When the photograph is being taken of Booth's autopsy, narrator Tom Hanks refers to Secretary of War Stanton as "Secretary of State Stanton." See more »
The doors to the white house stand open, to one and all, day and night. My life is within reach of anyone, sane or mad. By the hand of a murder I can die but once, but to go continually in fear, well that is to die over and over... and over again.
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Tom Hanks hosts this drama/documentary about the assassination of Lincoln. As one can imagine, it's a dark and sad story, but I found some of it very interesting. I don't consider myself the last word on the assassination -- if you are, you're not going to enjoy this as I doubt there was anything new there.
The focus initially is the Booth family, especially John Wilkes, as he plots to kill the President, the Secretary of State, and the Vice President. It also covers his earlier foiled attempt. Apparently you just couldn't kill William Seward -- the man not only was nearly killed by a co-conspirator, but at the time, he was ill.
Billy Campbell plays Lincoln. He has a naturally high, light voice, so I suspect after Daniel Day-Lewis' research of descriptions of Lincoln's voice, this will become the norm. I found moments before the actual assassination, with Lincoln's last words to his wife, "They won't think anything about it," quite touching.
The dramatization then covers Wilkes and his co-conspirators' attempts to escape, Booth's death, the capture of the others, and their varying prison/death sentences.
It's interesting material if you're not all that familiar with it.
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