Trivia - The Patriot (2000)
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The Patriot (2000)

Genres: Action, Drama, History

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.

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writers: Robert Rodat

Stars: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, ...

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.
Aunt Charlotte's house is the same one used in Forrest Gump (1994), with slightly different interior paneling. The stone hedge visible in Forrest Gump is camouflaged with bushes in this film.
In addition to Marion, Mel Gibson's character is also based on the life of South Carolina militia leader General Andrew Pickens. Pickens had his estate torched and lost a son before he went back into action and led the militia forces at Cowpens.
Heath Ledger performed his own stunts.
One of the "redcoats" (actually dummies) that is floating face down in the river after the "trap" is a dummy of John Travolta.
Kevin Spacey was the first choice to play Tavington, but after paying Mel Gibson his $25 million there was not enough in the budget to pay Kevin too.
Paul Walker auditioned for the role of Gabriel Martin.
The character Benjamin Martin was originally written with six children, but Mel Gibson added one more because he himself had seven children.
Harrison Ford declined the lead role, feeling the script had boiled the Revolutionary War down to a "one-man's-revenge" melodrama.
The character of Benjamin Martin is loosely based on the real life soldier Francis Marion, aka The Swamp Fox. The Swamp Fox taught soldiers guerrilla tactics.
Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned several times and was considered for the role of Gabriel Martin, but eventually lost out to Heath Ledger.
After the explosion of the cargo ship we see (or hear, actually) Tavington smashes his glass when placing it down. He really just places it down, but it was decided to add a smashing sound for comic effect. We never actually see the glass breaking.
Among the American cavalry officers who participated in the real Battle of Cowpens was Lt. Col. William Washington - General George Washington's cousin, who went Mano-a-Mano with Banastre Tarleton in a saber clash.
Screenwriter Robert Rodat wrote 17 drafts of the script before there was an acceptable one.
Ryan Phillippe was considered for the role of Gabriel Martin.
Ben Daniels was offered a role but turned it down.
The score used in the film is also used as the opening music in the 2004 television series Jack & Bobby (2004). Both featured Logan Lerman who played Benjamin Martin's youngest son William, and future president Robert (Bobby) McCallister.
Roland Emmerich:  [44]  Seen in the tavern where Martin recruits for his militia, also seen on a wine bottle label
Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned several times and was considered for the role of Gabriel Martin, but eventually lost out to Heath Ledger. They would later star in the movie 'Brokeback Mountain' together and become very close friends.
When they are bushed at the bridge the kid who they focus the camera on is Thomas as a British soldier.
The swamp scenes were filmed at Cypress Gardens in Berkeley County, South Carolina.
Logan Lehman played Mel Gibsons son in this movie, and played Mel's younger self in "What Women Want".
Logan Lerman played Mel Gibsons son in this movie, and played Mel's younger self in "What Women Want".
The term "Redcoats" was used to describe British soldiers as early as 7 May 1645.
Two actors in this film (Donal Louge and Tom Wilkinson) went on to act in two separate Batman adaptations. Louge is in Gotham (2015) and Wilkinson was in Batman Begins (2005)
Roland Emmerich: [44] Seen in the tavern where Martin recruits for his militia, also seen on a wine bottle label
Benjamin Martin loses two children. Two of the actors that portrayed his children in the film, Heath Ledger and Skye McCole Bartusiak later died.
During a rough day of filming, producer Dean Devlin noticed most of the extras looking tired and stressed from doing several takes while wearing heavy costumes in the 100-degree South Carolina heat. During a break, Devlin suggested to Mel Gibson that he r
When teaching Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger how to shoot a muzzle-loading rifle, technical advisor Mark Baker gave them the advice to "aim small, miss small", meaning that if you aim at a man and miss, you miss the man, while if you aim at a button (for ins
The scene where Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) returns the dogs to General Cornwallis (Tom Wilkinson) may be based on a similar story told about General George Washington. During the Revolutionary War, Washington reportedly noticed the terrier of a British
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
The Battle of Cowpens, upon which this movie is based, took place on January 17th, 1781. This battle has been commemorated by the U.S. Navy, which named two ships after it. USS Cowpens (CVL 25) was a WWII light aircraft carrier which won 12 battle stars,
The scene in which civilians are locked in the church and burned did not happen during the War of the Revolution. The incident is based on one during WWII Limoges in central France on June 10, 1944. German soldiers herded 452 women and children into a chu
The character of Col. Tavington is loosely based on Col. Banastre Tarleton, who was Cornwallis's cavalry commander. Col. Tarelton had a bad reputation, but some say he was not nearly as cold-hearted and evil as the fictitious Col. Tavington (though many h
When teaching Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger how to shoot a muzzle-loading rifle, technical advisor Mark Baker gave them the advice to "aim small, miss small", meaning that if you aim at a man and miss, you miss the man, while if you aim at a button (for instance) and miss, you still hit the man. Gibson liked this bit advice so much he incorporated it into the movie, just prior to the ambush scene.
