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The Prisoner of Shark Island Details


Warner Baxter plays Dr. Samuel Mudd, American history's most famous victim of circumstance. In 1865, Dr. Mudd, a known Confederate sympathizer, sets the broken leg of a mud-caked stranger who stumbles into his home. The injured man turns out to be John Wilkes Booth, and Mudd is accused of conspiring to murder President Lincoln. Sentenced to hang with the genuine conspirators, Mudd finds his sentence commuted to life imprisonment at the very last moment. He is shipped to Shark Island, a brutal penal colony. Subject to the cruelties of a guard (John Carradine) who hates Mudd because of his "complicity" in Lincoln's death, the doctor suffers the torments of the damned, while outside Shark Island his wife (Gloria Stuart) campaigns desperately to get her husband pardoned. During a Yellow Fever breakout on Shark Island, Dr. Mudd performs heroically to save the survivors. For his humanitarian efforts, Mudd is finally released and reunited with his wife. While the script glosses over the fact that Dr. Mudd had never been officially pardoned by the US government (the pardon wouldn't be granted until years after this film was made), Prisoner of Shark Island strives long and hard to exonerate the man for whom the phrase "your name is mud!" was coined. Dr. Samuel Mudd's story was retold in the 1952 feature Gloria Stuart, with Sterling Hayden as a (fictional) doctor, and in the 1980 TV movie Sterling Hayden, starring Dennis Weaver in the title role. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Warner Baxter
as Dr. Samuel Mudd
Gloria Stuart
as Mrs. Peggy Mudd
Claude Gillingwater
as Col. Dyer
Arthur Byron
as Mr Ericson
Harry Carey
as Commandant of Fort Jefferson "Shark Island"
O.P. Heggie
as Dr. MacIntyre
Francis Ford
as Corporal O'Toole
Francis McDonald
as John Wilkes Booth
Douglas Wood
as Gen. Ewing
John Carradine
as Sgt. Rankin
Ernest Whitman
as Buckland Montmorency "Buck" Tilford
Frank McGlynn, Sr.
as Abraham Lincoln
J.M. Kerrigan
as Judge Malben
Robert Parrish
Paul McVey
as Hunter
Harry Strang
as Mate
Lloyd Whitlock
as Maj. Rathbone
Etta McDaniel
as Rosabelle Tilford
Wilfred Lucas
as Colonel
Murdock MacQuarrie
as Spangler
Paul Stanton
as Orator
Cecil Weston
as Mrs. Surratt
Bud Geary
Jack Pennick
as Signal Man
Fred Kohler, Jr.
as Sgt. Cooper
Cyril Thornton
as Maurice O'Laughlin
Paul Fix
as David Herold
J.P. McGowan
as Ship's Captain
James Marcus
as Blacksmith
Duke Lee
Jan Duggan
as Actress
Frank Shannon
as Judge Advocate Holt
Dick Elliott
as Actor
Robert E. Homans
as Sergeant
Arthur Loft
as Carpetbagger
Frank Baker
Maurice Murphy
as Orderly


John Ford
Darryl F. Zanuck
Nunnally Johnson
Bert Glennon
Louis Silvers
Musical Direction/Supervision
Louis Silvers
Composer (Music Score)
Nunnally Johnson
Associate Producer
Gwen Wakeling
Costume Designer