How Accurate is “Boardwalk Empire” at Recreating its Era?


Edward McGinty, who not only plays Al Boyd in the show but is also head historical researcher and consultant, told Wired that “the first season was more about building the world. It was a lot of broad strokes. It was a lot of really just getting the show and the world built and the audience to see what this world was. That was a lot of photo research and that type of thing. And then, it became more specific as it went on. I would do a lot more really specific medical and law research, to the point I was like, ‘I could probably be a lawyer in 1921.’”

During the script writing process, the writers will have their consultants in the same room, answering their questions about historical details. The same consultants would continuously look through the written material during every step of the production, notifying the creative team of any inaccuracies, even through post-production. Consultants would often give directors visual guides, particularly historical photos, not only to maintain accuracy but consistency through the entire show.