. That rural part of the state seldom made Denver news, let alone national headlines. So it was a pretty big deal for us living there. (In passing—Warden Roy Best, featured in the movie, later suffered big professional damage when his liberal use of a whipping post for unruly prisoners got statewide exposure.)

Choppy narrative and personal recollections aside, the film remains an interesting example of noirish docu-drama, which the results here strongly resemble.

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