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BIOGRAPHY 
[story] [William Wallace] [cast & staff] [production] [critics] [historical review] [posters, mid, MP3] [Braveheart CD] [links]
 
 BRAVEHEART
 
What kind of man would defy a king?
Every man dies, not every man really lives.
 His passion captivated a woman. His courage inspired a nation. His heart defied a king.
 
BRAVEHEART
 
        Braveheart  is a storm-the-castle spectacle about a legendary 13th-century Scottish hero William Wallace. It is story of that time, when men were men, and no one needed special license to take off an enemy's arm with a broadsword. Time when William Wallace, the fierce Scottish lord, rebells against the English in massive Scot-Brit battles and he became the greatest hero of Scotland. "Braveheart" is a movie that is grandiose and epic as well as classic. Mel Gibson and screenwriter Randall Wallace do not stray from the traditional epic format. The film has all the textbook features: panoramic shots, bold and sweeping themes, a protagonist of heroic proportions, a larger than life treatment, and a long running time.
 
 
     STORY
King Edward        The film covers the life of William Wallace from the time as a small boy when his Father dies to his own death. Set mostly in 13th Century Scotland with a background of struggle against the unjust rule of the English King, Longshanks, the film gradually grows in scope from a small boy's tragedy to a National conflict spanning generations. After the death of his Father at the hands of the English, William is raised by his uncle, who being a great believer in education, takes William across the world were he learns Latin and French and the manly arts of war. But he eventually returns to his homeland. A fully mature man now, he is ready to settle down with his childhood sweetheart and raise a family. The concerns of his countrymen over English rule take second place to his pursuit of the beautiful Murron. Due to the half-hearted opposition of Murron's Father and the English noble's rights to take a bride on her wedding night, Wallace is married in secret. The honeymoon doesn't last long as their joy is shattered by the results of an English soldiers attempted rape of Murron. While William is able to beat back the soldiers from his wife, she is captured as they both flee in separate directions. The local Lord then decides to bring Wallace into the open by executing his woman in a particularly brutal scene where she is tied to an upright pole and her throat is cut. So starts William Wallace's life long battle against the English to free the people of Scotland. This common man is able to successfully organize the local villagers to overthrow the local fort and slaughter the Princess Isabell (Sophie Marceau) with William Wallace (Mel Gibson)magistrate that killed his wife, in an identical manner. Then, with the help of the adjacent clan, he goes on to tear down the local Lord's short term castle and allow one of the cuckolded husbands to take his revenge. Meanwhile King Longshanks is distracted by his war with France and allows his week son an opportunity to prove himself by bringing Wallace to English justice. The Son's ineptness soon leads to full scale battle. A situation that requires the support of the Scottish Lords, an infighting self interested bunch of old men. On the occasion of the first major battle Wallace is able to maneuver three Lords into helping while stealing the hearts of their levees. Through the use of some brilliant tactics he successfully defeats the English forces and his legend grows to new heights.
 
 
     WILLIAM WALLACE (1267 - 1305)
     William Wallace is perhaps the greatest hero of the Scottish people. His legend inspired 100,000 people to gather on June 24, 1861, 556 years after his death, at the opening ceremony of the 300-foot National Monument in Stirling that continues to honorhis memory. It was here Wallace once led a band of desperate and outnumbered Scots to a glorious victory over the English.
 
    The fabled five-foot sword that once belonged to Wallace is on display in Stirling Castle. Born around the year 1267, Wallace was the second son of Malcolm Wallace, a middle-class landowner who was educated and spoke three languages. William Wallace was educated at Paisley Abbey by his uncle but little is recorded of his day-today life. It is believed he once sent to the Pope to plead for Scotland's freedom and, while guardian of Scotland, attempted to develop trade for his country. Material wealth was of no intrest to Wallace, who refused the Crown of Scotland when it was offered to him. While the Scottish nobles around him were accepting lands and titles from the English King, Wallace remained committed to freedom and honor for Scotland.
 
      The main source of his legends come from 300 pages of rhyming verse attributed to a blind poet known as Sophie Marceau 'knows' to cry...Blind Harry, who could neither read nor write. The work is said to be taken from the diary of Wallace's chaplain, Mr. Blair, who was always at his side. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the legends of Wallace indicate the passions his story is able to arouse more than hard fact; however, it was these exciting tales that inspired Randall Wallace to write the screenplay for "Braveheart." Screenwriter Randall Wallace believes his screenplay for "Braveheart" captures the spirit of William Wallace in bringing to the screen the hero whose story has gone untold for too long.
 
