The Patriot

June 28th, 2000

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The Patriot

The PatriotStill of Heath Ledger in The PatriotJo Champa at event of The PatriotStill of Mel Gibson in The PatriotStill of Mel Gibson in The PatriotStill of Roland Emmerich in The Patriot

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

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 6.9/10 (107,336 voted)

Critic's Score: 63/100

Director: Roland Emmerich

Stars: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson

It is 1776 in colonial South Carolina. Benjamin Martin, a French-Indian war hero who is haunted by his past, now wants nothing more then 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 new, young, and ambitious nation.

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

Taglines: Some things are worth fighting for.

Release Date: 28 June 2000

Filming Locations: Botany Bay Plantation - 7510 Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $22,413,710 (USA) (2 July 2000) (3061 Screens)

Gross: $113,330,342 (USA) (15 October 2000)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | (extended version)

Did You Know?

Screenwriter Robert Rodat called the final battle a hybrid between the Battle of Guilford Courthouse and the Battle of Cowpens: The mixture of militia and Continental army in the battle. The militia's reputation of not holding and the tactic of using that to lure the British in. The militia only firing a couple of volleys before a planned retreat to a secondary line composed of the Continental army. The Continental army firing and then performing a bayonet charge.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: In the town hall meeting in the beginning, Col. Burwell said, "We killed 700 of them at Bunker Hill and they just kept coming". Actually they killed 226, but the results were constantly exaggerated in the retelling.

[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.

User Review

Good but ........


The Patriot is technically a good movie. Nicely made with good characters, good acting, a strong storyline and fabulous cinematography.

But, to say this movie distorts history would be an understatement. And that is extremely sad in a movie that sells itself as an accurate portrayal of events during the revolution. The Patriot, unfortunately, crosses the line and try's to portray as 'actual fact' a film which is predominantly fictional. Hence, the 'real life' equivalent of Benjamin Martin actually used to scalp Native Americans in his spare time (a fact neatly overlooked by the director).

This 'rose tinted' view of history is at its worst during the church-burning scene where a British Army officer ordered the murder of many innocent civilians by locking them in a church and setting it alight. This event never took place and yet, thanks to The Patriot, a whole generation of Americans will believe that the British Army actually committed this horrendous act in South Carolina -- when in fact history shows that it was not the British Army that burned a church full of people in 1776 but the Nazis that did during WW2.

As a Brit, I don't so much mind Hollywood always portraying us as the 'bad guys' -- after all it is American money making these films -- I'm more concerned that some Americans actually believe what they watch. This is especially true in movies like The Patriot which 'pretend' to be real.

It's a shame that in such a technically competent movie, which pays such attention to minutiae detail like the costumes, that something as significant as the accuracy of the screenplay could have been so grotesquely overlooked.

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