Devil's Canyon (1953 film)

The Devil's Canyon

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alfred L. Werker
Produced by Edmund Grainger
Screenplay by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan
Harry Essex
Story by Bennett Cohen
Norton S. Parker
Starring Virginia Mayo
Dale Robertson
Stephen McNally
Arthur Hunnicutt
Music by Daniele Amfitheatrof
Cinematography Nicholas Musuraca
Edited by Gene Palmer
Distributed by RKO Pictures
Release dates
  • August 15, 1953 (1953-08-15) (US)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,000,000 (US)[1]

The Devil's Canyon is an American 1953 Western 3-D film directed by Alfred L. Werker. The film starrs Virginia Mayo, Dale Robertson, Stephen McNally and Arthur Hunnicutt.[2]


Arizona, 1897: A female outlaw, Abby Nixon, warns a lawman, Billy Reynolds, that her accomplices Bud and Cole Gorman are nearby. Reynolds manages to kill both in a gunfight, but finds himself arrested for murder, convicted and sentenced to a desert prison known as Devil's Canyon.

One of the prisoners there is a third Gorman brother, the ruthless Jesse, who intends to gain revenge for Reynolds having killed his kin. Jesse is also romantically involved with Abby, but is unaware that she's the one who tipped off Reynolds as to his brothers' whereabouts.

Reynolds is treated fairly by Morgan, the warden, but not by Captain Wells, a sadistic guard. Abby ends up sent to Devil's Canyon herself for a robbery. To keep her as far as possible from the male inmates, Abby is assigned to work with Dr. Betts in the prison infirmary. She treats Reynolds' wounds after Jesse injures him in a fight.

Abby plots a jailbreak. Sneaking guns to Joe and Red, outlaw partners of Jesse, she tries to persuade Reynolds to join them. He refuses, respecting the law and also not trusting Jesse a bit. Wells finds knives in Reynolds' cell, planted there by Jesse.

The warden and Wells are tipped off about the breakout, but Jesse guns down Wells in cold blood. Guards are taken hostage and the other prisoners are set free. Abby, now afraid of Jesse and his violent ways, is slapped by him and left behind. She manages to free Reynolds, who takes over the guards' machine-gun nest, kills Jesse and orders the others back to their cells. The warden vows to do everything in his power to grant Reynolds and Abby a pardon for their crimes.



  1. 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954
  2. Devil's Canyon at the American Film Institute Catalog

External links

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