The Prisoner of Shark Island Reviews

  • Nov 08, 2018

    Good movie, but they take liberties with historical facts.

    Good movie, but they take liberties with historical facts.

  • Nov 09, 2017

    Prisoner of Shark Island is an early John Ford film giving an only roughly accurate version of the story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who treated John Wilkes Booth for the injuries he sustained in assassinating Lincoln, was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment as part of the assassination conspiracy, and was later exonerated. The film is well done and tautly directed, though it also occasionally displays Ford's typical weaknesses of sentimentality, stereotyping, and low humor. Warner Baxter (probably best remembered today for 42nd Street) does a creditable job as Mudd, and John Carradine is a standout as a sadistic prison guard. Though generally minor Ford, the piece does have a few good set pieces, such as the portrait of Lincoln ordering the band to play "Dixie" as a token of reconciliation, and the grim scenes of the trial and execution of the conspirators. All in all, generally worth watching still today, and certainly a film that serious students of Ford's work will want to see. Advisory: the film's treatment of African-Americans, while clearly well intentioned, is likely to strike today's viewers as stereotyped and patronizing.

    Prisoner of Shark Island is an early John Ford film giving an only roughly accurate version of the story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who treated John Wilkes Booth for the injuries he sustained in assassinating Lincoln, was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment as part of the assassination conspiracy, and was later exonerated. The film is well done and tautly directed, though it also occasionally displays Ford's typical weaknesses of sentimentality, stereotyping, and low humor. Warner Baxter (probably best remembered today for 42nd Street) does a creditable job as Mudd, and John Carradine is a standout as a sadistic prison guard. Though generally minor Ford, the piece does have a few good set pieces, such as the portrait of Lincoln ordering the band to play "Dixie" as a token of reconciliation, and the grim scenes of the trial and execution of the conspirators. All in all, generally worth watching still today, and certainly a film that serious students of Ford's work will want to see. Advisory: the film's treatment of African-Americans, while clearly well intentioned, is likely to strike today's viewers as stereotyped and patronizing.

  • Jan 20, 2015

    Dirigida con un buen pulso , esta es una pelicula que no decae en ningun momento gracias al maesto John Ford.

    Dirigida con un buen pulso , esta es una pelicula que no decae en ningun momento gracias al maesto John Ford.

  • Jan 08, 2013

    An exciting well told story of Dr. Samuel Mudd a man wrongfully accused for aiding John Wilkes Booth just after her assassinated Abraham Lincoln. 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.

    An exciting well told story of Dr. Samuel Mudd a man wrongfully accused for aiding John Wilkes Booth just after her assassinated Abraham Lincoln. 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.

  • Jul 25, 2011

    Despite its attempts, this movie is--for the most part--very boring. Probably my least favorite John Ford film I've seen. (Though it still looked great.)

    Despite its attempts, this movie is--for the most part--very boring. Probably my least favorite John Ford film I've seen. (Though it still looked great.)

  • Mar 28, 2011

    Really strange prison film about a man accused of plotting to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Very cinematic-looking - especially for the era in which it was made.

    Really strange prison film about a man accused of plotting to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Very cinematic-looking - especially for the era in which it was made.

  • Dec 02, 2010

    Netter Film von John Ford der aber die ein oder andere kleinere Länge vorzuweisen hat. 3/5

    Netter Film von John Ford der aber die ein oder andere kleinere Länge vorzuweisen hat. 3/5

  • Aug 14, 2010

    Great film. Ford mixes in a strong humanistic element, while using the expressionism he had been experimenting with in the 30's to great effect. This makes the visuals the most impacting element of the film. Further, Ford's profound simplicity is on display here to great form in the film's first fifteen minutes. The scenes with Lincoln on the balcony of the White House and at Ford's Theater create an effective and heartfelt prologue for the action to follow.

    Great film. Ford mixes in a strong humanistic element, while using the expressionism he had been experimenting with in the 30's to great effect. This makes the visuals the most impacting element of the film. Further, Ford's profound simplicity is on display here to great form in the film's first fifteen minutes. The scenes with Lincoln on the balcony of the White House and at Ford's Theater create an effective and heartfelt prologue for the action to follow.

  • Jun 13, 2010

    Dirigida con un buen pulso , esta es una pelicula que no decae en ningun momento gracias al maesto John Ford.

    Dirigida con un buen pulso , esta es una pelicula que no decae en ningun momento gracias al maesto John Ford.

  • Jun 01, 2010

    John Ford zeichnet das Bild eines fragilen, vom Bürgerkrieg zerrissenen und notdürftig geflickten Amerika, das durch den Mord an Abraham Lincoln in seinem noch prekären Fundament erschüttert wird und vor dem Rückfall in Barbarei und Gewalt steht. Darin wird THE PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND stellenweise bestürzend aktuell. Inhaltlich wird der Film nach knapp der Hälfte seiner Laufzeit zum Gefängnisfilm, bevor es dieses Genre im engeren Sinne gab.

    John Ford zeichnet das Bild eines fragilen, vom Bürgerkrieg zerrissenen und notdürftig geflickten Amerika, das durch den Mord an Abraham Lincoln in seinem noch prekären Fundament erschüttert wird und vor dem Rückfall in Barbarei und Gewalt steht. Darin wird THE PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND stellenweise bestürzend aktuell. Inhaltlich wird der Film nach knapp der Hälfte seiner Laufzeit zum Gefängnisfilm, bevor es dieses Genre im engeren Sinne gab.