The Prisoner of Shark Island

John Ford finds some resonance in the story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who unknowingly treated John Wilkes Booth for a sprained ankle and was sent to an offshore prison compound for his trouble. Ford's artistic personality hadn't quite settled by 1936, and the film remains somewhat unformed, although there are some remarkable expressionist passages set in the prison and an interesting treatment of Lincoln, who would become a key icon in Ford's later work. With Warner Baxter, Gloria Stuart, Harry Carey, and John Carradine, enjoying himself immensely as a sadistic guard. 95 min.

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