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|The Prisoner of Shark Island|
|Directed by||John Ford|
|Written by||Nunnally Johnson|
|Produced by||Nunnally Johnson|
Darryl F. Zanuck
|Starring|| Warner Baxter |
|Edited by||Jack Murray|
|Music by|| R.H. Bassett |
Twentieth Century Fox
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox|
The Prisoner of Shark Island is a 1936 film loosely based on the life of Maryland physician Samuel Mudd, who treated the injured presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth and later spent time in prison after his controversial conviction for being one of Booth's accomplices. The film was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, was directed by John Ford and starred Warner Baxter and Gloria Stuart.
Twentieth Century Pictures, before it merged with Fox, purchased the rights to the book The Life of Dr. Mudd by Nettie Mudd Monroe, the doctor's daughter. The film's credits, however, make no reference to Monroe or her book. Modern sources state that Darryl F. Zanuck, Twentieth Century's vice-president in charge of production, got the idea to make the film after he read an article in Time magazine about the prison camp for political prisoners on the Dry Tortugas island.
A few short hours after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (Frank McGlynn Sr.), Dr. Samuel Mudd (Warner Baxter) gives treatment to a man with a broken leg who shows up at his door. Mudd does not know that the president has been assassinated and the man who he is treating is John Wilkes Booth (Francis McDonald). Mudd is arrested for being an accessory in the assassination and is sent to prison on the Dry Tortugas, described as in the West Indies and referred to in the film as "America's own Devil's Island".
After a period of ill treatment due to his notoriety, and an unsuccessful escape attempt, his skills as a doctor are requested by the Commandant of the prison. The island has been in the grip of a yellow fever epidemic and the official prison doctor has fallen ill. Dr. Mudd takes charge with the blessing of the Commandant and the cooperation of the soldier guards, and the yellow fever epidemic subsides.
In the end he receives a pardon and is allowed to return home.
John Wilkes Booth was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. A member of the prominent 19th-century Booth theatrical family from Maryland, he was a noted actor who was also a Confederate sympathizer; denouncing President Lincoln, he lamented the recent abolition of slavery in the United States.
Samuel Alexander Mudd Sr. was an American physician who was imprisoned for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth in the 1865 assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
Darryl Francis Zanuck was an American film producer and studio executive; he earlier contributed stories for films starting in the silent era. He played a major part in the Hollywood studio system as one of its longest survivors. He earned three Academy Awards as producer for Best Picture during his tenure, but was responsible for many more.
David Edgar Herold was an accomplice of John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. After the shooting, Herold accompanied Booth to the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who set Booth's injured leg. The two men then continued their escape through Maryland and into Virginia, and Herold remained with Booth until the authorities cornered them in a barn. Herold surrendered, but Booth was shot and died two hours later. Herold was sentenced to death and hanged with three other conspirators at the Washington Arsenal, now known as Fort Lesley J. McNair.
George Andrew Atzerodt was a conspirator with John Wilkes Booth, in the assassination of US President Abraham Lincoln. He was assigned to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson, but lost his nerve and made no attempt. He was executed along with three other conspirators by hanging.
Edward Steers Jr. is an American historian specializing in the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
John Harrison Surratt Jr. was accused of plotting with John Wilkes Booth to kidnap U.S. President Abraham Lincoln; he was also suspected of involvement in the Abraham Lincoln assassination. His mother, Mary Surratt, was convicted of conspiracy and hanged by the U.S. government; she owned the boarding house that the conspirators used as a safe house and to plot the scheme.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was assassinated by well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865, while attending the play Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. Shot in the head as he watched the play, Lincoln died the following day at 7:22 am, in the Petersen House opposite the theater. He was the first U.S. president to be assassinated, with his funeral and burial marking an extended period of national mourning.
Michael O'Laughlen, Jr. was a conspirator in the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. O'Laughlen's last name was often misspelled by the press and others as O'Laughlin, but he was born Michael O'Laughlen.
Edman "Ned" Spangler was an American carpenter and stagehand who was employed at Ford's Theatre at the time of President Abraham Lincoln's murder on April 14, 1865. He and seven others were charged in conspiring to assassinate Lincoln and three other high level government officials. Spangler was the only one found not guilty of the conspiracy charge. Even so, he was found guilty of helping Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, escape and sentenced to six years of hard labor.
Samuel Bland Arnold was an American Confederate sympathizer involved in a plot to kidnap U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. He had joined the Confederate Army shortly after the start of the Civil War but was discharged due to health reasons in 1864.
George St. Leger Grenfell was a British soldier of fortune, of the Cornish family, who claimed to have fought in Algeria, in Morocco against the Barbary pirates, under Garibaldi in South America, in the Crimean War, and in the Sepoy Mutiny. Immigrating to the United States, he fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War, and was a leader of a notorious plot to seize control of parts of the Northern U.S.
Prince of Players is a 1955 20th Century Fox biographical film about the 19th century American actor Edwin Booth. The film was directed and produced by Philip Dunne from a screenplay by Moss Hart, based on the book by Eleanor Ruggles. The music score was by Bernard Herrmann and the cinematography by Charles G. Clarke. The film was made in CinemaScope and in DeLuxe Color.
Since his death in 1865, Abraham Lincoln has been an iconic American figure depicted, usually favorably or heroically, in many forms. Lincoln has often been portrayed by Hollywood, almost always in a flattering light. He has been depicted in a wide range of forms including alternative timelines, animation, documentary, small cameos, and fictionalized interpretations.
Francis Connolly Shannon, better known as Frank Shannon, was an Irish actor and writer.
James Otis Hall was an amateur historian who specialized in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He was widely regarded as one of the top experts on this matter, and is noted for having discovered a letter by John Wilkes Booth, written on the morning of the murder, in which Booth attempted to justify his actions. He also argued that Samuel Mudd was guilty of helping Booth.
Surrender is a 1931 American pre-Code drama film directed by William K. Howard, written by S.N. Behrman, and starring Warner Baxter, Leila Hyams, Ralph Bellamy, C. Aubrey Smith, and Alexander Kirkland. It is based on Axelle, a novel by Pierre Benoit. The film is widely considered to have exerted an enormous influence upon Jean Renoir's subsequent Grand Illusion.
Frank McGlynn Sr. was an American stage and screen actor who in a career that spanned more than half a century is best known for his convincing impersonations and performances as Abraham Lincoln in both plays and films.
Devil's Island is a 1939 American prison film directed by William Clemens and starring Boris Karloff. This film is notable for Karloff in a then-rare sympathetic role, as opposed to his usual antagonistic characters in horror films. The plot appears to have been recycled from John Ford's The Prisoner of Shark Island, which depicted the true story of doctor Samuel Mudd, who treated the injury of John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated Lincoln.
St. Mary's Catholic Church is a parish of the Roman Catholic Church located near Bryantown, Maryland, in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Established in 1793, it operates a parochial school and houses a large cemetery. St. Mary's Cemetery is most notably the final resting spot of Dr. Samuel Mudd, a physician who set the leg of John Wilkes Booth the day after U.S. President Lincoln's assassination on April 14, 1865. As such, it is a stop on the Booth's Escape Scenic Byway.
Shark Island still manages, seventy-five years later, to be adventurous, bizarre, redemptive, and blistering in its assessment of American power. A must for the Lincoln catalog.A reconsideration of the film in the context of the 2012 film Lincoln .