_BRAVEHEART_ is a 1995 American epic war film directed by and
Mel Gibson . Gibson portrays
William Wallace , a 13th-century
Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish
Independence against King
Edward I of England
The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards at the 68th Academy Awards and won five: Best Picture , Best Director , Best Cinematography , Best Makeup , and Best Sound Editing .
* 1 Plot * 2 Cast * 3 Production * 4 Soundtrack
* 5 Release and reception
* 5.1 Box office
* 5.2 Reviews
* 5.3 Effect on tourism
* 5.4 Awards and honors
* 5.5 Cultural effects
* 6 Historical inaccuracy
* 6.1 _Jus primae noctis_ * 6.2 Occupation and independence * 6.3 Portrayal of William Wallace * 6.4 Portrayal of Isabella of France * 6.5 Portrayal of Robert the Bruce * 6.6 Portrayal of Longshanks and Prince Edward * 6.7 Wallace\'s military campaign
* 7 Accusations of Anglophobia * 8 References * 9 External links
In 1280, King Edward "Longshanks" invades and conquers Scotland
following the death of
Alexander III of Scotland , who left no heir to
the throne. Young
William Wallace witnesses Longshanks' treachery,
survives the deaths of his father and brother, and is taken abroad on
a pilgrimage throughout Europe by his paternal Uncle Argyle, where he
is educated. Years later, Longshanks grants his noblemen land and
privileges in Scotland, including _Prima Nocte_. Meanwhile, a grown
Wallace returns to
Longshanks orders his son Prince Edward to stop Wallace by any means necessary. Wallace rebels against the English, and as his legend spreads, hundreds of Scots from the surrounding clans join him. Wallace leads his army to victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge and then destroys the city of York, killing Longshanks' nephew and sending his severed head to the king. Wallace seeks the assistance of Robert the Bruce , the son of nobleman Robert the Elder and a contender for the Scottish crown. Robert is dominated by his father, who wishes to secure the throne for his son by submitting to the English. Worried by the threat of the rebellion, Longshanks sends his son's wife Isabella of France to try to negotiate with Wallace. After meeting him in person, Isabella becomes enamored of Wallace.
Warned of the coming invasion by Isabella, Wallace implores the Scottish nobility to take immediate action to counter the threat and take back the country. Leading the English army himself, Longshanks confronts the Scots at Falkirk where noblemen Lochlan and Mornay, having been bribed by Longshanks, betray Wallace, causing the Scots to lose the battle . As Wallace charges toward the departing Longshanks on horseback, he is intercepted by one of the king's lancers, who turns out to be Robert the Bruce. Remorseful, he gets Wallace to safety before the English can capture him. Wallace kills Lochlan and Mornay for their betrayal, and wages a guerrilla war against the English for the next seven years, assisted by Isabella, with whom he eventually has an affair. Robert sets up a meeting with Wallace in Edinburgh, but Robert's father has conspired with other nobles to capture and hand over Wallace to the English. Learning of his treachery, Robert disowns his father. Isabella exacts revenge on the now terminally ill Longshanks by telling him that his bloodline will be destroyed upon his death as she is now pregnant with Wallace's child.
In London, Wallace is brought before an English magistrate, tried for high treason, and condemned to public torture and beheading. Even whilst being hanged, drawn and quartered , Wallace refuses to submit to the king. As cries for mercy come from the watching crowd deeply moved by the Scotsman's valor, the magistrate offers him one final chance, asking him only to utter the word, "Mercy", and be granted a quick death. Wallace instead shouts, "Freedom!", and the judge orders his death. Moments before being decapitated, Wallace sees a vision of Murron in the crowd, smiling at him.
In 1314, Robert, now Scotland's king, leads a Scottish army before a ceremonial line of English troops on the fields of Bannockburn , where he is to formally accept English rule. As he begins to ride toward the English, he stops and invokes Wallace's memory, imploring his men to fight with him as they did with Wallace. Robert then leads his army into battle against the stunned English, winning the Scots their freedom.
