American Film Company, The, Wildwood Enterprises

James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Evan Rachel Wood, Alexis Bledel, Justin Long, Danny Huston, Norman Reedus, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson

Abraham Lincoln was shot, attempts were made on the Vice President and the Secretary of State. John Wilkes Booth was identified as the shooter, and he was captured and killed, but the public knew there was more than one person involved and wanted a trial. Booth and a number of other conspirators met at the boarding house of Mary Surratt (Robin Wright Penn) and her son in Washington. Mary’s son was nowhere to be found, but Mary was arrested under the suspicion that she was a participant in the plan. It was a military trial with no jury and the accused was not allowed to speak on her own behalf. The story is of young lawyer Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) as he defends Mary Surratt.

Directed by Robert Redford, the American Film Company is bringing this, as the first, in a series of factual movies based on America History. This story is one that will haunt you. The story is told in unflinching truth, and from what I can tell is pretty historically accurate. It is a 2 hour labor of love to tell the story of this interesting gentleman and what happens to him when he is called upon to represent a damn rebel murderer. He comes to think that maybe she is innocent, but recognizes that she is not able to get a fair trial and he goes to elaborate lengths to try to convince the military tribunal that what they are doing is wrong. Through his efforts it was decided by the supreme court that american civilians must be tried in a public court and not in military tribunals.

Excellent cinematography and beautiful period Washington D.C. in the 1860’s. The film is rich and vibrant, but also very touching and very, very interesting from start to end. I am really glad I got to see this film, and we all enjoyed watching it very much. I highly recommend this film for all ages, except maybe very small children.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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