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The Conspirator (2010)

 -  Crime | Drama | History  -  15 April 2011 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 20,392 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 113 user | 193 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

Mary Surratt is the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life.

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Cast

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Joseph Holt
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David Hunter
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John Lloyd
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Judge Wylie
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Storyline

In the wake of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of State. The lone woman charged, Mary Surratt, 42, owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks. Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer, Frederick Aiken, a 28-year-old Union war-hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. As the trial unfolds, Aiken realizes his client may be innocent and that she is being used as bait and hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her own son. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One bullet killed the President. But not one man.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent content | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

15 April 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El conspirador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,509,048 (USA) (15 April 2011)

Gross:

$11,538,204 (USA) (9 September 2011)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Danny Huston's grandfather, Walter Huston, played the title role in Abraham Lincoln (1930). See more »

Goofs

In the film, when Abraham Lincoln is carried into the bedroom of the Peterson Boarding House after being shot, the room is brightly lit; in reality, according to all historical accounts, the room was very dark and dim, being illuminated by only one small gas jet fixture on the wall. In addition, Lincoln is shown in the film being placed on the bed with his head farthest away from the doctors towards the wall and his feet closest to the doctors; in reality, he was placed with his feet towards the wall and his head closest to the open side of the bed, which a historical photograph of the death bed after Lincoln was removed confirms. See more »

Quotes

Frederick Aiken: If John Surratt was part of this conspiracy, I pray that he receives every punishment known to man. But if his mother can be convicted on such insufficient evidence, I tell you, none of you are safe.
Frederick Aiken: Members of the commission, do not permit this injustice to Mary Surratt by sacrificing our sacred rights out of revenge. Too many of us have laid down our lives to preserve them.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.13 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Marching Through Georgia
Words and Music by Henry C. Work
Arranged and Performed by Curtis Roush
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
History repeat
12 August 2011 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

The Conspiritor uses an event that happened 150 years ago to tell a story which is all too familiar in our time. The backdrop off a shocking, sad event and the following massive public outcry pushes the powers to be to extreme measures, which they stand by because they feel to be forced to do or because they really believe it to be the only right thing.

Robert Redford has been well known for his political views and has displayed them already in the somewhat uneven Lions for Lambs. I like filmmakers who speak out. I can maybe not always agree, but I wholeheartedly admire that in this time of mindless action drivel like Transformers, Drive Angry and The Mechanic there is still hope for without trying to be arrogant: meaningful films. Redford uses the assassination of Lincoln to portray a nation in mourning and sadness. The Civil War was all but over and the policymakers were already planning the next step: the forming of a real Union. The assassination of Lincoln endangered the entire Union. The people wanted revenge and Edwin Stanton (an excellent Kevin Kline) serves it cold. Since her son is nowhere to be found anywhere, he settles for the next thing: his mother Mary Surrat. 'I don't care which one it is, as long as one of them pays the price'. Young Frederick Alken (James McAvoy) has the ungrateful task of defending her.

I don't know much about the Civil War and the period after that, so I can't say how accurate this film is. But what I can say is that it's a masterpiece in creating a period not so distant from our current world. If you replace the assassination of Lincoln with the 9/11-attacks, you have a film that stands firm. It asks relevant questions and holds a mirror right up to our faces. Are seeing clearly? In the sadness and outrage of such a shocking event, do we still see clearly what's going on? Do we still, as a people, have perspective enough to define friend from foe from guilty to innocent? Do our leaders have the capability, strength and courage to make us see or tell us 'no' when we are wrong? Or do policies, political views or elections hold them back and make them just give the public what they want? Mary Surrat, Lincoln, Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan, Bush, Edward Stanton, Abu Grahib, post Civil War Washington, Guantanomo Bay. History repeats itself over and over again. When will we learn? Guilty or innocent. Is it important? Do we care? I give this film 8 out of 10.


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Why no security for a war-time president ? humayunimam
Why did this film bomb at the box office? ScreenwriterVA
Mary Surratt - guilty or innocent? gen57
Who has read 'Killing Lincoln' by Bill O'Reilly? meso97ts
Loved it ! geoffreyudin1
I am really missing some info! auntbaby
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