* James Robinson as young William Wallace
* Catherine McCormack as Murron MacClannough-Wallace
* Mhairi Calvey as young Murron
* Brendan Gleeson as Hamish
* Andrew Weir as young Hamish
* Peter Hanly as Prince Edward * James Cosmo as Campbell * David O\'Hara as Stephen of Ireland * Ian Bannen as Bruce\'s father * Seán McGinley as MacClannough * Brian Cox as Argyle Wallace * Sean Lawlor as Malcolm Wallace * Sandy Nelson as John Wallace * Stephen Billington as Phillip * John Kavanagh as Craig * Alun Armstrong as Mornay * John Murtagh as Lochlan * Tommy Flanagan as Morrison * Donal Gibson as Stewart * Jeanne Marine as Nicolette * Michael Byrne as Smythe * Malcolm Tierney as Magistrate * Bernard Horsfall as Balliol * Peter Mullan as Veteran * Gerard McSorley as Cheltham (inspired by Hugh de Cressingham ) * Richard Leaf as Governor of York * Mark Lees as Old Crippled Scotsman * Tam White as MacGregor * Jimmy Chisholm as Faudron * David Gant as the Royal Magistrate
Gibson (right) on set with 20th Century Fox executive Scott Neeson
Gibson's production company, Icon Productions , had difficulty raising enough money even if he were to star in the film. Warner Bros. was willing to fund the project on the condition that Gibson sign for another _ Lethal Weapon _ sequel, which he refused. Paramount Pictures only agreed to American and Canadian distribution of _Braveheart_ after 20th Century Fox partnered for international rights. The production budget has been estimated by IMDb at US$72 million.
While the crew spent six weeks shooting on location in Scotland, the major battle scenes were shot in Ireland using members of the Irish Army Reserve as extras. To lower costs, Gibson had the same extras, up to 1,600 in some scenes, portray both armies. The reservists had been given permission to grow beards and swapped their military uniforms for medieval garb.
_Braveheart_ was shot in the anamorphic format with Panavision C- and E-Series lenses.
Main article: Braveheart (soundtrack)
The score was composed and conducted by
James Horner and performed by
London Symphony Orchestra . It is Horner's second of three
Mel Gibson as director. The score has gone on to
be one of the most commercially successful soundtracks of all time. It
received considerable acclaim from film critics and audiences and was
nominated for a number of awards, including the
RELEASE AND RECEPTION
On its opening weekend, _Braveheart_ grossed $9,938,276 in the United States and $75.6 million in its box office run in the U.S. and Canada. Worldwide, the film grossed $210,409,945 and was the thirteenth highest-grossing film of 1995.
_Braveheart_ met with generally positive reviews. Review aggregator
In a 2005 poll by British film magazine _Empire _, _Braveheart_ was No. 1 on their list of "The Top 10 Worst Pictures to Win Best Picture Oscar". Ironically, Empire Magazine's readers also voted _Braveheart_ the best film of 1995.
EFFECT ON TOURISM
The European premiere was on September 3, 1995 in Stirling.
In 1996, the year after the film was released, the annual three-day
The film generated huge interest in
AWARDS AND HONORS
_Braveheart_ was nominated for many awards during the 1995 Oscar
season, though it wasn't viewed by many as a major contender such as
_Apollo 13 _, _Il Postino: The Postman _, _
Leaving Las Vegas _, _Sense
and Sensibility _, and _
The Usual Suspects _. It wasn't until after
the film won the
Golden Globe Award for Best Director at the 53rd
Golden Globe Awards that it was viewed as a serious Oscar contender.
When the nominations were announced for the
68th Academy Awards ,
_Braveheart_ received ten
YEAR CEREMONY CATEGORY RECIPIENTS RESULT
Best Director Mel Gibson Won
Best Original Screenplay Randall Wallace Nominated
Best Cinematography John Toll Won
Best Costume Design Charles Knode Nominated
Best Film Editing Steven Rosenblum Nominated
Best Original Score James Horner Nominated
53rd Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Drama _Braveheart_ Nominated
Best Director Mel Gibson Won
Best Original Score James Horner Nominated
Best Screenplay Randall Wallace Nominated
British Academy Film Awards
Best Film Music James Horner Nominated
Best Production Design Thomas E. Sanders Nominated
Best Cinematography John Toll Won
Best Costume Design Charles Knode Won
1996 MTV Movie Awards Best Movie _Braveheart_ Nominated
Best Male Performance Mel Gibson Nominated
Most Desirable Male Nominated
Best Action Sequence Battle of Stirling Nominated
American Film Institute lists
* AFI\'s 100 Years...100 Movies – Nominated * AFI\'s 100 Years...100 Thrills – No. 91
* AFI\'s 100 Years...100 Heroes ">_ Tom Church's Freedom_ statue.
