The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)

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    There are 2 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Dooley.

    • The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)



      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      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 i
      n the infamous pestilence-ridden Dry Tortugas.
      Written by Alfred Jingle

      Full Cast
      Warner Baxter ... Dr. Samuel Alexander Mudd
      Gloria Stuart ... Mrs. Peggy Mudd
      Claude Gillingwater ... Col. Jeremiah Milford Dyer
      Arthur Byron ... Mr. Erickson
      O.P. Heggie ... Dr. MacIntyre
      Harry Carey ... Commandant of Fort Jefferson
      Francis Ford ... Cpl. O'Toole
      John McGuire ... Lt. Lovett
      Francis McDonald ... John Wilkes Booth
      Douglas Wood ... Gen. Ewing
      John Carradine ... Sgt. Rankin
      Joyce Kay ... Martha Mudd
      Fred Kohler Jr. ... Sgt. Cooper
      Ernest Whitman ... 'Buck' Milford
      Paul Fix ... David Herold
      Frank Shannon ... Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt
      Frank McGlynn Sr. ... President Abraham Lincoln
      Leila McIntyre ... Mary Todd Lincoln
      Etta McDaniel ... Aunt Rosabelle Milford
      J.M. Kerrigan ... Judge Maiben
      Arthur Loft ... Frank J. Thomas
      Paul McVey ... Gen. David Hunter
      Maurice Murphy ... An Orderly
      Frank Baker ... (uncredited)
      Matthew 'Stymie' Beard ... Boy Come To Fetch Dr. Mudd (uncredited)
      Stanley Blystone ... (uncredited)
      Stanley Bordagaray ... (uncredited)
      Whitney Bourne ... (uncredited)
      Robert Dudley ... Druggist at Trial (uncredited)
      Jan Duggan ... Actress at Ford's Theatre (uncredited)
      Earl Eby ... Usher (uncredited)
      Dick Elliott ... Actor at Ford's Theatre (uncredited)
      Bess Flowers ... Woman Sitting Behind Lincoln in Theatre Box (uncredited)
      Bud Geary ... A Sergeant (uncredited)
      Charles Haefeli ... Prisoner (uncredited)
      Robert Homans ... A Sergeant (uncredited)
      John Lester Johnson ... Black Soldier at Prison (uncredited)
      Beulah Hall Jones ... Blanche (uncredited)
      Paul Kruger ... Soldier (uncredited)
      Duke R. Lee ... A Sergeant (uncredited)
      Wilfred Lucas ... Colonel Testifying at Trial (uncredited)
      Murdock MacQuarrie ... Edman Spangler (uncredited)
      James A. Marcus ... Blacksmith (uncredited)
      Paul McAllister ... Doctor (uncredited)
      Merrill McCormick ... Commandant's Aide (uncredited)
      J.P. McGowan ... Ship's Captain (uncredited)
      Arthur Millett ... (uncredited)
      Wedgwood Nowell ... Court-Martial Member (uncredited)
      Robert Parrish ... (uncredited)
      Vester Pegg ... Soldier (uncredited)
      Jack Pennick ... Corporal (uncredited)
      George Reed ... Black Man Giving Booth Directions (uncredited)
      Paul Stanton ... An Agitating Orator (uncredited)
      Tom Steele ... Trooper (uncredited)
      Harry Strang ... Ship's Mate (uncredited)
      Cyril Thornton ... Michael O'Laughlin (uncredited)
      Ray Turner ... Black Soldier at Prison (uncredited)
      Blue Washington ... Black Soldier at Prison (uncredited)
      Cecil Weston ... Mary Surratt (uncredited)
      Lloyd Whitlock ... Maj. Rathbone (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Nunnally Johnson (screenplay)

      Original Music
      R.H. Bassett (uncredited)
      Hugo Friedhofer (uncredited)

      Bert Glennon

      Factual errors
      Booth is seen entering the President's theater box on the President's left; he even opens the door first to make sure the President is there. He then shoots him at a distance of at least 5 feet, again from Lincoln's left side. In reality, Booth entered the box from behind the President, and shot him at very close range in the back of the head. Also, in real life Booth shot Lincoln immediately after the line " sockdolagizing old mantrap!", thus insuring that the audience laughter would drown out the sound of the shot (Booth was very familiar with the play and knew just when to shoot). In the film, the line in question is uttered before Booth has even made his way into the box.

      Booth and his accomplice, David Herold, are seen riding away from Ford's Theater together, through the streets of Washington. In reality, Booth rode alone through Washington, and did not join up with with Herold until many miles outside the city.

      Booth stops and asks for the nearest doctor, and the bystander suggests Dr. Mudd, and gives Booth directions to the Doctor's house. In reality, Booth knew Dr. Mudd quite well, and knew just where to go for medical aid the night of the assassination (he had even stayed at Dr. Mudd's once, and so had no need to ask for directions). Also, in the film, Booth and Herold stay only a few minutes in Dr. Mudd's house, and then leave. In reality, Booth and Herold stayed the night at Dr. Mudd's, and were even served breakfast the following morning.

      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.

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

      Filming Location
      20th Century Fox Studios - 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California, USA

      Title Sequence

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: John Ford- The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)

      The Prisoner of Shark Island is a 1936 film
      loosely based on the life of Samuel Mudd,
      produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, directed by John Ford,
      and starring Warner Baxter and Gloria Stuart.
      Also includes John Ford regulars,
      his brother Francis, Harry Carey, Paul Fix, John Carradine

      User Review
      Before Guantanamo, there was Dry Tortugas
      12 July 2006 | by manuel-pestalozzi (Zurich, Switzerland)

      This moving story does have some actuality. One of the interesting details is some legal argument about the place of residence of doctor Mudd. The lawyers argue that if he could be transported from Shark Island, the prison on Dry Tortugas, to a place where normal US legislation is applied, then a writ of habeas corpus could be served and he would go free. Therefore Mudd's supporters launch a failed rescue attempt to that effect. On Dry Tortugas, an island off the Floridy Keys, the prisoner has no chance to appeal for territorial reasons. In my understanding (I am no lawyer, however) this pretty much reflects the Guantanamo situation of today and one just hopes that no doctor Mudds are holed up there and that all open legal questions in that context can be resolved satisfactorily.

      I am always amazed how outspoken movies of the great Hollywood Studios could be on political issues or social or legal injustice. This movie is an important product of this tradition. The Prisoner of Shark Island is almost an Anti Yankee-movie. The soldiers are uncouth and brutal, the carpet baggers sleazy double talkers. The authorities panic after President Lincoln's assassination. Somebody, anybody has to hang for the crime. And fast. One of the memorable moments of the movie has one of the military judges in charge say something like „we owe it to the people", clearly meaning the enraged mob in the square below. Thinking of who else claimed to fulfill the wishes of „the people" around 1936 this could also be an appeal to legal authorities to serve the written law and not give in to those who shout the loudest.

      Director John Ford certainly knew how to stir up emotions, some of the pathos might be regarded as slightly overwrought by contemporary viewers. However, The Prisoner of Shark Island certainly is one of the most beautiful and memorable movies of his.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().