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The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, History | 28 February 1936 (USA)
The story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned after innocently treating President Lincoln's assassin in 1865.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mrs. Peggy Mudd
...
Col. Jeremiah Milford Dyer
...
Mr. Erickson
...
Dr. MacIntyre
...
Commandant of Fort Jefferson
...
Cpl. O'Toole
John McGuire ...
Lt. Lovett
...
Douglas Wood ...
Gen. Ewing
...
Sgt. Rankin
Joyce Kay ...
Martha Mudd
...
Sgt. Cooper
Ernest Whitman ...
'Buck' Milford
...
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Storyline

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 Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Je n'ai pas tué Lincoln  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As a practical joke, director John 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 »

Goofs

Booth is seen entering the President's theater box on the President's left; he even opens the door first to make sure the President is there. He then shoots him at a distance of at least 5 feet, again from Lincoln's left side. In reality, Booth entered the box from behind the President, and shot him at very close range in the back of the head. Also, in real life Booth shot Lincoln immediately after the line "...you sockdolagizing old mantrap!", thus insuring that the audience laughter would drown out the sound of the shot (Booth was very familiar with the play and knew just when to shoot). In the film, the line in question is uttered before Booth has even made his way into the box. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Samuel Alexander Mudd: Once before I was a doctor. I'm still a doctor.
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Connections

Referenced in The Best of Sex and Violence (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Taps
(uncredited)
Written by Daniel Butterfield
Played by a bugler at the prison
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User Reviews

 
Leave Hope Behind Who Enters Here
12 June 2012 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

On 09 April 1865, John Wilkes Booth (Francis McDonald) breaks his leg after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (Frank McGlynn Sr.). He flees with an accomplice and once in Maryland, they seek medical treatment with the country Dr. Samuel Alexander Mudd (Warner Baxter) that does not know that his patient has murdered the president.

Dr. Mudd is arrested by the army for helping John Wilkes Booth and together with seven other suspects, they are sent to a military court without civil rights. Dr. Mudd is a scapegoat and sentenced to life imprisonment in the hopeless prison in the Dry Tortugas, in Gulf of Mexico. When the prison is isolated due to a yellow fever epidemic, Dr. Mudd helps the guards and the other prisoners to cure the disease.

"The Prisoner of Shark Island" is a great biographical drama by John Ford, telling a tale of injustice and recognition of a nation with a family man that is sentenced to a life sentence in a devil's island of the Nineteenth Century in Gulf of Mexico. The story is engaging and supported by magnificent performances and direction. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Prisioneiro da Ilha dos Tubarões" ("The Prisoner of Shark Island")


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