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The Conspirator [Blu-ray]


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Product details

  • Actors: James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood, Danny Huston
  • Directors: Robert Redford
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Oct 2011
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004X181RQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,319 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By L. Power TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Aug 2011
Format: DVD
When I went to see this movie I knew nothing about it. The trailer merely indicated a period courtroom drama starring James McAvoy.

While I would hesitate to call it one of the best movies of the year, undoubtedly this movie or more precisely the story this movie relates impacted me more deeply than most do. So much so that I have bought several books on the subject to get as full an understanding of this event as possible.

As an experienced director and actor Robert Redford knows how to push the audiences buttons, making socially relevant, and relatable movies.

Here is a true story of a divided country just arrived at an uneasy peace after a bitter civil war, when recently reinaugurated President Lincoln is suddenly assassinated by an actor in a theater. Not only is the president assassinated, there is a simultaneous attempt to murder the Secretary of State Seward, and Vice President Johnson.

As the manhunt begins for Booth, and his accomplices, suspicions turn to a young known associate John Surratt. Police go to his house, and in his absence end up arresting his mother Mary Surratt for being complicit in the crime of which he is suspected. But is she guilty of being a conspirator, or just guilty of being a mother of an alleged one, an innocent running a boarding house where these conspirators would meet?

She is remanded to be tried in a military court. Frank Aiken, a young veteran of the Union Army, becomes her unwilling counsel. Her rights to a jury trial in a civilian court overruled, one can sense that the odds stacked against her. It's a desperate situation. Her guilt appears to be a foregone conlusion. She is not permitted to testify in her own defencse. Will her son return and save the day?
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By E. Evlogidis on 4 Sep 2011
Format: DVD
The Conspirator is a wonderful example of how a film based on historical fact can not only be highly entertaining but also very moving.

The Story itself centres on Mary Surratt, a Southern Belle and Confederate supporter who runs a boarding house in Washington D.C. Surratt's son, also a staunch supporter of the confederate cause and courier during the war became involved in a failed plot, concocted by John Wilkes Booth to kidnap President Lincoln. Of course it is Booth who later shoots the President and it is through this link with Booth and the fact that a number of the assassins stayed at her boarding house that Mary becomes linked to the conspirators and is put on trial for the assassination of the President.

I have to say that knowing a little of the Surratt story before watching this film in no way spoiled the atmosphere or the tension of the piece. Robert Redford as a Director obviously feels quite strongly about this story and the sympathetic way in which Mary's story is told only heightens the feeling that justice was not being served as well as it might.

I don't want to give too much away suffice to say that If you are interested in History, (particularly the U.S Civil War), Court-Room Dramas, or just old fashioned Human interest stories told with heart, then this is a film you will enjoy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. EXETER on 12 Dec 2011
Format: Blu-ray
As soon as I heard that Robert Redford was directing a film about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln I wanted to see it, more so than the long awaited Steven Spielberg biopic which has been put back yet again; this time until after November 2012's Presidential elections ostensibly to avoid it becoming "political fodder" but more likely to maximise its Oscar potential for 2013.

I recently became fascinated with the Lincoln assassination after listening to the original Off-Broadway cast recording of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, particularly The Ballad of Booth which explores the psyche of John Wilkes Booth (Victor Garber) and examines Abraham Lincoln's legacy in light of the Abolition of Slavery and the American Civil War.

The Conspirator is the debut feature of the newly founded American Film Company which has taken up the remit to produce historically accurate, entertaining movies based on great stories from the USA's collective past; in this case the account of Mary Surratt the owner of the boarding house where Booth regularly met with his fellow conspirators one of which was Mary's own son, John.

In its opening scene The Conspirator quickly establishes the character of Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) a decorated hero of the Union Army who now works as a trial lawyer in immediate post-war Washington. It also succinctly depicts the scope of the assassination plot which targeted not only the President but Vice President, Andrew Johnson and the Secretary of State, William Seward; with the intent of rallying the diehard Confederate troops who had not surrendered into a revived attack.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jones the Film on 16 Nov 2011
Format: DVD
Court room dramas are usually quite watchable (the best in my opinion being The Verdict starring Paul Newman). This Robert Redford offering does not disappoint. The acting is good, the direction is perfect and it's based on a true story.

Poor old Aiken (McAvoy) has everything pitted against him as an inexperienced lawyer trying to defend a woman who will do everything to protect her guilty son even if it means her own demise. A military court heavily weighted behind the prosecution challenges Aiken's resolve and commitment to the US constitution and the right of habeas corpus.

As a period drama it looks authentic and covers the fascinating events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I suppose the lone lawyer working against the odds in an 'impossible to win court case' has been done many times before, but the historical background and McAvoy's brilliant portrayal of an earnest man makes it a very worthwhile viewing experience.
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