The Prisoner of Shark Island
Dir. John Ford. 1936, 96 mins. 35mm print from Academy Film Archive. With Warner Baxter, Gloria Stuart. A little-seen Fordian examination of the process of American myth-making, The Prisoner of Shark Island is an emotional, expressionistic, feverishly atmospheric work. Dr. Samuel Mudd (Warner Baxter), the man who unwittingly treated John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln’s assassination, seeks to clear his name. He is sentenced to life imprisonment as an alleged conspirator and sent to a penal colony on a remote island.
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