The Prisoner of Shark Island

Director: John Ford
Year Released: 1936
Rating: 3.0

Dr. Samuel Mudd (Warner Baxter), a Maryland-based physician, helps a wounded John Wilkes Booth (Francis McDonald) set his leg immediately after Booth kills President Abraham Lincoln and is on the lam - this association would lead to Mudd's arrest and sentence to life imprisonment on the Dry Tortugas. Although there's a bit of historical revision at work here (by Ford and screenwriter Nunnally Johnson) - Mudd is made out to look like a patsy, but in reality he knew Booth quite well - the picture does succeed as a story of redemption as Mudd uses his medical knowledge (and a bit of Hollywood Gusto) to procure medicine for and treat his fellow inmates (and the staff) in his prison affected with yellow fever. Ford's penchant for the melodramatic is evident, and John Carradine (as a prison guard) is left unchecked.