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History or Hollywood: Braveheart

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  • History or Hollywood: Braveheart



    Let the debate begin.

    1. The narrator claims that the King of Scotland has died without heir so the “pagan” king of England Edward I has decided to conquer Scotland. HOLLYWOOD The Scottish king was still alive and had two sons. Edward was a Christian.

    2. Edward invites the Scottish nobles to parley and then treacherously hangs them. HOLLYWOOD No such meeting or executions occurred.

    3. Wallace, a farmer’s son, finds the bodies. HOLLYWOOD Wallace was the son of a lower knight.

    4. In London, Edward forces his flamingly gay son to marry a French princess. HISTYWOOD Edward II may have been bisexual, but he had 5 kids by his two wives.

    5. Edward orders the practice of primo noctae (the right to sleep with the bride first) to encourage British nobles to settle in Scotland. HOLLYWOOD Ridiculous, plus there was no such thing in England.

    6. Wallace returns from a pilgrimage and reacquaints himself with his childhood sweetheart Murron. They secretly marry. He only wants to live in peace as a farmer. HOLLYWOOD If Wallace ever married it was after he was already an outlaw. There is no evidence his wife was murdered.

    7. Robert the Bruce's father is a Machiavellian who is made repellant by his leprosy. HOLLYWOOD .

    8. Wallace faces the British at the Battle of Stirling (actually the Battle of Stirling Bridge, but since Gibson did not want a bridge interfering with his battle…) Wallace’s men lift their kilts to moon the British. (The Scots did not wear kilts at this time in history.) When the British cavalry (wearing scaled armor?!) charges, Wallace’s men produce his secret weapon – pikes to impale the horses. The battle becomes a melee. The Scots win when the Scottish nobles flank the British with their cavalry. Wallace beheads the enemy commander. HOLLYWOOD Nothing about this battle remotely recalls the Battle of Stirling Bridge which was an ambush of the British army as it crossed a bridge. The pikes were used at Falkirk, not here.

    9. Wallace is knighted (untrue) and leads an invasion of England featuring the siege of York HISTYWOOD He did sack some towns, but did not attack York.

    10. Meanwhile, Edward I is so upset he hurls his son’s gay lover out a window. HISTYWOOD The supposed lover was actually exiled, but not under these circumstances.

    11. He decides to send the Princess Isabelle to negotiate with Wallace while he sneakily prepares an army. Wallace turns down the offer of title, lands, and gold (surprise!), but there is some chemistry between him and the Princess (surprise!) HOLLYWOOD Do I need to point out all this is bull crap?

    12. Edward marches with a large army including Irish mercenaries HOLLYWOOD Actually, there were no Irish in his army).

    13. In the Battle of Falkirk, the Irish open the attack, but when they reach the Scots, they shake hands and switch sides. Wallace has fire arrows fired to set the oil spread the night before in the field afire. This prevents the British cavalry from charging, but we still get an infantry melee. At the crucial moment, the bastard Scottish nobles leave the field thus dooming Wallace. Edward orders his archers to fire into the melee, not caring who gets hit. HOLLYWOOD In the actual battle, Wallace’s men were in hollow squares armed with pikes. Edward bombarded the fixed squares with arrows which won an easy victory. By the way, no attacking force switched sides in mid-charge. Duh!

    14. Wallace sees Edward leaving and goes after him. He is dehorsed by a knight if full plate armor. Guess who is behind the visor? Robert Bruce! Bruce saves Wallace from capture. HOLLYWOOD WESTERN

    15. Edward sends the Princes to lure Wallace into a trap, but instead she allows herself to be impregnated in a romantic cottage. HOLLYWOOD A neat trick considering they never met and she was not even married to Edward II until two year after Wallace’s death. Plus she would have been nine years old at the time.

    16. Wallace goes to meet the Bruce, but he is captured because the leper sold him out so Robert could be king. HISTYWOOD He was actually betrayed by a Scottish noble.

    17. And finally, the moment Mel has been waiting for – the torture scene! But not simple torture. First, lifted with a noose. Second, stretching. Third, pain inflicted on a cross shaped table. HISTYWOOD Actually, Wallace suffered worse in being drawn and quartered.

    18. Meanwhile, Edward lies dying nearby. HOLLYWOOD He died two years later. The last thing he contemplates is the Princess whispering that she carries Wallace’s child who will be the next king. HOLLYWOOD Edward's son succeeded him and immediately called his lover back from exile. Edward II proved to be incompetent and was overthrown by Isabella and others which put their extremely competent son on the throne as Edward III. He as undoubtedly Edward II's son and absolutely not the son of William Wallace.

    19. We have to have a happy ending, so the movie implies that the immediate result of the killing of Wallace was Robert the Bruce leading an uprising that resulted in perpetual independence for Scotland at the Battle of Bannockburn. HOLLYWOOD Actually fought nine years later and eventually Cromwell conquered Scotland.

    CONCLUSION: "Braveheart" is rousing entertainment (especially if you love clichés and hate realism) and a rampaging historical atrocity.
    Last edited by warmoviebuff; 09 Dec 13, 23:31.

