The Patriot. A 2000 war film, the film mostly takes place in South Carolina (where it was entirely shot) and depicts the story of an American dragged into the midst of the American Revolution when his family is threatened. The protagonist, Benjamin Martin is roughly inspired by Continental Army officer Francis Marion and other figures of the American Revolution.

It was nominated for three Oscars: Best Sound, Best Cinematography and Best Score.

Synopsis

At the beginning of the American Revolution, Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is a veteran of the Seven Years’ War living in South Carolina, a widower with seven children. Gabriel (Heath Ledger), the eldest, longs to join the army to fight against Britain for independence. Knowing the consequences of war, Benjamin tries to get his son to desist, but to no avail.

Gabriel returns home two years later, wounded. The next day, a skirmish breaks out near the Martins’ farm, and Benjamin decides to treat the wounded on both sides.

British soldiers – the ruthless cavalry of the Dragoon Regiment – arrive and kill the wounded Americans, set fire to the Martin home and arrest Gabriel as a spy, trying to hang him. Benjamin’s second son, Thomas (Smith) is killed by the leader of the Green Dragoons, Colonel William Tavington (Jason Isaacs).

Benjamin and his two youngest sons, Nathan (Morgan) and Samuel (Chafin) kill most of the soldiers in an ambush and free Gabriel. The children are horrified to see for the first time the ferocity of which their father is capable.

Gabriel rejoins the army against his father’s wishes, beginning his work as a soldier.

Benjamin decides to enlist along with his son, leaving the rest of the children in the care of their Aunt Charlotte (Joely Richardson), Benjamin’s sister-in-law.

Colonel Harry Burwell (Cooper), who had previously fought alongside Benjamin, asks him to organize a militia created to hold the British, led by General Cornwallis (Wilkinson) in the south until the French army could arrive to help.

French officer Jean Villeneuve (Karyo), shows up to help train the militiamen. Benjamin’s militiamen attack British supplies. To fight them, Cornwallis takes Tavington to the house where Ben’s family is sheltering and sets fire to the plantations.

The family escapes, however, and flees to safety with Gabriel. Gabriel marries his childhood friend, Anne (Brenner).

Shortly thereafter Anne, along with her family and all the townspeople, is burned alive inside a church by Wilkins, an American traitor, under Tavington’s orders.

Gabriel, blinded by his thirst for revenge, breaks away from the militiamen with a small group to search for those responsible for the massacre.

During the fierce fight, Tavington kills Gabriel and flees. Ben is devastated and decides to stop fighting, but soon returns with his comrades to avenge his two sons, and finally manages to finish off Tavington. Soon after, Cornwallis surrenders.

Martin and his family return home and find the militiamen, who are helping to reassemble him. Occam (Jones) tells Ben: “Gabriel said that if we won the war, we could build a new world. We decided to start here, with your home.”

Today we will tell you the best curiosities about this controversial film starring the legend Mel Gibson.

Facts About The Patriot (2000)

1) The Patriot’, which had a budget of $110 million, only grossed $215.2 million at the worldwide box office. These figures were not enough to place it among the 10 highest grossing films of the year 2000.

2) Mel Gibson’s character is based on two army officers. Both Francis Marion, who served in the Revolutionary War, and General Andrew Pickens were the inspiration for screenwriter Robert Rodat to create Benjamin Martin.

3) ‘The Patriot’ (2000) was filmed in different locations in South Carolina (United States), where 800 extras participated.

4) The film saved Heath Ledger’s career. The actor even considered quitting acting because he only received offers to play juvenile hunks, but changed his mind when he was offered the role of Gabriel Martin.

5) They were very rigorous with the costumes, so much so that the costume design was reviewed by the prestigious Smithsonian Institution. The costume department made 1,200 uniforms for the film.

6) Kevin Spacey was the favorite to play Tavington (Jason Isaacs), but after hiring Mel Gibson for $25 million, there wasn’t enough budget to tackle Spacey’s signing.

7) Mel Gibson (Benjamin Martin) and Jason Isaacs (Tavington) rehearsed their epic fight from the film almost every day of shooting.

8) A quote from a consultant ended up in the film. “Aim small, miss small” was the advice Mark Baker gave Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger when he was teaching them how to shoot the rifle. The film’s star liked it so much that he convinced the director to include the phrase in the ambush scene.

9) Aunt Charlotte’s (Joely Richardson) house is the same one used for the filming of ‘Forrest Gump’ (1994). It is located at Mansfield Plantation in Georgetown (South Carolina, United States).

10) Heath Ledger did not use stuntmen. Unlike Mel Gibson and Jason Isaacs, Heath Ledger was in charge of filming all his action scenes.

FAQs

Is the movie Patriot based on a true story?

Historian Cristopher Hibbert says his role in The Patriot is based on a real historical character, who was a racist rapist of women. The figure of Francis Marion, also known as "The Swamp Fox", a cunning and slippery being famous in his time for his perversion and racism.

Did the British ever burn a church?

The British did burn a church. Specifically, they burned St. Philip's Church, Brunswick Town (North Carolina) on 1776.

Was Fort Wilderness real?

The story is not real. Fort Wilderness is a resort and campground at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, and it's one of the oldest resorts on property. The resort is known for its unique theme, including a variety of cabins and campsites that are rustic but comfortable.

Who is Mel Gibson’s character based on in The Patriot?

Martin is based on Francis Marion, also known as "Swamp Fox" due to his ability to disappear into swamps and emerge from behind enemy lines.

What is the central message of The Patriot movie?

The central message of The Patriot is that family and freedom are worth fighting for. In the movie, Benjamin Martin has to fight for both in order to protect his family and their way of life.

References:

https://www.filmaffinity.com/us/film932473.html

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0187393/

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1098149-patriot