Canon City

Synopsis: This movie centers around a prison escape from the Colorado State Penitentiary. There are 12 escapees and it shows the efforts placed to capture these men.
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Director(s): Crane Wilbur
Production: Eagle-Lion
82 min

(dramatic music)


Deep in the mountains of Colorado

is the Royal Gorge

of the Arkansas River,

tamed by the steepest

tramway in the world,

climbing up

from the depths,

past 1,550 feet of sheer

red rock to the canyon rim.

A suspension bridge

spans the gorge,

its roadways soaring

higher in the air

than the topmost tip

of the Empire State Building.

Near the Royal Gorge

is the town

that is the subject

of this true story,

a town that has seen

United States Cavalry,

mountain men,

beaver hunters,

Indian scouts, gold seekers.

Settled by covered-wagon


cowhands, miners,

by hunters,

trappers, and farmers,

it is today the home

of their grandsons

and daughters,

and a typical

Western community.

Caon City,

population 7,000.

Elevation, one mile and

63 feet above sea level.

A city of small homes

that is set in a beautiful

and rugged land of mountains

and canyons,

a land

that smiles in summer,

in winter, is often

grim with blizzards.

But within Caon City,

there is another city,

a grim place

of gray stone walls...

of watchtowers,

of armed guards...

the Colorado

State Penitentiary.

Established in 1868

as a territorial prison

by the Federal Government,

it became

the state penitentiary

when Colorado was admitted

into the Union in 1876.

It has been a going business

ever since

and a home for those

who like to have their

own way too much

and have taken forbidden

steps to achieve their aims.

All kinds are here--

murderers, kidnappers,

thieves, robbers,


The warden

of a penal institution

has a grave responsibility--

absolute control

over the lives and futures

of hundreds of men.

To the tough-minded,

he must be tougher.

To those who show promise

and a desire to make good

again in society,

he must be understanding.

Meet Warden Roy Best.

How are you?


Fine, thanks.

Have a chair.

Thank you, I will.

Warden, tell me, what's the

population of this prison?

Uh, something over 1,200.

And how many of those

men are doing life?

It's better than 10%.

And what's the--



Has Chris got

a bad temper?

Well, he's allergic

to quick moves.

Then I won't make

any sudden moves.

I was about to ask,

what's the toughest job

in prison?

Well, naturally,

I think mine.

It must be

a heavy responsibility.

You don't show it.


it's always with you.

No doubt.

You must have

some inmates

with interesting

stories in here.

Well, we think we have.

Let's go and meet

some of them.

I'd like to,

very much.


These men, behind walls, disciplined,

subject to routine,

deprived of freedom,

wearing prison gray,

are still human beings--

sons and husbands

and fathers.

In spite of a few

who are untamable,

because of the many

who can be helped,

modern penology recognizes

man's need of work

and furnishes tools

and machinery.

Here in the knitting mill,

prisoners make socks

and underwear

for all inmates

and learn a trade that will

aid them after release.

And here in the prison

tailor shop,

inmates manufacture work

clothing and going-away suits.

Hey, that looks like

a good fit.

You'd never know

where it came from.

I'm getting out of here

next week.


Where do you go?

To Denver.

My wife will

meet me at the train.

She's waited 12 years--

stuck by me,

in spite of everything.

Hey, look, when they

press the coat,

don't let 'em put

a crease in the sleeve.


Other inmates work in the stamping mill,

making state license plates

and road signs.

In the West,

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Crane Wilbur

Crane Wilbur (November 17, 1886 – October 18, 1973) was an American writer, actor and director for stage, radio and screen. He was born in Athens, New York. Wilbur is best remembered for playing Harry Marvin in The Perils of Pauline. He died in Toluca Lake, California.He was a prolific writer and director of at least 67 films from the silent era into the sound era, but it was as an actor that he found lasting recognition, particularly playing opposite Pearl White in the iconoclastic serial The Perils of Pauline. He brought to the first motion pictures merry eyes, a great, thick crop of wavy, black hair and an athlete's interest in swimming and horseback riding. Twelve years of stage experience prepared him for his venture into the new art of silent motion pictures. He was one of the first to explore the techniques required to communicate through the wordless shadows of the movies. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Canon City" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 8 Dec. 2021. <>.

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