  • #2
    William Wallace was a Lowlander and not a Highlander. He was about 6'6" (Conan, not Mel!) and today would be considered a serial maniac. He killed Englishmen, so the Scots overlooked his habits. He escaped prison dressed as a woman (Scottish women were over 6 foot tall?).

    Longshanks intervened on the Balliol side and had him crowned King of Scotland. After the coronation, Balliol got in his head that he didn't have to do what Longshanks said. He was wrong! Longshanks came and took him back to England.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      My favourite line from a review is "and then all Mel breaks loose."

      Cinema is entertainment, and only has a nodding acquaintance with reality, history, laws of nature...

      Comment


      • #4
        "...Insulting,inaccurate and dishonest drivel like Braveheart".

        George MacDonald Fraser: The Light's on at Signpost.

        (Although I must admit that I rather enjoyed the forced "defenestration" of the prince's friend by the King..point # 10).
        Last edited by BELGRAVE; 10 Dec 13, 05:28.
        "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
        Samuel Johnson.

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        • #5
          I have to point out how I enjoy your reviews.
          Maybe make a Mel Gibson trilogy with "The Patriot" and "The Passion of the Christ"?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Golani View Post
            I have to point out how I enjoy your reviews.
            Maybe make a Mel Gibson trilogy with "The Patriot" and "The Passion of the Christ"?
            I know you are kidding about "Passion". I do not want to see you in Hell. I have done a scathing review of the accuracy of "The Patriot" on my blog. It's not as bad as "Braveheart" (what is?), but then nothing in "Braveheart" approaches the church burning scene. Did you know that there were Nazis in the British army during the Revolutionary War? I will put "The Patriot" on my list of to-dos for this site.

            I forgot to point out that Gibson and Wallace defended the accuracy of the movie instead of just laughing and saying "That's entertainment!" They even justified the noninclusion of a bridge in the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Hollywood technology was incapable of building a wooden bridge over a stream, apparently. Or maybe they blew the budget on kilts.

            I also want to point out how blatantly Gibson steals from "Spartacus". A much superior movie in every way, including accuracy.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by warmoviebuff View Post
              I know you are kidding about "Passion".
              But I wasn't....

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              • #8
                Aww jeez. I was rather hoping "Stephan" had been a real character in life. He murdered me with the line...

                "The Almighty tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're fked".
                Youthful Exuberance Is No Match For Old Age And Treachery.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Golani View Post
                  But I wasn't....
                  My excuse for not going into that jungle is it is not a war movie. Weren't you told never to discuss religion? All I will say is my big takeaway from that movie is Mel could not restrain his inner Mel even in a movie about Christ. (That man has serious psychological problems.) There has to be torture. But how do you jazz up a crucifixion? First you have the nailing of the right palm, but hey that's been done before. Boring! So how about if we have Christ's left arm not be long enough to reach the nail site so it has to be broken before nailing it? Brilliant! Praise the Mel!

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                  • #10
                    Oh well, figured history falls under the category as well.
                    Never seen the movie and I don't know the story of the crucifixion very well, so I figured a review form you would tie that knot for me...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                      William Wallace . . . . was about 6'6" . . . .
                      No sh*t? I've heard that the average height of an American soldier during the US Civil War was about 5'6", so I'm guessing that Wallace would have stood out wherever he went.

                      Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                      My favourite line from a review is "and then all Mel breaks loose."

                      Cinema is entertainment, and only has a nodding acquaintance with reality, history, laws of nature...
                      Except that this kind of comic book drivel exerts influence well beyond the cinema. Take Braveheart, for instance: Alex Salmond should be on his hands and knees daily kissing Mel Gibson's hairy beanbag.
                      I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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                      • #12
                        Braveheart! Great movie for getting it all wrong.

                        This movie set the precedent for other period ancient to medieval battles with overemotional pre-fight inspirational speeches and men just running into each other to fight. See: Kingdom of Heaven, Troy, 300, Alexander, hell - even The Last Samurai. What else am I missing?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
                          No sh*t? I've heard that the average height of an American soldier during the US Civil War was about 5'6", so I'm guessing that Wallace would have stood out wherever he went
                          Actually there were a lot of over sized Scots and Irish in this period. These people did not start to shrink until fairly modern times when they started living in squalid towns and could only get poor diet. If you get the chance, read some of George Macdonald Fraser's MacAusland short stories on how the Highlanders in his battalion were so small.

                          Pruitt
                          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
                            No sh*t? I've heard that the average height of an American soldier during the US Civil War was about 5'6", so I'm guessing that Wallace would have stood out wherever he went.
                            Definitely. He was even taller than Edward Longshanks, Hammer of the Scots, who was thought to be about 6'2" (1.88m in the new money). And Eddie was considered tall.


                            Except that this kind of comic book drivel exerts influence well beyond the cinema. Take Braveheart, for instance: Alex Salmond should be on his hands and knees daily kissing Mel Gibson's hairy beanbag.
                            Anything which seriously distorts history and is seen by a large number of people is bound to cause a few problems with accurate popular perceptions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well if you want to do a Gibson trilogy, you can review either Attack Force Z or Gallipoli. There's also Bounty as well.
                              If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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