It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Movie Review - "The Conspirator"

I've now been to the movies twice in three weeks - unheard of!  Due to the lack of English movies shown in our area, the chance to see a new release movie is something I jump at if I get the chance whilst travelling.

When we were in Birmingham, I dragged the boys along to see "Hangover 2", and after that I definitely needed something to stretch my brain a little more.  Many of you know that I'm a bit of an American history fan, particularly the Civil War, so the opportunity to see this seriously good movie wasn't going to pass me by in Manchester this week.

Even those with a sketchy knowledge of American history will probably know that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by the actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre on April 14th, 1865.  Okay, you might not know the date, but you'll probably vaguely know that Booth snuck into the President's box and shot him in the head during a play.  Booth then leapt from the box onto the stage and escaped the theatre on horseback down a back lane.

Lincoln was carried from the theatre, still alive, to a boarding house across the street, where he was lain diagonally (he was too tall at 6'4" to lay straight) on the bed of a resident, and clung weakly to life until the next morning when he passed away.

Anyway, this movie begins with the assassination and weaves a story of the trial of Mary Surratt, who was accused of involvement in the conspiracy to murder Lincoln.  Her involvement was assumed as she owned the boarding house where Booth and the other conspirators (including her son, John Surratt) met regularly to formulate their plans (which started off as a plan to kidnap the President, but then all went a bit pear shaped).

Robert Redford directed this fantastic fleshing out of the life of one of the lesser known players, Mary, portrayed by Robin Wright, and her lawyer,  Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy).

Mary (Robin Wright) and Frederick (James McAvoy)

You don't have to be a history junky like me to enjoy this.  See it if you can.

And now I'm going to have to dig around and find my copy of "Manhunt, The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer" and have another read of it.  Sorry honey, that's the housework on the back burner for a while ...

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