 
        "History is impressionistic," says Randall Wallace. "What William Wallace did can be inferred from the passion of his supporters and the hatred of his enemies. The great legends about him built a fire in my heart. His life communicated that you will prevail if you are faithful to what you believe in; and if those you love believe in you. Your body can be broken but not your spirit." When the writer is asked if he might be a descendent of William Wallace, he replies, "I don't know in fact, but in spirit I am - and spirit is greater than fact."
 
 
 
     CAST & STAFF
Princess Isabell is played by Sophie        Mel Gibson directs with a lot of brilliancy a brilliant cast. Patrick McGoohan has a very nice performance as Edward I, the King Longshank. The scene when he waits for the death and loses his voice is really good. And now hurry to our favourite part of cast: Sophie Marceau, as princess Isabelle, has along the movie no more than fifteen minutes of performance but Mel Gibson gave to those minutes such a very special treatment that princess Isabelle soon becomes one of the major characters in "Braveheart". This role was her first English-speaking part. Asked why Mel Gibson chose Sophie for the character of Princess Isabelle, Mel Gibson replied: "Well, she's beautiful, she's French and she's a good actress. The character needed to be at least two of those things."

"Sophie Marceau, wearing a headdress that, under the crown, looks like white cerebra," saying on the other hand critic Ralph Benner in his review.
 
        Critics also liked the performances of Angus MacFadyen, as Robert the Catherine MacCormackBruce, and, of course, Mel Gibson, as William Wallace. However, they said the Mel Gibson's work as director was much better than his work as actor. Besides Sophie you can see another exceedingly attractive co-star - Catherine McCormack in the role of nice Murron.

"Despite limited screen time, McCormack and Marceau produce such striking characterizations that Braveheart fairly can be described as a love story," means Mike Townsend - critic.
 
        Braveheart tempers moments of despair with deliriously romantic passages abetted by James Horner's traditionally lush score and photography by John Toll (Legends of the Fall's Oscar winner). One of the critics, Rui Sadio, said: "When we join that music to the beautiful Scotch landscapes, view by the camera of John Toll, then we realize all the beauty of this film. Braveheart is, in my opinion, one of the best movies of 1995"

 
 
     PRODUCTION
        The screenplay for "Braveheart" by Randall Wallace was brought to the attention of Mel Gibson and his associates Bruce Davey and Stephen McEveety by Alan Ladd, Jr. Gibson remembers, "I couldn't wait to turn each page and was surprised at every turn. The screenplay had everything - heroic battles, a powerful love story and the passion of one man's strength which fires a whole country against its aggressors." Screenwriter Randall Wallace and his wife were on vacation in Edinburgh when he glimpsed a statue of William Wallace and learned some of the legends about him. He began to research and discovered that beyond the preponderance of legends, very few actual facts are known about him. His work on the screenplay for "Braveheart" commenced after reading a 1740 English translation of rhyming Scottish verse presenting legends about Wallace.
 
         LOCATIONS
        The production's subsequent base of operations was DublinSM here looks like white cerebra, Mike Townsend says Ireland for 15 weeks. This area was selected when it became apparent that everything needed for the shoot could be found within a 30-mile radius, along with a convenient airport. For scenes of the savage battles of Stirling and Falkirk, 1,700 of the Irish Army's reserve forces acted as the infantry, archery and cavalry divisions of the Scottish and English armies in the late 13th and early I4th centuries. The expanses required for the battle scenes were found at the Gurragh and Ballymore Eustace, a privately owned stretch of land; in the vicinity of medieval castles at Trim and Dunsoghly; and at the large studio tract at Ardmore.
 
        Twelve weeks of building, painting and plastering transformed the exterior of Trim Castle into the fortified English town of York with the addition of seven-ton gates and the replacement of wooden buttresses. On the other side of the massive wall, a London square was created. Dunsoghly Castle provided the exterior for the film's Edinburgh Castle. Built around the middle of the 15th century by Sir Thomas Plunkett, the castle's original yet partially restored wooden roof is the last surviving example of its kind in Ireland. For eight weeks prior to filming at Dunsoghly Castle, Tom Sanders and his team transformed the solitary stone structure into a busy hustling castle with 30-foot-high battlements, a drawbridge, a great hall and peripheral 'A' frame houses with pitched-roofs.

        Other "Braveheart" locations in Ireland include the ruins of Bective Abbey, which became the courtyard of Longshanks' castle and the dungeon where William is incarcerated; Coronation Plantation, where filming was done in and around an old hunting lodge after another English stockade was erected by the company; and the ruined St. Nicholas Church, Dunsany Castle - believed to have been built in the 12th century - was extensively modified to become Westminster Abbey for the filmmakers. At Blessington Lakes, a 45 foot-high tower was erected in seven-foot-deep water to depict the view from a window in Mornay's castle. Here, Wallace spurs his horse to jump through the window to make a daring escape. Some interior sets for "Braveheart" were filmed at Ardmore Studios stages, while the Edinburgh Council chamber was used for a scene set in Mornay's castle. Principal photography concluded on October 29, 1994.

