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Dr. Turner Explains His Role In The Conspirator


Jennifer Richard '14

Staff Reporter

November 18, 2013

On October 22, Dr. Thomas Turner a history professor at Bridgewater State College and a famous historian arrived at Durfee to speak in front of two American Assassinations classes. His former student Derek Farias, who is the teacher of the American Assassinations class arranged for the visit. Turner received a warm welcome from the students at the lecture and other faculty at Durfee.

The main topic that was addressed was his involvement in the movie The Conspirator, which debuted on the big screen in 2010 and was directed by the profound movie director and actor Robert Redford. This was the first film of The American Film Company. The movie is centered around the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the trial of one of the conspirators who was allegedly involved in the assassination of Lincoln. Mary Surratt is the woman who was on trial in the movie and was found guilty of collaborating with John Wilkes Booth and other conspirators to kill Lincoln.

Turner stated that he was contacted to help with the film in 2009. He read multiple scripts of The Conspirator and was given the option to edit any of the scenes he thought were not historically accurate. Turner even recommended that the movie should be filmed in Savannah, Georgia and the producers took his suggestions.


Turner said that he received special treatment from the producers as if he was one of the actors. In the movie, there are some scenes that are not completely historically accurate which Turner brought to light. A few of them are where Mary Surratt yells out in court and the roadside carriage attack in the movie.

The Conspirator is a very interesting historical movie that everyone should see. It provides you with a lot of historical information about one of the biggest events in American history, and a great professor and historian contributed to the making of the great film.

“Dr. Turner is that one teacher that has influenced me and changed my life,” said Mr. Farias.


"Dr. Turner's visit was a great experience and now I know nearly everything about the Lincoln assassination," said Miranda Zenni, a senior at Durfee.