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Thursday, September 1, 2011

You Can't Handle the Truth

Historical extras on its Blu-ray edition fail to make the case for The Conspirator

by Tony Dayoub

Just out on Blu-ray and DVD, Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, about the plot surrounding Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, is the American Film Company’s debut feature. Throughout much of the new disc’s extras, the company touts itself as a production house interested in shepherding stories mined from the annals of American history in the most accurate way possible. And while watching the bounty of special features included in the Deluxe Edition Blu-ray disc, an American history nut like me would find ample evidence that Redford’s 2010 film had been vetted by numerous historians. Included are 10 featurettes that dig into specific aspects of the movie, like the production design, costuming, or its main characters. The hour-long documentary, “The Plot to Kill Lincoln,” provides the historical background behind The Conspirator’s inciting incident in exhaustive detail. A viewing of the disc’s main feature, however, proves that if the facts contradict the story the filmmakers want to tell, truth will still lose out to fiction...


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