 
         BUDGET
         Braveheart was reportedly budgeted at 70 million USD. Most of this horible sume of money consupted scenes involving hundreds of actors, hundreds of properties, tousand of work hours spend to perfect costume and make-up preparations of actors. This film was expensive! And profitable, too, fortunately.

        It's clear that the production is at least as large as the movie's legendary subject: the press kit quotes the Encyclopedia Britannica and boasts separate sections for "Battle Sequences,'' "Art and Design,'' "Costumes,'' and "The World of 'Braveheart,''' listing stats as measures of "authenticity'' and scope: "1700 of the Irish Army's reserve forces acted as the infantry,'' "10,000 arrows with rubber tips,'' "40-foot flames,'' "6000 costumes,'' and "3000 meters of plaid were woven in eight different colors.

 
     CRITICS
        Here I offer you some opinions from renomed or not critics. Here you can find positive critics and negative ones, too. Decide, which you will believe in and whoose critic has the same opinion as you. And the best you can do is seeing "Braveheart". I mean it is NOT bad film at any case. And with SOPHIE! :-)
 
        Braveheart is, in fact, a magnificent and magisterial film. For three hours we are completely absorbed by the narrative's rhytm which never gives place to a single moment of monotony or uninterest.
Rui Sadio
 
        The archers, calvary, and infantry provide a 13th century version of a football kickoff; there is even Wallace's Knute Rockne like pep talk. The hand-to-hand combat is choreographed rather than directed, and the strategies unfold gradually, giving viewers the feeling of watching a lawn chess match using people as pieces. Viewers expecting historical epics to be historically accurate will be disappointed by what is added to, and deleted from, the film's Wallace.  Most of the violence is quick or off screen, and many of the most gruesome types of incidents have appeared in other mainstream films. Nonetheless, the sheer volume of mayhem combined with the intense emotional tone of the film will leave few unaffected.
Mike Townsend
 
        Braveheart is a brutal, bloody motion picture, but the violence is not gratuitous. The maimings, decapitations, and other assorted gruesome details make Wallace's world seem real and immediate. In addition, few theatrical moments make a more eloquent statement against war than when Gibson shows women and children weeping over the dead on a body-littered battlefield. War is a two-headed beast, and both faces -- the glorious and the tragic -- are depicted.
James Berardinelli
 
         Director-star Mel Gibson spent a lot of nights studying up on Spartacus, the screen's most emotional Roman saga.
        Budget-busting historical blockbusters mostly belong to decades past, when the leads were often more rigid than their armor. But as Scotland's William Wallace, Gibson is crucially charismatic leading peasants against England's Edward I, achieving remarkable success until lack of support by toadying countrymen restores the cruel king's advantage.
Mike Clark, USA TODAY
 
        Curiously, this film seems less anachronistic than its trailers made it feel. Occasional lines seem, if not out of place, at least loverly fine-tuned for the late 20th Century. Having characters exclaiming "Excellent!" seems better attuned to the time of Bill and Ted than of William and Edward. Gibson's visual style seems not yet matured so that he overuses slow motion scenes, sometimes telegraphing the action. Some of his scenes seem contrived and unbelievable. One such scene involves a head body that drips blood just at perfect instant. Another involves what has to be the world's least skittish deer. (You have to have seen the film to know what I mean.)
        In fact, while the film seems to say that Wallace was trained to use his wits in battle rather than brute force, that is not how he is portrayed on the screen. The historical Wallace used his wits far more in battle than Gibson's representation, who seems to rely on a good speech and little more than headlong berserker assaults.
Mark R. Leeper
 
        Braveheart may not be an historically corrected movie but the nature of its message make us think about the importance that we give to Liberty, nowadays.
        Braveheart is, in fact, a magnificent and magisterial film. For three hours we are completely absorbed by the narrative's rhytm which never gives place to a single moment of monotony or uninterest.
Rui Sadio
 
        Gibson has proved that he is a competent director, capable of handling ambitious projects with large casts and big production costs. He has created a completely adequate modern facsimile of the classic romantic epic.
 Hal Hinson
 
Braveheart is rated R for considerable violence and gore, a rape scene, sex, nudity, profanity and vulgarity.
 
