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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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(screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mrs. Peggy Mudd
...
Col. Jeremiah Milford Dyer
...
Mr. Erickson
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Dr. MacIntyre
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Commandant of Fort Jefferson
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Cpl. O'Toole
John McGuire ...
Lt. Lovett
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Douglas Wood ...
Gen. Ewing
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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

Country:

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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

The exterior of Dr. Mudd's house as presented in the film bears no resemblance to his actual house, which was a plain, square, two-story house with no gable windows or fancy set-backs. See more »

Quotes

'Buck' Milford: There's more mosquitos on this here man's island than I ever seen before.
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Connections

Featured in John Ford (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe (circa 1856)
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1861)
Played as background when Lincoln is shot
See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining debatable film
26 August 2000 | by (Florida) – See all my reviews

Most history buffs will like this though they may disagree with the portrayal of Dr. Mudd as being complete innocent after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Historians say Mudd knew John Wilkes Booth from often seeing the famous actor on the stage. However, it doubtful if he knew Booth had just assassinated Lincoln and was in flight from pursuing soldiers after breaking his leg while leaping from the Ford Theatre balcony onto the stage. It is now believed by many that Dr. Mudd allowed Booth to remain in his home overnight due to the strain put upon the recently set leg. The next morning Mudd went into town to get a newspaper and then discovered that Booth was wanted for Lincoln's murder. He was thus placed in the uncomfortable position of unintentionally harboring a murderer and if he had notified the police at that time he would never have been implicated in the tragedy. He unwisely chose not to do so and instead returned home to tell Booth to leave. The pusuing troops discovered that Booth had been at the Mudd home and the doctor was arrested and later tried. The movie does give a good presentation of the trial which was a travesty conducted by the military with orders from the authorities to convict and hang all those charged. Booth did luck out a bit by escaping the death penalty. Many legal experts now believe that the trial was illegal since the civilian courts were still functioning. But vengeance was to be extracted and what did befall Dr. Mudd could have been far worse.


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