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The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd (1980)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | TV Movie 25 March 1980
This is the story of the doctor whose farm John Wilkes Booth went to after assassinating Abraham Lincoln. Eventually he was wrongfully accused and tried and convicted as a member of the ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Frances Mudd
Capt. Murdock
Col. George Grenfell
Gen. Thomas Ewing
Larry Larson ...
Mary Nell Santacroce ...
Ellen Stanton
Clarence Thomas ...
Bill Gribble ...
Judge Holt
Bill Hindman ...
Stuart Culpepper ...
Kent Stephens ...


This is the story of the doctor whose farm John Wilkes Booth went to after assassinating Abraham Lincoln. Eventually he was wrongfully accused and tried and convicted as a member of the conspiracy that assassinated Lincoln. Though he claimed to be innocent, he was still convicted and suffered immense hardship. While his wife tries to do what she can to get him released. Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 March 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La prueba  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dr. Samuel Mudd was thirty-one years old at the beginning of events depicted in the film, while Dennis Weaver was fifty-five years old at the time of production. See more »


The Secretary of War implies that Dr. Mudd is said to have inspired the saying "your name is mud." However, the first verified, recorded use of the phrase was ten years before Dr. Samuel Mudd was born. See more »

Crazy Credits

This Program was Recommended by The National Education Association See more »


Version of The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

3 July 2002 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

I have always been a fan of history especially the Lincoln assassination. I had previously written of how much I enjoyed The Day Lincoln Was Shot. Almost twenty years earlier, this film told the story of one of the players in this tragedy. What happened to Doctor Mudd was a terrible miscarriage of justice because he was only a doctor doing his duty who had nothing to do with Lincoln's assassination. This film captures the terrible mood in the country after the tragedy where reason took a back seat and there was a terrible desire for vengeance and not justice. This film is harrowing in its depiction of Mudds nightmare. Forced before a military tribunal of perjured testimony and convicted on fabricated evidence, torn from his loving family and sentenced to the living hell of the Dry Tortugas prison, America's Devils Island. Weaver does a wonderful acting job in conveying this man's anguish and at the same time his determination to survive and be reunited with his loving family. I am glad they presented a fair balanced portrait of this mans case especially when they showed his heroic efforts to care for the sick and dying soldiers at the Fort during the yellow fever outbreak. LA Laws Richard Dysart gives a creepy performance as the villanous secretary of war Stanton. The Iran hostage crisis was going on at the time this movie came out in March of 1980 and he sort of reminded me of the Ayatollah Khomeni. Susan Sullivan gives a wonderful performance as Mudd's loving and courageous wife who stands by her man. There is hardly a film I have ever seen that had a more happy ending. THe courageous and loving woman manages to work a miracle and Doctor Mudd's hellish ordeal is over at last.

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