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The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth (History Channel) (2008)

John Wilkes Booth  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth (History Channel) + The Conspirator (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) + Killing Lincoln
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wilkes Booth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2008
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ZDQI9O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,024 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

For 12 days in April 1865, as terror gripped the nation, thousands of federal troops, detectives, and police scoured the country in search of the assassin who shot President Abraham Lincoln.

THE HISTORY CHANNEL tells the compellint story behind the conspiracy to decapitate the government by assassinating Lincoln, his Vice President and his Secretary of State, and the manhunt that ensued. THE HUNT FOR JOHN WILKES BOOTH takes viewers through the Maryland countryside, across the Potomac River, and finally into northern Virginia as Booth and co-conspirator David Herold elude their captors. Often fictionalized, this is the true story of this harrowing time, gleaned from news reports, trial transcripts, and a diary kept by the man who pulled the trigger--John Wilkes Booth.

Shot in riveting real-time style along Booth and Herold s 60-mile escape route, THE HUNT FOR JOHN WILKES BOOTH follows the trail of one of America s earliest assassins--a man who changed history.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
By RJRo20
I just watched the premiere tonight and really enjoyed it. The two-hour documentary was based on the highly acclaimed Michael Kauffman book, American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies. I found it both educational and entertaining, narrating the events of President Lincoln's assassination and the thrilling 12-day manhunt for Booth and co-conspirator, David E. Herold. The overall presentation was excellent. The reenactments were well-done. There was great music and wonderful images. Indeed, it was a captivating and suspenseful account of this immortal character in American history. Highly recommended!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of Booth's escape August 6, 2010
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This program, based on Michael Kauffman's award-winning book, American Brutus, gives an excellent overview of the events that took place after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Kauffman's thorough research for over 40 years is evident in his book, and it is an education to hear him telling the story on this video. I had the pleasure of going with him on one of his John Wilkes Booth escape route tours. His knowledge and attention to detail are unsurpassed. I enjoyed it very much and I recommend this video DVD to anyone who wants to know more about this terrible period in our country's history.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well done documentary with realistic re-enactments December 29, 2008
By margot
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i really enjoy this production. i have watched it several times. it hits all of the salient points of interest with regards to the events leading up to the lincoln assassination. it takes us on the escape route, capture (arrests and death of assassins) and covers the trial well enough to have a clear understanding of everything that occurred. it is, however, very forgiving of dr mudd, and pretends that he didnt know that he was aiding and abetting, as well as nursing john wilkes booth, which i find very hard to accept.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History in the making February 7, 2012
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I have watched this DVD so many times. I play it when on the treadmill. I play it in the living room. I love cival war history and this is an important part of it. You will not be disappointed. Also, get ahold of any books about the hunt and capture of John Wilkes Booth....riveting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, well paced, complete January 3, 2012
Verified Purchase
Finally! A well detailed and interesting story of John Wilkes Booth's flight. This one, as opposed to others, is well paced and does not spend endless time on insignificant issues. The people interviewed are knowledgeable and the narrator keeps things moving along. This is a must see for anybody who studies the Lincoln Assassination.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Lornwal
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Everyone knows that John Wilkes Booth murdered Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater, then jumped onto the stage, broke his ankle, shouted at the audience (reportedly "Sic Semper Tyrannis"), and ran. Most people also know he was cornered and shot by soldiers. What many people don't know is that it took almost two weeks to hunt him down, and what happened during that time is an incredibly gripping story.

Booth believed his act would bring him great honor and adulation in the South, and might even give the Confederates the hope and courage to fight on. In fact, most people - Northern and Southern alike - were repulsed by Booth's heinous act and considered it cowardly and appalling. Many Southerners realized Lincoln's plan for reintegrating the South into the Union was an unexpectedly generous and merciful one - "with malice toward none" - but his murder, along with the vicious attack on Secretary of State William Seward by one of Booth's fellow conspirators, put an end to any merciful treatment of the former Confederates. Vengeance and retribution became the order of the day, and a harsh Reconstruction created tragic conflicts and resentments that still have adverse repercussions today. In short, by murdering Lincoln, Booth achieved the exact opposite of what he'd intended. He brought down a wrath upon the South that would echo for generations.

Had this crime happened today, Booth would have been quickly - if not immediately - apprehended. But in 1865, the President was barely guarded and the theater audience was stunned into inaction. Some even thought the assassination was part of the show, especially since Booth was so well-known and easily recognized. At the time, the territory between Washington, DC and Northern Virginia was heavily forested and, in some areas, very boggy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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After reading Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly, I became quite interested in all the history that surrounded Lincoln's Presidency and of course, his assassination. I thought I was well versed in the details that John Wilkes Booth had shot Lincoln while he was attending an event at the Ford's Theater.
There is so much more to the story of the assassination and the characters who conspired with John Wilkes Booth to not only kill Lincoln but assassinate other top level leaders in the government leaving the US floundering. John Wilkes Booth had an evil entourage assisting him in the plans to kill Lincoln. Even a woman was one of the conspirators and was the first woman who was hanged as punishment for her crime. This DVD will keep you on the edge of your seat as you see how each person in this conspiracy had a role to play and when the house of cards began to crumble it left John Wilkes Booth in a predicament that he could not act his way out of. An excellent portrayal of the days leading up to and following the plan to kill Mr. Lincoln.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... the missing pages of Booths diary that conspiracy buff like to...
Found this to be very factual and addressed the missing pages of Booths diary that conspiracy buff like to site though they couldn't shed any light on them. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ron De Luco
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic DVD and entrancing story.
I'd seen this on the History Channel (where else!) and just had to have it. I'd missed some of the TV show and this did a marvelous jb of filling in what I'd missed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ralph DeMattia
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done.
Very well produced story of the Hunt for JWB. For the beginning history buff.....there are a number of surprising facts presented.
Published 5 months ago by James R Cummings
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting
Not as good as I thought, but still worth watching. If you really want a great read on this, checkout Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (P.S.) by James L. Swanson. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Howard Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars Saw on History Channel
My wife and watched one evening on History Channel and enjoyed. So we purchased a copy for the Grandkids to view in the future(there 4 & 7). Great history lesson for everyone.
Published 9 months ago by Jeffrey A. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Good overview of one of the most influential events in American...
Most people think that Lincoln was assassinated and that Booth was quickly captured. Most people don't realize that JWB was on the run for 12 days. Read more
Published 15 months ago by dmiller24
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for history buffs
My family and I thoroughly enjoyed The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth. As avid history fans, this proved to be a great addition to our collection of history DVDs.
Published 18 months ago by Aspen
5.0 out of 5 stars JWB
For those who would like a more in-depth look at John Wilkes Booth's escape and subsequent death, this should float your boat. Read more
Published 19 months ago by TheKid
4.0 out of 5 stars Learning About History
I found this very interesting going into more detail than I had known heard or learned through the years. If you like the past history I think this would be very informative. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Linda J. Sherwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Original
I liked this documentary because it's told from John Wilkes Boothe's perspective. Usually the Lincoln assassination is told from the Lincoln perspective. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amy
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