The Prisoner of Shark Island Reviews
He is sent to a prison in the Gulf of Mexico called Shark Island. The story is an interesting one & despite the injustice he goes through he remains a moral man.
Mudd was played Warner Baxter who did a wonderful job with his role. John Ford truly was an incredible director & this is a great film of perseverance & struggle & victory.
De bons acteurs, et quelques bonnes s√©quences : l'arriv√©e des soldats chez Mudd et l'encha√ģnement de malentendus et de circonstances aggravantes qui le condamnent, et sa tentative d'√©vasion, bonne s√©quence d'action qui met √† profit le tr√®s bon d√©cor de la prison.
The story is probably not completely historically accurate. It's still not clear if Mudd was part of the assassination conspiracy and it has been confirmed he did probably met Booth on a previous occasion. But to an extent this doesn't matter Ford frequently pointed out that he does not make documentaries and in fact thought they were boring. Ford having surveyed almost all of American history up until the time of his death approached it not unlike G.B. Shaw while not striving for prefect accuracy but giving us an understanding of people of that time and the context they existed in.
Prisoner of Shark Island is perhaps one of Ford's best pictures although it's relatively unknown to a modern audience, this is odd because the film feels more relevant now than ever.The film deals with demonization of alleged criminals based entirely of circumstantial evidence and calling it patriotism and pointing out how legal courts should be 'The voice of the people'. The mentality Ford depicts in the early court scenes(where the defendants are brought in with sacks on their heads) show how political uncertainty can give rise to paranoia and persecution. The scenes on the island are among some of the best in Ford's career and being Catholic may be his best mediation on the nature of suffering , the paraphrased quote from 'Inferno' (abandon hope those who enter here) above the prison cells is a stroke of brilliance.
Ford's films are hard for young people to appreciate as many of them contain folksy elements(which you'll see in some of the earlier scenes) but with repeated viewings it's easy to see how his insight transcends things like that. As Francois Tiffuat(who originally wasn't a fan of Ford's material) said "He Achieved absolute uniformity on technical expertise'. Before wrapping this up the issue of race should still be discussed. Again many of the African Americans in the film have roles that are somewhat stereotyped as a product of the time. Ford however still treats them with a great deal of respect and Dr.Mudd's only real companion in the film is his black friend Buck(who is essentially his counterpart). The most interesting aspect is once on island all the guards are black and essentially in control of their white in a brilliant reversal of fortune, it was an aspect Daryl Zannuck loved about the film.