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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Dr Samuel Mudd, a Maryland physician, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Shark Island for complicity in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. John Ford's film about this unfortunate man is part adventure and part penal drama, beginning with John Wilkes Booth's visit to the theatre, where he shoots Lincoln and is injured escaping. Mudd treats Booth's leg and gets thrown into jail, where he helps fight an outbreak of yellow fever. The film, scripted by Nunnally Johnson, has a well-measured anger at the injustice and Warner Baxter's performance as the ordinary doctor penalised for his dedication to saving life is remarkably persuasive. For Ford, the story enabled him to probe the roots of the Civil War (an analysis which seems to continue unabated inside the prison, with black soldiers and white prisoners) and to prepare for a later film, the masterly Young Mr Lincoln.

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Credits

Cast

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Dr Samuel A MuddWarner Baxter
Mrs Peggy MuddGloria Stuart
Martha MuddJoyce Kay
Colonel DyerClaude Gillingwater
General EwingDouglas Wood
Sergeant CooperFred Kohler Jr
CommandantHarry Carey
David HeroldPaul Fix
Sergeant RankinJohn Carradine
John Wilkes BoothFrancis McDonald

Crew

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DirectorJohn Ford

Details

Theatrical distributor
Fox Film Company Ltd
Released on
1936-06-21
Languages
English
Available on
DVD
Formats
Black and white
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