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.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
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
The look of the film was influenced by early photographs of the period, many of which tried to introduce elements of color over sepia. Director of photography Newton Thomas Sigel attempted to emulate that look whilst restricting the use of bright, artificial light. See more »
In the film, President Abraham Lincoln is shown being carried out of the theater and across the street fully dressed, wearing his full suit and shirt neatly in place. In reality, according to historical accounts, Dr. Charles Leale and the doctors assisting him in Ford's Theater moments after Lincoln was shot cut away much of Lincoln's coat and shirt prior to his being moved in a frantic attempt to resuscitate him. See more »
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.
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 »
An eye-opening film, with an exemplary ensemble cast
Robert Redford has assembled an impressively strong cast to bring to the screen a very important and poignant story. Watching this film a couple of weeks ago, I did not know what to expect. What I got was a great film about the trials of the people that were involved behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Robin Wright delivers one of the best performances of her career, in a role that seemed tailor-made for her.
Redford follows up a politically charged film (Lions for Lambs) with a historically charged film, that definitely is not light on the politics. However, he does succeed at presenting the unknown story of a loving mother and clearly stating the events that followed Lincoln's assassination.
The film transported me back in time. Beautifully shot, supported by amazing art direction and costumes, and driven by James McAvoy strong performance, "The Conspirator" stands as a movie for the times, that will definitely be revisited for years to come.
66 of 92 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?