15 user 3 critic

Devil's Canyon (1953)

Approved | | Western | 13 August 1953 (USA)
In 1897 Arizona, an ex-marshal is sent to the territorial prison where many of his enemies, among guards and inmates alike, are eager for a chance at payback.


Alfred L. Werker (as Alfred Werker)


Frederick Hazlitt Brennan (screenplay), Harry Essex (adaptation) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Virginia Mayo ... Abby Nixon
Dale Robertson ... Billy Reynolds
Stephen McNally ... Jessie Gorman
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Frank Taggert
Robert Keith ... Warden Steve Morgan
Jay C. Flippen ... Captain Jack Wells
George J. Lewis ... Colonel Jorge Gomez
Whit Bissell ... Virgil Gates
Morris Ankrum ... Sheriff
James Bell ... Dr. Betts
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Red (as William Phillips)
Earl Holliman ... Joe
Irving Bacon ... Old Guard


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


500 desperate men caged-up with one woman! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The film reproduces the actual prison quite well. Yuma Territorial Prison in Yuma AZ opened on July 1, 1876, and shut down on September 15, 1909, and housed over 3,000 men and over two dozen women for crimes ranging from murder to polygamy. The site is now operated as a historical museum by Arizona State Parks as Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. See more »


Earlier in the movie one of the prisoners attempts to escape by climbing a wall, but he is gunned down by a prison guard using a Gatling gun. The Gatling gun fires numerous rounds at or around the prisoner and the wall he is climbing, yet absolutely no bullet holes or impact splinters are seen. Later in the film, the same Gatling gun is fired numerous times at a wall: this time, the expected bullet holes and impact fragments are clearly evident. See more »


Joe: It's kind of sad to see the country grow up, ain't it? People like you and me just ain't gonna know how to live in a place where killin' is illegal.
See more »

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 »

User Reviews

11 April 2017 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Generally, a limp western. I don't know where they get "Canyon" since this is about the least scenic western on record. In fact, except for a few shots of LA's ugly Bronson Canyon, the story takes place almost entirely on studio sets. It's more like a prison movie than anything western. That might be okay if the story could work up suspense or intensity. But except for a motivated McNally, the movie generally meanders along without generating much of anything.

Of course, there's Mayo as eye candy. And since it's Marilyn Monroe 1953, Mayo sports a cantilevered chest and occasional cleavage. And that sets the stage for maybe the biggest stretch of the year. In short, we're supposed to believe she's the only woman imprisoned in the same prison with 500 horny guys. Come on scripters, I'll accept the improbable, but not the nutzoid.

At least, the lengthy supporting cast features familiar faces from that era, including a folksy Hunnicutt for comedy relief and a bulldog-faced Flippen for general nastiness. But please, couldn't someone wake Robertson from his general walk- through stupor. Looking like a young Clark Gable is simply not enough. At least the Technicolor makes the visuals somewhat watchable, but 3-D effects appear nowhere in evidence. From the title, I was expecting at least a 3-D avalanche in my lap.

Anyway, I get no pleasure from mocking this dud, but a 90-minute dud it unfortunately is.

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Release Date:

13 August 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arizona Outpost See more »

Filming Locations:

Cortaro, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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