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.
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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
Very little is known about the real Frederic Aiken. No photographs of him exist. See more »
The assassination attempt of William Henry Seward is almost totally incorrect. A servant met Lewis Powell, who was pretending to bring Steward medicine, at the door and tried to stop him from entering. Fred told Powell to come back later because his father was asleep. Fanny, who had dark haired, opened the door to tell Fred that their father was awake. Fred closed the door on her and turned back to Powell, who shot at his head. The gun misfired and he bashed Fred's skull in, leaving a hole and exposing his brain. Powell entered the dark room and shoved Fanny aside as she tried to stop him from attacking Seward. He began stabbing Seward, whose jaw splint deflected the blows somewhat, saving his life. Seward managed to roll off the bed and under it before losing consciousness. Gus and the soldier nurse entered and fought with Powell, who stabbed both about 7 times each before fleeing the scene. See more »
Two men standing at the Pearly Gates. The first man says, "How'd you die?" Second says, "I froze to death. How 'bout you?" And the, uh, second man says, "Well, I thought my... my wife was being unfaithful to me, so I ran all the way home. And burst into the bedroom. She just..."
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I saw this movie twice with two different friends who wanted to go. I thought it was great the first time and even better the second. The second time I watched from the perspective of believing Mary was guilty and was surprised that I enjoyed it even more that time. Robin Wright and James McAvoy do an amazing job in portraying real, complicated human beings. Kevin Kline seems villainous, but can also be read as a strong man in the grip of emotion and overwhelming responsibility. The cast is riveting, with breathtakingly well-done small and large parts. Couldn't take my eyes off Stephen Root and John Collum during their time on the screen. I enjoyed it and it got me thinking. There's real subtlety here -- art and history brought together.
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