Devils Canyon

Tagline : 500 desperate men caged-up with one woman!

Runtime : 92 mins

Genre : Action Crime Drama Western

Vote Rating : 5.1/10

Plot : An outlaw woman helps one Arizona convict stop another with a Gatling gun.

Cast Members


Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak, somewhere in this town… Devil's Canyon is directed by Alfred Werker and collectively written by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan, Harry Essex, Bennett R. Cohen and Norton S. Parker. It stars Dale Robertson, Stephen McNally, Virginia Mayo, Robert Keith, Arthur Hunnicutt, Jay C. Flippen, Whit Bissell and Earl Holliman. Music is by Daniele Amfitheatrof and cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca. Arizona 1897 and former marshal Billy Reynolds (Robertson) is forced to kill in self defence two brothers of outlaw Jesse Gorman (McNally), the man Billy had previously sent to prison. With new people enforcing new laws in town, Billy doesn't get a fair trial and is sentenced to ten years at the tough Arizona Territorial Prison; home of one Jesse Gorman! When lady outlaw Abby Dixon (Mayo), sweetheart of Gorman, is also sent to the prison, it stirs the already potent hornets nest still further… Originally a 3D production out of RKO, boasting Natural Vision 3 - Dimension no less, Devil's Canyon can now only be viewed in Technicolor flat mode. Upon examination it's hard to believe that even in 3D this tardy Western had anything going for it, unless Mayo's pointy breasts were the selling point, or Robertson's Teddy Boy haircut? (Yes, they must have had Teddy Boy's in Arizona circa 1897!). There's a bunch of reliable Western actors in it, director Werker was always competent and ace cinematographer Musuraca was also on board, yet the promising story is bogged down by a good hour of, well, nothingness, as the screenplay has a bunch of sweaty guys talking about stuff that doesn't advance the plot with any real distinction. Mayo looks gorgeous, but her character is victim of a preposterous set-up and in spite of the trailer (and some misguided reviews) promising a prison of 500 desperate men in a tizzy over one woman, this really isn't the case at all. It should also be pointed out that Devil's Canyon is where the prison is, it's the unofficial name of the prison, it is not a metaphor for Mayo's private parts, as some have bizarrely suggested is the case! On the plus side the picture begins and ends with some decent action, with the Gatling Gun coming into play at the finale, which just about lifts the film out of its stupor. Yet even here it's all very predictable and hard to feel lenient about since the previous hour has been so pointless. The prison is suitably dank and moody, Musuraca doing his best to put a bleak sense of film noir foreboding on proceedings, while costuming for the boys is of a high standard. Utterly frustrating all told, a waste of idea and personnel, while the print shown on TV these days is scratchy and often washed out in colour. 5/10

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