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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:
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...
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Col. Jeremiah Milford Dyer
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Mr. Erickson
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Dr. MacIntyre
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Commandant of Fort Jefferson
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Lt. Lovett
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John Wilkes Booth
Douglas Wood ...
Gen. Thomas Ewing
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Joyce Kay ...
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Sgt. Cooper
Ernest Whitman ...
...
David Herold
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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

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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

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A 60-minute adaptation of this film was broadcast on the CBS Radio Network program "Lux Radio Theater" on May 2, 1938, with Gary Cooper playing Dr. Mudd. See more »

Goofs

Two errors with respect to the conspirators trial and hanging scenes. First, Mrs. Surratt is seen with a hood over her head in the trial scenes; in reality, she was the only one of the prisoners not required to wear a hood at any time. Also, the hanging is depicted as taking place at night when, in reality, it took place on a scorchingly hot July day. See more »

Quotes

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

Featured in Omnibus: John Ford: Part One (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

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

John Ford at his best here. See brief summary
18 November 1998 | by See all my reviews

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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