Last night the National Geographic Channel presented their film of "Killing Lincoln" taken from the book by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, previously reviewed on this blog.
Directed by Ridley Scott and narrated by Tom Hanks, the docu-drama moved between on camera narration and filmed action. The production was dedicated to the late Tony Scott.
It was an excellent adaption of the book and used some actual photographs of events to bring a touch of reality.
A two-hour film, the first hour was dedicated to events leading up to the assassination. The second hour portrayed events after the assassination culminating in catching the conspirators. Their ultimate fate was shown through the use of actual photographs taken at the execution of those that were sentenced to death.
I've seen other photographs of the conspirators. Every attempt was made to cast actors of similar appearance to the people they portrayed. I'm sure make-up and facial hair made a difference on the men. But they certainly looked very much like the conspirators.
My elderly father was going to turn it off after the first hour. He said, "well, they've already killed him. What else is there?"
The second half was as good as the first. They portrayed the detective work that caught the guilty parties in the first assassination of an American president.
My dad has seen enough violence and strife in his 90+ years. I can understand why he didn't want to watch the rest. It isn't pleasant to watch. Lincoln was brought to life, a real person, a real father. The sadness came from knowing what was going to happen to him. We all know the history.
As Santana said, "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." (No, that's not Carlos of "Black Magic Woman" fame.)
There will be an encore presentation on Nat Geo this Saturday, the 23rd. Check your local listings.
By the way, Dad watched the rest of the movie last night...