Movie Critique The Patriot directed by Roland Emmerich, is a war film based off the American Revolution War. The film was produced by Dean Devlin, Mark Gordon, and Gary Levinsohn. The theatrical release date was in June 30, 2000, with the famous star actors such as Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger and Jason Isaacs. I first saw the film a few years back in 2009, but I have recently seen this movie the past week to figure out the accuracy of history in this film. The few words I would describe this movie to a person who hasn’t seen it would be bloody and patriotic, but a great film.
The Patriot begins with the main character Benjamin Martin taking care of his family of seven. Martin is a veteran of the French and Indian War with a vicious heroic background for what he has done to the Natives at Fort Wilderness. He doesn’t go back to war because he is feared for his family’s protection. His oldest son Gabriel attends service for the revolutionary war without his father’s permission. As a result Gabriel unintentionally brings trouble to his family by having General Tavington (British Dragoon) kill his brother Thomas.
Because of Thomas death and the death sentence expected for Gabriel, Benjamin former war side came out and went on a rampage seeking a victory over the British for the birth of a new, young, ambitious nation and the avenge for his son’s death. During the war, Martin and his men discover that they will pay a steep personal price for their rebellion. But thanks to their courage and bravery, they are also destined to pay a pivotal role in turning the tide against the Redcoats.
Benjamin Martin was a fictional character based on a historical war hero named Francis Marion (1732-1795) also known as the “Swamp Fox” who did ghost-like techniques that he learned from the French-Indian war against the Cherokees. His guerrilla techniques surprised the British “strike quick, and go hide just as fast. ” However Francis Marion did not have any children till after the war. The Indians ambushed Marion and his 30-men scouting party, it resulted as a massacre but not of the Indians. Ten men and including himself survived. William Tavington was a cold-blooded redcoat who was based off of Lt.
Colonel Banastre Tarleton. He believed in total war such as in the movie, where civilians who helped the enemy were the enemy. As shown in the movie, Tarleton indeed commanded a force called the Green Dragoons. An inaccuracy in the movie is that Tarleton was never able to catch nor did he meet Francis Marion. Though Colonel Tavington is killed at battle, Tarleton survived the war and return home to England. Cornwallis was a character in the movie that was based on the real Lt. General Charles Earl Cornwallis. As so in the movie, Cornwallis did defeat Maj.
General Horatio Gates at the Battle of Camden. He also oversaw the British army’s operation in the Carolinas. In the movie, Cornwallis was portrayed as an older man, but was really in his early 40’s. Even though Tavington never had capture Francis Marion he never had tensions with Cornwallis as so in the movie, due to the fact that he captured the Patriot Militia General Thomas Sumter. Francis Marion never met or shown a truce flag to Charles Cornwallis as seen in the movie. Cornwallis also never met in truce with any of the militia leaders as he does with Benjamin Martin.
The Battle of Charlestown was a transition from the opening of the film to the main action. Results were accurate as the British flag is shown at Charlestown, although the accuracy is ambiguous due to the fact that there were no dates given in the film. In the scene where Benjamin and Gabriel are watching a battle from the window of an abandon plantation was the Battle of Camden. The Battle of Camden as shown in the movie had the correct characters such as General Gates, General Cornwallis, and General Tavington, and had a correct location of having forests around with an open plain in the middle as the battlefield.
An inaccuracy of the Battle of Camden was that General Gates did have a majority force of Continental regulars (blue coats) being routed. About two-thirds of his force were compromised of militia. The unnamed battle in the movie was based off of elements from the Battle of Cowpens, Battle of Guilford Courthouse, and other dramatic additions (such as Martin’s two flag charges). Benjamin Martin’s idea of having two shots fired and then retreat down a hill where the Continental Army awaited just as shown in the movie, this came from the Battle of Cowpens.
The idea of two shots and retreat was credited to non-fiction historical figure Continental General Daniel Morgan, and fairly an accurate part of the movie. Elements from the Battle of Guilford Courthouse included General Cornwallis being present at the battlefield; he was not present at the Battle of Cowpens. General Cornwallis is victorious while sustaining enormous losses, which rendered the victory nearly meaningless. Just as shown in the movie the center of the battlefield contained ruins, just as in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.
In the movie during battle, artillery action was used, but exploding cannonballs, grenade type explosions, exploding projectiles were not invented during the Revolutionary War. This movie is one of the most dramatic, thrilling, patriotic, war movies of all-time. This film involves a veteran Benjamin Martin being played by Mel Gibson, seeking revenge for his son’s death, after being killed by the no-soul redcoat, William Tavington. The two actors did a splendid job making the scenes intensifying. I would recommend this movie to anyone over the age of twelve due to the fact that there are many gruesome scenes.
I would even mention this movie to a school classroom because the majority of history presented in this movie fairly accurate, and has a great attention grabber throughout the whole movie. False statements such as slaves being granted their freedom after a year service in the continental army, served a purpose to the movie by increasing the thrill of seeing patriotic heroes. The combination of having historical background with a little nudge of intense drama makes the film a must-watch movie! Bibliography “Heroes of the Revolution. ” ThinkQuest.
Oracle Foundation, n. d. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. . “The Patriot: Film Fact or Fiction. ” The Patriot: Film Fact or Fiction. N. p. , n. d. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. . “The Patriot: Film Fact or Fiction. ” The Patriot: Film Fact or Fiction. N. p. , n. d. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. . “The Patriot: Film Fact or Fiction. ” The Patriot: Film Fact or Fiction. N. p. , n. d. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. . “The Patriot – Historical Accuracy. ” The Patriot – Historical Accuracy. N. p. , n. d. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. . Emmerich, Roland, dir. The Patriot. 2000. Columbia Pictures, 2000.