5.0/10
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Devil's Canyon (1953)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 13 August 1953 (USA)
Ex-marshal Billy Reynolds, sent to state prison for killing two men in self defense, learns that killer Jessie Gorman, brother of the two men Billy shot, is in the same prison and vows ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Alfred Werker)

Writers:

(screenplay), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Airs Mon. Sep. 05, 4:15 PM on TCM

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Abby Nixon
...
Billy Reynolds
...
Jessie Gorman
...
Frank Taggert
...
Warden Steve Morgan
...
...
Colonel Jorge Gomez
...
Virgil Gates
...
Sheriff
James Bell ...
Dr. Betts
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Red (as William Phillips)
...
Joe
...
Old Guard
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Storyline

Ex-marshal Billy Reynolds, sent to state prison for killing two men in self defense, learns that killer Jessie Gorman, brother of the two men Billy shot, is in the same prison and vows revenge. Complicating matters further is the incarceration of Gorman's girlfriend Abby who helps Gorman plan an escape while at the same time is unsuccessful hiding her feelings for Reynolds. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

EVERY SAVAGE THRILL...EVERY SCORCHING SCENE...REAL AS FLESH! IN 3-D (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hölle der Gefangenen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Virgil Gates: You know, that's pretty good stew as stew goes around here. Of course, I wish old Cookie would stay out of it with his feet when he's mixin' it up.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits: Arizona Territory in 1897 was the last of the old frontier. The story we are about to tell is well known to historians. Names have been changed but the lust and brutality, the love and sacrifice of the people involved remain unchanged. The woman outlaw and her lovers belong now to folklore - - in 1897 they lived. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strange prison western
1 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I taped Devil's Canyon when TCM screened it in November 2009 b/c another western with a historical theme (Great Day in the Morning)was next and I had plenty of tape (I'm still an analogue guy). Reasons for giving it a chance included Dale Robertson in his prime, Steve McInally who was a dependable western heavy, plus Virginia Mayo's OK, but esp. b/c RKO in its decline often made uniquely flawed but curious products.

What's strange about Devil's Canyon (besides the absence of a canyon) is the prison set, which appears only partially, but the walls appear to be enormous hewn stones that cast off strange pastel glows that change with the time of day. As a complement to these eerie atmospherics, the script and scenario range from casually crude to bluntly stupid. As a friend once said of a similar film, "It's just like a porn flick except everybody keeps their clothes on."

The film's best passage--the attempted prison break--takes advantage of the set. The escapees anticipate which doors the guards will open and ambush their entrances, eventually controlling the entire prison, which sets up Robertson's gatling gun throwdown.

Overall, the direction and editing of Devil's Canyon overall are unredeemable, but if you're not asking for much in those regards, the film's visuals have the quality of a meaningless dream.


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