In 1997, a 12-ton sandstone statue depicting
Mel Gibson as William
Wallace in _Braveheart_ was placed in the car park of the Wallace
Randall Wallace, who wrote the screenplay, has acknowledged Blind Harry 's 15th century epic poem _The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie_ as a major inspiration for the film. In defending his script, Randall Wallace has said, "Is Blind Harry true? I don't know. I know that it spoke to my heart and that's what matters to me, that it spoke to my heart." Blind Harry's poem is now not regarded as historically accurate, and although some incidents in the film that are not historically accurate are taken from Blind Harry (e.g. the hanging of Scottish nobles at the start), there are large parts that are based neither on history nor Blind Harry (e.g. Wallace's affair with Princess Isabella).
Elizabeth Ewan describes _Braveheart_ as a film that "almost totally
sacrifices historical accuracy for epic adventure". The "brave heart"
Scottish history to that of
Robert the Bruce , and an
William Edmondstoune Aytoun , in his poem _Heart of
Sir James the Good Douglas: "Pass thee first, thou
dauntless heart, As thou wert wont of yore!", prior to Douglas' demise
Battle of Teba in
Sharon Krossa notes that the film contains numerous historical errors, beginning with the wearing of belted plaid by Wallace and his men. In that period "no Scots ... wore belted plaids (let alone kilts of any kind)." Moreover, when Highlanders finally did begin wearing the belted plaid, it was not "in the rather bizarre style depicted in the film". She compares the inaccuracy to "a film about Colonial America showing the colonial men wearing 20th century business suits, but with the jackets worn back-to-front instead of the right way around." "The events aren't accurate, the dates aren't accurate, the characters aren't accurate, the names aren't accurate, the clothes aren't accurate—in short, just about nothing is accurate." The belted plaid (_feileadh mór léine_) was not introduced until the 16th century. Peter Traquair has referred to Wallace's "farcical representation as a wild and hairy highlander painted with woad (1,000 years too late) running amok in a tartan kilt (500 years too early)."
Irish historian Seán Duffy remarked "the battle of
In 2009, the film was second on a list of "most historically inaccurate movies" in _ The Times _. In the humorous non-fictional historiography _An Utterly Impartial History of Britain_ (2007), author John O\'Farrell notes that _Braveheart_ could not have been more historically inaccurate, even if a " Plasticine dog" had been inserted in the film and the title changed to _ William Wallace and Gromit _.
In the DVD audio commentary of _Braveheart_, Mel Gibson acknowledges many of the historical inaccuracies but defends his choices as director, noting that the way events were portrayed in the film was much more "cinematically compelling" than the historical fact or conventional mythos.
_JUS PRIMAE NOCTIS_
Edward Longshanks , King of England, is shown invoking _Jus primae noctis _, allowing the Lord of a medieval estate to take the virginity of his serfs' maiden daughters on their wedding nights. Critical medieval scholarship regards this supposed right as a myth, "the simple reason why we are dealing with a myth here rests in the surprising fact that practically all writers who make any such claims have never been able or willing to cite any trustworthy source, if they have any."
OCCUPATION AND INDEPENDENCE
The film suggests
PORTRAYAL OF WILLIAM WALLACE
As John Shelton Lawrence and Robert Jewett write, "Because Wallace is one of Scotland's most important national heroes and because he lived in the very distant past, much that is believed about him is probably the stuff of legend. But there is a factual strand that historians agree to", summarized from Scots scholar Matt Ewart :
Wallace was born into the gentry of Scotland; his father lived until
he was 18, his mother until his 24th year; he killed the sheriff of
Lanark when he was 27, apparently after the murder of his wife; he led
a group of commoners against the English in a very successful battle
Canitz writes about the historical William Wallace
further: " was a younger son of the Scottish gentry, usually
accompanied by his own chaplain, well-educated, and eventually, having
been appointed Guardian of the
Kingdom of Scotland
Colin McArthur writes that _Braveheart_ "constructs Wallace as a kind of modern, nationalist guerrilla leader in a period half a millennium before the appearance of nationalism on the historical stage as a concept under which disparate classes and interests might be mobilised within a nation state." Writing about _Braveheart_'s "omissions of verified historical facts", McArthur notes that Wallace made "overtures to Edward I seeking less severe treatment after his defeat at Falkirk", as well as "the well-documented fact of Wallace's having resorted to conscription and his willingness to hang those who refused to serve." Canitz posits that depicting "such lack of class solidarity" as the conscriptions and related hangings "would contaminate the movie's image of Wallace as the morally irreproachable _primus inter pares _ among his peasant fighters."
