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The Patriot (2000)

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Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.

Director:

Roland Emmerich

Writer:

Robert Rodat
Popularity
1,160 ( 729)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Benjamin Martin
Heath Ledger ... Gabriel Martin
Joely Richardson ... Charlotte Selton
Jason Isaacs ... Col. William Tavington
Chris Cooper ... Col. Harry Burwell
Tchéky Karyo ... Jean Villeneuve
Rene Auberjonois ... Reverend Oliver
Lisa Brenner ... Anne Howard
Tom Wilkinson ... Gen. Lord Charles Cornwallis
Donal Logue ... Dan Scott
Leon Rippy ... John Billings
Adam Baldwin ... Capt. Wilkins
Jay Arlen Jones ... Occam
Joey D. Vieira ... Peter Howard
Gregory Smith ... Thomas Martin
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Storyline

It is 1776 in colonial South Carolina. Benjamin Martin, a French-Indian war hero who is haunted by his past, now wants nothing more than to live peacefully on his small plantation, and wants no part of a war with the most powerful nation in the world, Great Britain. Meanwhile, his two eldest sons, Gabriel and Thomas, can't wait to enlist in the newly formed "Continental Army." When South Carolina decides to join the rebellion against England, Gabriel immediately signs up to fight...without his father's permission. But when Colonel William Tavington, British dragoon, infamous for his brutal tactics, comes and burns the Martin Plantation to the ground, tragedy strikes. Benjamin quickly finds himself torn between protecting his family, and seeking revenge along with being a part of the birth of a new, young, and ambitious nation. Written by Caleb Conser

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Before they were soldiers, they were family. Before they were legends, they were heros. Before there was a nation, there was a fight for freedom. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 June 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Patriot See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,413,710, 2 July 2000

Gross USA:

$113,330,342

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$215,294,342
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended) | (workprint)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Halfway through reading the script for the first time, Roland Emmerich knew he had found his next film. See more »

Goofs

In the final field battle the militia is shown firing a volley, then the British regulars fire a volley, and then the militia fire a second volley. This is inaccurate. Militia were notoriously slow at reloading in combat, mainly due to a lack of training, practice, and experience. British troops were well trained in this procedure and consistently throughout the War of Independence fired three, four, and even five volleys to every two of militia. Assuming well above average militia, the sequence of volleys should have been militia, British, British, militia. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[repeated line]
Benjamin Martin: I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me, and the cost is more than I can bear.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the extended edition, there are additional scenes involving Cornwallis and Tavington. Here, the viewer witnesses Cornwallis scolding Tavington in the presence of other officers -- In the scene, Cornwallis sarcastically remarks that Tavington has earned himself the nickname "The Butcher." This scene is important in that it helps establish and underscore the motive Tavington has for eliminating "The Ghost," Benjamin Martin. Further dialogue between the two is found later in the movie as well. See more »

Connections

Featured in HBO First Look: The Patriot (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Leanin' on de Lawd Side
Traditional
Performed by Marquetta L. Goodwine and the Gullah Cunneckshun
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Well worth seeing - and accurate on many fronts
26 July 2000 | by Movie SteveSee all my reviews

The Patriot is NOT a documentary. It didn't pretend to be, and wasn't. Loosely based upon Francis Marion (the "Swamp Fox"), it only touched on Marion's impact on the Revolution in South Carolina. If anything, it was downplayed. For instance, in real life, he had over 150 men in his guerrilla band. The movie portrayed him as having far fewer. As a documentary, it fails on this and many other points. As a movie, it is a tremendous success.

As far as visuals, they were stunning. The wide-open vistas and battle scenes were breath-taking and beautifully filmed. Yes, it was violent, but that lent a realism to the film that most other films about this era lack. The look and feel of this period was portrayed well.

The acting was superb. I won't give anything away, but this did NOT (arguably) have either an entirely "Hollywood" plot – people, including civilians, DIE, as they do in war – or much of a "Hollywood" ending, despite a relatively happy one. That was impressive, and made the film genuine, exciting and at times, shocking. Plot points such as Benjamin Martin's youngest daughter's feelings about her daddy, and the romance between his son and a young girl were touching, and even emotional.

I found some things complain about. Crisp, clean, brand-new Colonial American flags suddenly appear after, and during, the final battle. In reality they would have been rags by then – or at least not so clean. One bad bit of dialogue: Benjamin Martin is on the beach with his sister-in- law, and he asks if he can sit down. Her reply, "It's a free country – or will be soon," was a 20th century throw-away line dressed up with a 1780 caveat, and I cringed at it.

The film was historically accurate in many respects. The formal way of speaking, plus the family-above-all, loyalty-to-The-Cause attitudes expressed throughout, were genuine, even though both are out of favor today. Children using weapons, and going off to fight on a moment's notice, was not an uncommon story, and supposedly happened in a branch of my own family. Relationships like Martin's and his wife's sister did occur, often out of necessity. I was surprised to read afterwards that the battle tactics of the last scene occurred, almost exactly as shown, at the Battle of Cowpens, including fierce hand-to-hand combat. Colonel Banastre Tarleton – the basis for the movie's character William Tavington – was indeed seen as a war criminal by American colonists at the time, and the real Tarleton even had a horse shot out from under him!

But was it biased? Sure it was. Roughly a third of the American colonists were Loyalists, another third were "rebels", and another third were undecided. It would have made the story more complete and complex to portray this (or the time Tarleton mistakenly slaughtered some of those very Loyalists!) But I've read a poem online ("Ode to Valour") dedicated to Col. Banastre Tarleton's "heroic exploits" that would shame modern-day propagandists.

I think we all accept that not every British officer of this era was a monster. In fact, in the movie – as in real life - Cornwallis and other British officers were appalled that the "Ghost"/Swamp Fox did not play by the rules of "civilized warfare", and chastised characters like Tavington who also breached them. The real Swamp Fox knew a bit about balance, however. After after the war, when the real Francis Marion served in the South Carolina Senate, he is said to have advocated a lenient policy toward the Loyalists. The real Tarleton survived the war, went home to write his memoirs, was seen as a hero, and was elected to Parliament. Maybe we need a sequel to cover all of these other aspects of the story. Until then, this one is a must- see.


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