Canon City (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Crane Wilbur|
|Produced by||Bryan Foy
|Written by||Crane Wilbur|
|Narrated by||Reed Hadley|
|Edited by||Louis Sackin|
|Distributed by||Eagle-Lion Films
Central-Europäische-Filmverleih (Münich) (1951) (West Germany)
Gamma-Jeannic Films (1950) (France)
|June 30, 1948|
|Box office||$1.2 million|
This account of a violent prison break is a semi-documentary opens with a newsreel type tour of the prison. Led by Carl Schwartzmiller (Jeff Corey), 12 convicts plan their escape but prisoner Jim Sherbondy (Scott Brady) is reluctant to go along with the group.
- Scott Brady as Jim Sherbondy
- Jeff Corey as Carl Schwartzmiller
- Whit Bissell as Richard Heilman
- Stanley Clements as Billy New
- Charles Russell as Tolley
- DeForest Kelley as Smalley
- Ralph Byrd as Officer Joe Gray
- Henry Brandon as Freeman
- Alfred Linder as Lavergne
- Robert Bice as Morgan
- Robert Kellard as Officer Winston R. Williams
The film was shot almost entirely on location at the site of the Canon City state penitentiary in March 1948. It was originally budgeted at $350,000.
The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther wrote, "Another convincing demonstration that crime, while it may not 'pay,' can be turned to profitable uses by the makers of action films is given by Canon City, a tough semi-documentary job about a prison break in Colorado ... Crane Wilbur has held to a realistic line for much of the prison action and in some of the outside episodes. His actors—especially Jeff Corey, who plays the leader of the 'break'—are generally tough, convincing fellows with nothing to recommend in charm. And the movement is swift and dynamic, not unlikely in such affairs."
Critic Dennis Schwartz said of the film, "An unspectacular true story (it's dated) about a prison break that is told in a semi-documentary style. Its saving grace is that it is well presented ...This minor work has some resemblance to film noir through the characterization of Sherbondy as someone who is not a hardened criminal, but got into trouble both on the outside and then inside of prison because he made the wrong friends."
- Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, University of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p. 27
- Canon City at the Internet Movie Database.
- Selby, Spencer. Dark City: The Film Noir, film listed as film noir #58 on page 134-135, 1984. Jefferson, N.C. & London: McFarland Publishing. ISBN 0-89950-103-6.
- Crowther, Bosley The New York Times, film review, July 8, 1948. Last accessed November 185, 2009.
- Crowther, Bosley. Ibid.
- Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, October 1, 2001. Last accessed November 15, 2009.