History of Scotland
Drama Movies

How near to reality is the movie Braveheart?


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2008-08-15 18:12:43
2008-08-15 18:12:43

The movie took liberties with history but most films do; but here are some areas where Hollywood and history diverged. First. and possibly least important, Sir William Wallace was never called "Braveheart" and while Wallace did kill an Englishman it was not for the rape and murder of his wife but for an unspecified insult. Of course, the Mel Gibson version makes for better drama. Next in the Battle of Stirling Bridge, Gibson left out the bridge -- he explained that it made for better cinematography to leave out the bridge (and the film might have gone over budget for the construction costs of a bridge) so Gibson had them fight it out in an open field. Next, Scots warriors of Sir William's time did NOT wear war paint into battle (they did that during Roman times). And finally, Robert the Bruce, who led the victorious war of Scottish independence, was not quite the conniving cad depicted in "Braveheart." Like Wallace, Bruce (an ancestor of mine) is a national hero of Scotland. Whatever the film's historic flaws, however, it contributed to a rebirth of Scottish nationalism among native Scots and their kin overseas.


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