Based on the true-life case of the incarceration of Dr. Samuel Mudd, 'The Prisoner of Shark Island' is a fast paced and stirring account of the victimisation of a simple man. Written by Nunnally Johnson (The Grapes of Wrath, Tobacco Road), 'The Prisoner of Shark Island' dramatises the fatal shooting of Abraham Lincon and the subsequent visit by the assasin John Wilkes Booth to Dr. Samuel Mudd’s house to fix his broken leg. Unaware of Booth’s treason, Mudd is later arrested... Featuring a blistering performance by John Carradine as a sadistic prison guard 'The Prisoner of Shark Island' was nominated for Best Picture by the American National Board of Review, and has rarely been screened over recent decades.
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Fictional account of a real event. Good performances all round with a particularly strong supporting role from horror favourite John Carradine as a sadistic prison guard. John Ford's direction is action packed and the film moves at a brisk pace throughout with plenty of action scenes to keep the interest alive. Warren Baxter is a sturdy and reliable lead actor ably supported by Gloria Stuart as his wife. Made in 1939 and rarely available to today's viewing audience it is well worth a watch.
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