A few short hours after President Lincoln has been assassinated, Dr. Samuel Mudd gives medical treatment to a wounded man who shows up at his door. Mudd has no idea that the president is dead and that he is treating his murderer, John Wilkes Booth. But that doesn't save him when the army posse searching for Booth finds evidence that Booth has been to the doctor's house. Dr. Mudd is arrested for complicity and sentenced to life imprisonment, to be served in the infamous pestilence-ridden Dry Tortugas. Written by
As a practical joke, director Ford had the hairdresser put a funny-looking hairnet on her as she slept in her chair, wrapped her in an old horse blanket, and stuck a bottle of whiskey in her lap. Then he had the photographer take pictures of her and presented everyone with one the next day. See more »
Booth and his accomplice, David Herold, are seen riding away from Ford's Theater together, through the streets of Washington. In reality, Booth rode alone through Washington, and did not join up with with Herold until many miles outside the city. See more »
Dr. Samuel Mudd thought he was being kindly by setting a stranger's broken leg in the middle of the night. He didn't know the stranger was John Wilkes Booth on the run after killing President Lincoln. Mudd was tried as a conspirator in the assassination plot and sentenced to a living hell to a prison a prison off the Florida Keys. Legendary director John Ford took this true story and turned it into one of the best films about the Civil War. Every scene has true suspense (the assassination itself, troops finding Booth's boot at Mudd's house) or genuine sentimentality (Lincoln asking Union troops to play "Dixie") While Warner Baxter (as Mudd) and Gloria Stuart do wonders with their roles, the real scene stealer is John Carradine. His performance as a sadistic Sargent at Shark Island is chilling, like something out of a horror movie. The ending is a bit dated, otherwise this is top notch John Ford.
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