review for Devil's Canyon on AllMovie

Devil's Canyon (1953)
by Craig Butler review

Routine is the word for Devil's Canyon, which was filmed in 3-D but released "flat" after the fad had faded. Flat is also another word that describes the film as a whole. Aside from the climactic breakout, there's not a lot of action to be had here; indeed, a great deal of the film after the initial set-up is just killing time until that climax can arrive. As might be guessed, this makes for a rather listless affair, despite the efforts of director Alfred L. Werker to stir up interest via some artificial and contrived conflicts. One might have thought that combining the western and prison break genres might have afforded the opportunity for some interesting sequences, but any such opportunities are missed chances here. This all places a pretty heavy burden on the cast. They're capable and certainly try hard, but neither of the leads, Dale Robertson or Virginia Mayo, are sufficiently charismatic to make up for the holes in the material, despite Mayo's physical allure. Best is Stephen McNally as the slimy villain.