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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
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 »
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 »
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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