GenreAction, Crime, Drama CinematographyJohn Alton WriterCrane Wilbur LanguageEnglish
Release dateJune 30, 1948 (1948-06-30TUnited States) CastScott Brady (Jim Sherbondy), Jeff Corey (Carl Schwartzmiller), Whit Bissell (Richard Heilman), Stanley Clements (Billy New), Charles Russell (Tolley), DeForest Kelley (Smalley) Similar moviesThe Shawshank Redemption, Blackhat, Ocean's Eleven, The Night of the Hunter, Escape Plan, Women's Prison
TaglineFilmed with the NAKED FURY of fact!
Canon City is a 1948 American film noir crime film written and directed by Crane Wilbur. The drama features Scott Brady, Jeff Corey, and Whit Bissell.
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
Mabel Paige as Mrs. Edith Oliver
Roy Best as Himself (as Warden Roy Best)
The film is based on a prison break that occurred at the Colorado State Penitentiary at Cañon City, Colorado on 30 December 1947. Within a week all were killed or captured.
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."