I happened to catch The Conspirator on television last night. I'd missed it (like I miss everything else) when it was at the theater. For those who might not know, the movie details the military trial of Mary Surrat, who was convicted in that trial of being part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln and members of his cabinet. The film was produced by Robert Redford and the film company that made it is part of a new effort to bring history to the big screen, on the thesis that real life is better than fiction.
I hope they do well in the future. Unfortunately this movie lost money, but I thought it quite well done. It condenses the trial in some ways, but all in all I thought it a good dramatization of the events, and it managed not to center itself on John Wilkes Booth, which is normally the case when this topic is discussed.
For those of us with an interest in horses, one thing I thought the film did nicely was to weave in a bit of how horses were part of everyday life for some at the time (while of course many simply walked). For example, the young lawyer who defends Surrat, a recently discharged Union officer, is shown traveling in the saddle, which indeed was common for barristers at the time.
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