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I'm a sucker for all things Civil War, so this film directed by Robert Redford was a natural choice for a Saturday night. Historical movies can sometimes be a slog when they try to portray real events, but "Conspirator" was entertaining and far more tense than I expected, especially the first half hour or so where Lincoln and his cabinet members are attacked, and then the assassins are chased down. The central conflict of the film revolves around a young lawyer and Union veteran who--against his better judgment--finds himself in the courtroom defending Mary Surratt, owner of the boarding house where the Confederate conspirators met. Youthful and idealistic, he does his job so well that he draws the animosity of powerful enemies in government. Other things to like included the Southern accents sported by the Marylanders, who no one quite believes aren't traitorous closet Confederates. My one complaint was that the interaction among the trio of young soldiers-turned-lawyers and their girlfriends felt more Melrose Place than Civil War. But ultimately this was an intriguing film that left me wondering if Mary Surratt got what she deserved or if she was wrongly sent to the gallows.

Recommended by David Healey

COMMENTS

DiannePosted November 25, 2011

I really enjoyed this movie, and went back to my Civil War history books to see if it is historically accurate. It appears to be quite accurate. Secretary of War Stanton definitely had his own agenda, for example.

D. NicholsPosted November 4, 2011

I loved this movie as I am also a huge fan of anything with a historical theme. It was very interesting to see how Mary Surratt was treated by the political forces that had taken over after Lincoln's assasination. My feelings were that she was used as a scape goat for the Union's vengeance. That's just my opinion, but then again, I'm a Southerner at heart.

PGPosted November 3, 2011

Great review - This movie sounds a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. Will be checking it out!

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