 
     HISTORICAL REVIEW
      In the years just preceding William Wallace's revolt Edward I knew his real enemy was France to the south with a military force much superior to his own. England had been at peace with Scotland for more than a century and Edward expected little trouble from the north. But John de Balliol, King of Scotland, allied himself with Philip IV of France rather than supply Edward with men and arms to fight the French. It was not a strong alliance since France had little faith in John's power to defend his title as king.
        Edward was already taxing England for the war with France and did not relish the idea of fighting a war against Scotland and France at the same time. He certainly did not want to tax his people for both. In 1290 he had expelled the Jews from England and without them to borrow from any more he was finding that the decision to expel had been a costly one. Edward decided to confer with Scotland's King John and to assure John's loyalty. He called upon John to meet him at Berwick. John refused. Edward took this as a declaration of war and invaded Scotland with intent to conquer, sacking Berwick. King John then renounced any homage to England. But Edward's commander, Warenne, the Earl of Surrey, defeated King John at the Battle of Dunbar. He captured John and imprisoned him. Edward declared himself to be King of Scotland before returning to fight France.
        Edward set up a puppet government in Scotland, not expecting much resistance. William Wallace, the son of a poor knight, was outlawed at this time when he got into a personal argument with a young Englishman. The Englishman Selby insulted Wallace and Wallace killed him. Wallace joined one of the several bands of outlaws. With a band of 30 men he burned Lanark and killed the sheriff in May 1297.
        Wallace organized an army from the small landowners and organized guerilla attacks on the English between Forth and Tay. Through this time Edward was fighting in France and Wallace was fighting the Earl of Surrey. Surrey brought a large army to fight Wallace in September. The two armies met September 11, 1297, at the Battle at Cambuskenneth (a.k.a. Stirling)  ridge near Forth. (This is very different from how the battle was portrayed in the film.) A narrow bridge separated the two armies.
The Earl's own advisors told him that he could not get his full army across the bridge in under eleven hours and if he tried crossing he could bring only a small part of his army to bear on defense. He ignored the advice and ordered him men across the bridge. Wallace awaited the proper time, when about half the army was across the bridge, and attacked. Half the army watched helpless on the far bank as the other was driven back into the river to drown. Wallace earned a stunning victory and in the process captured Stirling Castle.
        Edward made a truce with France by marrying the king's sister and betrothing the king's daughter to his son. He was off in Flanders when he found out that Wallace had defeated his army and, flushed with victory, had invaded England and was sacking Cumberland and North Umberland. Wallace was knighted and given the guardianship of Scotland ruled in Balliol's name. He decorated his shield with the skin of an English tax-collector.
        Edward I, having his truce with France, re-invaded Scotland, marched to Stirling, and met Wallace's army at Falkirk on July 22, 1298. Wallace formed his forces into four schiltrons. That is a circle of men with spears pointed outward (similar to what the film showed at Battle of Stirling Bridge, but that was a straight line). Edward's knights could do little against these phalanxes and so were called off. Instead the English used a shower of arrows from long bows. This made quick work of the Scottish army. Wallace, however, survived by hiding in a dense nearby wood.
        Wallace resigned his guardianship, but still fought a guerrilla war against the English in Scotland. In 1305 he was arrested at Robroyston near Glasgow. He was found guilty of being a traitor to Edward, though he had never sworn allegiance to the king.
        He was executed that same year, much in the manner shown in the film. Contrary to the film, however, Edward I did not die until 1307, Edward II did not marry until 1308, and Edward II's and Isabella's first child was Edward III who was not born until 1310. Henry the Minstrel, also known as "Blind Harry" made Wallace a popular hero by immortalizing him in an epic romance poem in the 15th Century.
 
 
     POSTERS & MID & MP3
 
 
 poster1 poster2 
 (vidcaps and full size of posters find at  Joe Tiger's page)
 
        You can download file bravehrt.mid (2970B), not very good mid-interpretation of head music motif. But, have we some better? ;-)
        Yes we have! From now (7.1.99) I offer you braveheart.zip, (44MHz, 16bit stereo, 1.6MB m_p_three ;) second track from the Braveheart CD (see below) named "A Gift of a Thistle". Download and enjoy.
        Try to use Jospain's Sophie Marceau Winamp skin.
 
     BRAVEHEART CD
 
cover of CD, download original version      In 1995 The Decca Records company limited released CD (or LP if you want) with music from 'Braveheart'. It containts 18 compositions from silent and melodic 'Gift of a Thistle' (You can download this track in MP3 format above) to rolling 'Attack on Murron'. Melodious, scotish and grave is this music composed by James Horner. All music is performed by world famous and well known London Symphony Orchestra and right so it sounds. Silently and loudly, melodious and rhythmic, too. Especially 'Sons of Scotland' sound magnificently!
 
 
     LINKS
us.imdb.com - What International Movie Database says about "Braveheart"?
voyager.paramount.com - Official page dedicated to "Braveheart".
 
 

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