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The Conspirator

The movie “The Conspirator” directed by Robert Redford, is a true story regarding the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of State. A war hero, Frederick Aiken, has decided to defend the only woman, Mary Surratt, who is charged with being apart of the plan to kill these men. There were seven men along with Mary that were also charged of conspiring these murders. With conflicting initial feelings toward defending Mary Surratt, Frederick Aiken slowly realizes that Miss Surratt may actually be innocent in the conspiracy. The young war hero, Mr. Aiken, discovers the injustice of the trial against Mary Surratt and realizes throughout the movie that her life in the trial was being used to really find her son who really was the only conspirator among these men.

 

  1. Robert Redford directs this movie as a true story regarding the factual story of Mary Surratt and the assassinations. This film is also a crime film depicting one of the biggest crimes our nation knows. Redford shows the story of the struggles of injustice and conspiracy.

 

  1. This history flick shows that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. While Frederick Aiken initially chose to defend the hated, Mary Surratt, he believed what everyone believed about her… that she conspired to kill The President of The United States. It is extremely hard to get past the emotion present with the country’s leader assassinated but Aiken finally saw thru the injustices taking place. He learned the type of woman Mary was and really saw that she did not have any knowledge her son was going to do this. Aiken even stated on trial that the only crime Mary Surratt committed was just the fact that she gave birth to her son, which is not a crime at all. This really set the stage for the necessity for a fair trial. Mary Surratt was innocent and did not receive a fair trial. The year after she was hung for her so-called “crime” they made it a law for a trial by jury. This just accentuates the meaning of this story and the injustice in it.

 

  1. I think the story is important to the film because it is a true story and it is apart of one of the biggest moments in our history as a nation. Without the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, history would be written in a completely different way. The story of Mary Surratt and her son and their negative feelings towards the President and the leadership in our country shows that the part of our history and the storyline itself is much more important than characters because there were many people who felt the same way.

 

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  1. Robert Redford focused on the ideas while directing this movie and our history. This is a very political film directed to show the injustice and the true story regarding a family that was sentenced to death because of a conspired assassination of The President. Using the morality of right vs. wrong in this film helps leave a lasting impression on the audience just by providing the knowledge of this part of our history.

 

  1. The main struggle conveyed in this was “Man vs. Society.” Redford shows the struggle between being a faithful citizen of our country and the rebel mindset of the family charged with this assassination. In a time of conflict in our nation, this film portrayed the struggle and separation in our nation and the frustrating and unfair trial of Mary Surratt who’s political and need for justice struggle was shown throughout the entire movie.

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  1. The weakest points of the film had to do with the pace of the film. I felt as if some points in the film were a tad bit slow and didn’t necessarily seem necessary in conveying the point of the story. I think the strongest points were the way the story was carried out thru the casting done for this movie. I felt as if the character of Mary Surratt was perfectly depicted showing the true sadness present in this character. The actors did an awesome job playing their parts in showing this huge moment in our history.

 

  1. This film succeeds to me because of the emotional affect it left on me. Although I did find it slow at some points, I think Redford succeeded in depicting this true story. The way he filmed certain scenes definitely gave me the chills and made me feel frustrated at our legal system. The scene in which the men and Mary were hung literally gave me chills because of the silence the graphic depiction of their death. Redford did a great job in filming this and making the audience feel uncomfortable which really is effective when it comes to a graphic scene like this.

 

  1. This entire movie is considered a Robert Redford trademark because he loves to create movies that are true-life stories and stories that are based on true events. On top of loving true stories, he loves reflecting political views and stories as well. This entire film was a political side of our history in showing the injustice and innocent of Mary Surratt. He enjoys many different genres but crime is definitely one and this is evident in being one of the biggest crimes in history. His lead character in this, Mary Surratt, is extremely misunderstood which is a huge Redford trademark. The entire story is of Frederick Aiken trying to prove Mary’s innocence. He showed this in the different styles of filming. In the movie, Mary is in a completely different area and cell than the other convicted men. I actually read that this might have been untrue and she was actually in her own cell on the same floor as the men. I think Redford chose to put her in a completely different area to really emphasize her isolation in this film.

 

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  1. This was my second time watching this movie and I really enjoyed it. It helped me learn a lot about this portion of our nation’s history and highlighted the emotional affect the injustice of Mary Surratt had on me. Even though I mentioned the film ran slow, the emotional affect it was able to convey over me made this movie effective.

 

-Kacy O’Connor

links: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0968264/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt

“The Conspirator” vs. Facts

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_conspirator/

 

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