PORTRAYAL OF ISABELLA OF FRANCE
Isabella of France is shown having an affair with Wallace after the Battle of Falkirk . She later tells Edward I she is pregnant, implying that her son, Edward III , was a product of the affair. In reality, Isabella was three years old and living in France at the time of the Battle of Falkirk, was not married to Edward II until he was already king, and Edward III was born seven years after Wallace died. (This aspect of the plot may however have been inspired by Sydney Goodsir Smith 's play _The Wallace: A Triumph In Five Acts_, which unhistorically has Isabella present at the Battle of Falkirk longing for a "real man".) At that time it would also have been unusual to send a woman on a diplomatic mission into a war zone.
PORTRAYAL OF ROBERT THE BRUCE
Robert the Bruce did change sides between the Scots loyalists and the English more than once in the earlier stages of the Wars of Scottish Independence , but he never betrayed Wallace directly, and he probably did not fight on the English side at the Battle of Falkirk (although this claim does appear in a few medieval sources). Later, the Battle of Bannockburn was not a spontaneous battle; he had already been fighting a guerrilla campaign against the English for eight years. His title before becoming king was Earl of Carrick , not Earl of Bruce.
PORTRAYAL OF LONGSHANKS AND PRINCE EDWARD
The actual Edward I was ruthless and temperamental, but the film exaggerates his character for effect. Edward enjoyed poetry and harp music, was a devoted and loving husband to his wife Eleanor of Castile , and as a religious man he gave generously to charity. The film's scene where he scoffs cynically at Isabella for distributing gold to the poor after Wallace refuses it as a bribe would have been unlikely. Also, Edward died on campaign two years after Wallace's execution, not in bed at his home.
The depiction of the future Edward II as an effeminate homosexual drew accusations of homophobia against Gibson.
We cut a scene out, unfortunately. . . where you really got to know that character and to understand his plight and his pain. . . . But it just stopped the film in the first act so much that you thought, 'When's this story going to start?'
The actual Edward II, who fathered five children by two different women, was rumoured to have had sexual affairs with men, including Piers Gaveston , on whom the Prince's male lover Phillip was loosely based.
Gibson defended his depiction of Prince Edward as weak and ineffectual, saying:
I'm just trying to respond to history. You can cite other examples – Alexander the Great , for example, who conquered the entire world, was also a homosexual. But this story isn't about Alexander the Great. It's about Edward II.
In response to Longshanks's murder of the Prince's male lover Phillip, Gibson replied: "The fact that King Edward throws this character out a window has nothing to do with him being gay ... He's terrible to his son, to everybody." Gibson asserted that the reason Longshanks kills his son's lover is because the king is a "psychopath ". Gibson expressed bewilderment that some filmgoers would laugh at this murder.
WALLACE\'S MILITARY CAMPAIGN
"MacGregors from the next glen" joining Wallace shortly after the action at Lanark is dubious, since it is questionable whether Clan Gregor existed at that stage, and when they did emerge their traditional home was Glen Orchy , some distance from Lanark.
Wallace did win an important victory at the Battle of
The "Irish conscripts" at the Battle of Falkirk are also unhistorical; there were no Irish troops at Falkirk (although many of the English army were actually Welsh ), and it is anachronistic to refer to conscripts in the Middle Ages (although there were feudal levies).
The two-handed long swords used by Gibson in the film were not in wide use in the period. A one-handed sword and shield would be more accurate.
ACCUSATIONS OF ANGLOPHOBIA
Sections of the English media accused the film of harbouring
Anglophobia . _
The Economist _ called it "xenophobic ", and John
Sutherland writing in _
In _ The Times _, MacArthur said "the political effects are truly pernicious. It’s a xenophobic film." Ian Burrell of _The Independent _ has noted, "The _Braveheart_ phenomenon, a Hollywood-inspired rise in Scottish nationalism , has been linked to a rise in anti-English prejudice".
* ^ "
* ^ _A_ _B_ Canitz, A. E. Christa (2005). "'Historians ... Will Say
I Am a liar': The Ideology of False Truth Claims in Mel Gibson's
_Braveheart_ and Luc Besson's _The Messenger_". In Utz, Richard J.;
Swan, Jesse G. _Studies in Medievalism XIII: Postmodern Medievalisms_.
D.S. Brewer. pp. 127–142. ISBN 978-1-84384-012-1 .
* ^ McArthur, Colin (1998). "_Braveheart_ and the Scottish
Aesthetic Dementia". In Barta, Tony. _Screening the Past: Film and the
Representation of History_. Praeger. pp. 167–187. ISBN
* ^ Ewan, Elizabeth (October 1995). "Braveheart". _The American
Historical Review_. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 100 (4):
1219–21. ISSN 0002-8762 .
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