IMDb > The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd (1980) (TV)

The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd (1980) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd -- Torn from the pages of American history, this true-life drama focuses on the story behind Lincoln's assassination.


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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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This is the story of the doctor whose farm John Wilkes Booth went to after assassinating Abraham Lincoln... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Due Process Was Trashed See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Dennis Weaver ... Dr. Samuel A. Mudd

Susan Sullivan ... Frances Mudd

Richard Dysart ... Edwin Stanton

Michael McGuire ... Capt. Murdock

Nigel Davenport ... Col. George Grenfell
Arthur Hill ... Gen. Thomas Ewing
Larry Larson ... Thorpe
Mary Nell Santacroce ... Ellen Stanton
Clarence Thomas ... Nathaniel
Bill Gribble ... John Wilkes Booth

Luke Halpin ... Herrold

Lawrence Montaigne ... Judge Holt
Bill Hindman ... President Andrew Johnson
Stuart Culpepper ... Boone
Kent Stephens ... Zachary
Roy Tatum ... Lt. Lovett
Jim Peck ... Gen. Harris
Joe Dorsey ... Gen. Trafe
Richard Andrew ... Dr. Ellis
Greg Oliver ... Louis Weichmann

Bill Eudaly ... Daniel Thomas
Don Devendorf ... George Mudd
Tony Kish ... William Watson
Fred Covington ... Attorney Lake
George De Vries ... Waters (as George DeVries)
Skip Foster ... DeCampo
Jere Beery ... Prison Guard
Richard Reiner ... Prison Guard
Anthony Edenfield ... Escaped Prisoner
Harold Bergman ... Undersecretary
Don Ferguson ... Guard on Ship
Terry Beaver ... Union Sergeant
Teddy Milford ... Andrew Mudd
Angela Tully ... Sissy Mudd
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sean Ahern ... Union soldier #1 (uncredited)
Dan Chandler ... Master sergeant (uncredited)
Ilse Earl ... Screaming woman (uncredited)
Ryan Grady ... Thomas Mudd - age 3 (uncredited)
David Hamilton ... Sam Jr. - age 4 (uncredited)
Pat Hurley ... Patient #1 (uncredited)
Panos Eli Karatassos ... Sam Jr. - age 1 (uncredited)
Charles Kaufman ... Jones (uncredited)
Don Kovacs ... Officer Lloyd (uncredited)
Tommy Lane ... Capt. Longheart (uncredited)
Charles Lawlor ... Jones (uncredited)
Melonie Martin ... Sissy Mudd - age 7 (uncredited)
Earl Miller ... Thomas Mudd - age 6 (uncredited)
Jack Norhanian ... Guard #5 (uncredited)
Mark Rand ... Andrew Mudd - age 9 (uncredited)
Wallace Wilkinson ... D.C. prison guard (uncredited)

Directed by
Paul Wendkos 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Michael Berk 
Douglas Schwartz 

Produced by
Michael Berk .... producer
Paul B. Radin .... executive producer (as Paul Radin)
Douglas Schwartz .... producer
Martin Starger .... executive producer
Original Music by
Gerald Fried 
Cinematography by
Héctor R. Figueroa (director of photography) (as Hector Figueroa)
Film Editing by
Ken Zemke  (as Kenneth W. Zemke)
Casting by
Jane Feinberg 
Mike Fenton 
Production Design by
Jack De Shields 
Set Decoration by
Ira Bates 
Makeup Department
Janice D. Brandow .... hair stylist (as Janis Brandow)
Mario Gonzales .... makeup artist
Tom Miller .... makeup artist
Production Management
Richard L. O'Connor .... executive in charge of production
James Potter .... post-production supervisor
Bill Watkins .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Hargrove .... first assistant director (as Bob Hargrove)
Chris Soldo .... second assistant director
Art Department
Joe Longo .... property master
Sound Department
Ray Barons .... production sound mixer
Bill Wistrom .... sound effects editor (as William H. Wistrom)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bob Rust .... key grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michael R. Faeth .... wardrobe (as Michael Faeth)
Gilda Texter .... wardrobe
Location Management
Stratton Leopold .... location manager
Music Department
Tom Carlin .... music editor
Transportation Department
Roy A. Grace .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Gene Kraft .... title designer
Marjorie Mullen .... script supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:145 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

A fictionalized story based on true events surrounding the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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 »
Movie Connections:
Version of Hellgate (1952)See more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Due Process Was Trashed, 5 June 2010
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Whether Dr. Samuel Mudd was indeed part of the conspiratorial group around John Wilkes Booth is still open to speculation. The Ordeal Of Dr. Mudd presents him as a completely innocent party. I'm not sure that was the case.

But his heroism during the yellow fever epidemic that struck the Dry Tortugas is unquestioned. And also the fact that due process in the case of his trial was completely and totally trashed by the government still operating under wartime auspices.

The good doctor in this film is portrayed by Dennis Weaver and his loving and helpful wife is Susan Sullivan. Her role in his ordeal is vital, she kept his case before the public and before the politicians.

The story is simply that while fleeing from the assassination scene of Abraham Lincoln, the assassin John Wilkes Booth and one of the conspirators David Herold stopped at the Mudd house. Mudd had met Booth before and was evasive about certain answers. He claimed he did not know about the assassination, he was just setting the broken leg that Booth got jumping from Lincoln's box in Ford's Theater.

The villain of the piece is Edwin M. Stanton who is played here pretty accurately by Richard Dysart. Stanton in real life was every bit as ruthless as the man you see here. He also was one of the best lawyers in the country so his trashing of Mudd's due process is an even more severe black mark on his character than even the film shows. Lincoln made him Secretary of War in 1862 after the original Secretary Simon Cameron was caught lining his pockets with war contract rakeoffs. Stanton was also honest and he brought a marked degree of efficiency to the department and was invaluable in winning the Civil War.

To be fair the country was still operating in a wartime mode. Though Lee had surrendered, Joe Johnston's army was still in the field and so was Kirby Smith's west of the Mississippi. Jefferson Davis was at large as were many of the Confederate government cabinet and Congress. They did not know who or what was behind Booth. But had they simply arrested the other conspirators and allowed a real investigation to proceed, it's possible Mudd might never have been tried.

One glaring inaccuracy was the fact that the whole group of conspirators arrested including several who wound up with Mudd on the Dry Tortugas prison were all tried together. Mudd was not given an individual trial as is shown here. General Thomas Ewing did defend him and Arthur Hill does a good job in playing Ewing.

It's not an accurate film, but it's a good one and a reminder of what can happen when we take legal shortcuts and trash due process.

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