The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd

Overview

The tragic story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who in 1865 was sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor at the American penal colony of Fort Jefferson, was previously filmed as Prisoner of Shark Island (1936) and Hellgate (1957). Made for television, The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd stars Dennis Weaver as the unfortunate Mudd, a Maryland medico whose only "crime" was to set the broken leg of a mud-caked stranger--who turned out to be John Wilkes Booth. Arrested on a charge of treason and complicity in the conspiracy to assassinate ...
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Overview

The tragic story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who in 1865 was sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor at the American penal colony of Fort Jefferson, was previously filmed as Prisoner of Shark Island (1936) and Hellgate (1957). Made for television, The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd stars Dennis Weaver as the unfortunate Mudd, a Maryland medico whose only "crime" was to set the broken leg of a mud-caked stranger--who turned out to be John Wilkes Booth. Arrested on a charge of treason and complicity in the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Mudd is at first sentenced to hang, but the military court decides to be "merciful," consigning Mudd to life imprisonment on "America's Devil's Island" in the Dry Tortugas. He endures the cruelties of the sadistic commandant and the condemnation of the public at large, until his selfless courage during a hellish epidemic enables him to win the sympathy of his fellow citizens. Ultimately, Mudd is pardoned by President Andrew Johnson, though it would be many years before his name was completely exonerated in the judicial books. The film goes to great lengths to vilify Lincoln's secretary of war Edwin Stanton (Richard Dysart), whom some conspiracy theorists now believe was behind the assassination plot. This aside, and excusing a few "politically correct" alterations in the known facts, The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd is fairly accurate. The film was originally aired on March 25, 1980.
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Special Features

Interactive menu; Biographies; Still gallery; Scene access
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/20/2004
  • UPC: 825307907599
  • Original Release: 1980
  • Rating:

  • Source: Pathfinder Home Ent.
  • Time: 2:25:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dennis Weaver Dr. Samuel Mudd
Susan Sullivan
Arthur Hill
Richard Dysart
Nigel Davenport
Michael McGuire
Technical Credits
Paul Wendkos Director
Michael Berk Producer, Screenwriter
Jack de Shields Production Designer
Hector R. Figueroa Cinematographer
Gerald Fried Score Composer
Paul B. Radin Executive Producer
Douglas Schwartz Producer, Screenwriter
Ken Zemke Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [6:47]
2. Chapter 2 [8:55]
3. Chapter 3 [10:39]
4. Chapter 4 [5:19]
5. Chapter 5 [7:48]
6. Chapter 6 [7:10]
7. Chapter 7 [7:30]
8. Chapter 8 [4:50]
9. Chapter 9 [9:25]
10. Chapter 10 [3:47]
11. Chapter 11 [4:04]
12. Chapter 12 [14:27]
13. Chapter 13 [5:54]
14. Chapter 14 [10:58]
15. Chapter 15 [3:19]
16. Chapter 16 [6:48]
17. Chapter 17 [1:22]
18. Chapter 18 [9:30]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Still Gallery
   Production Credits
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