During a rough day of filming, producer Dean Devlin noticed most of the extras looking tired and stressed from doing several takes while wearing heavy costumes in the 100-degree South Carolina heat. During a break, Devlin suggested to Mel Gibson that he recite his famous "freedom" speech from Braveheart (1995) to cheer them up. Gibson got on a horse and proceeded to give the speech, which he still had memorized, boosting their morale.
Joshua Jackson, Elijah Wood, Jake Gyllenhaal, Brad Renfro and Paul Walker were considered to play Gabriel Martin. The filmmakers narrowed their choices for this role to Ryan Phillippe and Heath Ledger, with the latter chosen because the director thought he possessed "exuberant youth".
The scene where Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) returns the dogs to General Cornwallis (Tom Wilkinson) may be based on a similar story told about General George Washington. During the Revolutionary War, Washington reportedly noticed the terrier of a British general wandering the battlefield. He subsequently negotiated a cease-fire, and both sides stopped firing until the dog was returned to the British commander.
Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned several times and was considered for the role of Gabriel Martin, but eventually lost out to Heath Ledger. They would later star in the movie Brokeback Mountain (2005) together and become very close friends.
The scene in which civilians are locked in the church and burned did not happen during the War of the Revolution. The incident is based on one during WWII Limoges in central France on June 10, 1944. German soldiers herded 452 women and children into a church and lobbed smoke grenades through the windows, suffocating the victims and setting the church on fire, while machine guns raked the interior. There was one survivor.
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.
Heath Ledger said working on the film answered his question of why Americans "wave their flag so high." "It's because they went to hell and back to build their country."
Heath Ledger didn't work for a year because he only got offers for teen heartthrob roles. He was about to quit acting and return to Australia when he was cast in the film.
The historical accuracy of the costumes and settings was overseen by the Smithsonian Institute. It's the first time the Institute ever worked directly on the production of a movie.
The Battle of Cowpens, upon which this movie is based, took place on January 17th, 1781. This battle has been commemorated by the U.S. Navy, which named two ships after it. USS Cowpens (CVL 25) was a WWII light aircraft carrier which won 12 battle stars, more than any other light carrier in the war and was the first ship to enter Tokyo Harbor and land Marines on the Japanese mainland. USS Cowpens (CG 63) is an Aegis Guided Missile Cruiser serving in the Pacific fleet from San Diego, CA.
The studio wanted to cut a certain shot in the cannonball scene to avoid an R rating, but Roland Emmerich felt it was important not to sanitise war.
Everyone in the battle had to undergo a two-week long boot camp before shooting began. The hand-to-hand combat moves are authentic to the time and are still used by the military today.
Mel Gibson improvised the "soon" line. He wasn't supposed to give any response.
Actual amputees were cast to play soldiers who lost their limbs.
The scene where Benjamin and Villeneuve fight over quartering the British is included to show that atrocities were committed on both sides during the war.
Logan Lerman played Mel Gibson's son in this movie, and played Mel's younger self in What Women Want (2000).
It was hard finding a swamp to shoot in, so the production rented out a botanical garden and flooded it.
Over 800 extras were used throughout the movie.
The film's biggest competition on its opening weekend was The Perfect Storm (2000) starring George Clooney in a role Mel Gibson turned down to film this movie.
The scene where Benjamin walks toward the church in Pembroke to pray was Mel Gibson's idea. He wants to show Benjamin Martin's moral dilemma.
The swamp froze solid the day after shooting the scene where Benjamin and Gabriel have just bonded over Thomas. If the filmmakers had been delayed, the shot would have been impossible.
Mel Gibson and Jason Isaacs practised their complicated fight sequence almost every day of the 100-day shoot.
The character of Maj. Villeneuve is based on Marquis de Lafayette, a major-general from France.
When they are ambushed at the bridge the kid who they focus the camera on is Thomas as a British soldier.
The bayonets used are all retractable so the extras could safely stab each other.
Joely Richardson used Scarlett O'Hara as inspiration for her role as Aunt Charlotte.
Anne's speech was inspired by letters Abigail Adams sent to John Adams during the Revolution.
Lisa Brenner and producer Dean Devlin met on the set and married on July 4th, 2003.
The torches were gas-powered and could be switched off at a moment's notice.
The church and the entire surrounding town of Pembroke were built just for this film.
The crew built a fake exterior on an existing plantation so they could burn it without hurting the home.
The costume department created over 1,200 military outfits for the movie.
Adam Baldwin worked with Roland Emmerich on Independence Day (1996).
Roland Emmerich said the scene where the two armies march toward each other is like a "couple thousand people playing Russian Roulette."
The scene where the Martin Family looks on as a battle encroaches on their backyard was cut from the script. The filmmakers only shot it because they got ahead of schedule.
Roland Emmerich was inspired by John Ford, who was known for his wide shots.
According to Roland Emmerich, the scene where Cornwalis thanks Benjamin for taking care of his dogs was difficult to film because of all the natural light from the windows. He made sure there were no windows behind Mel Gibson to simplify the problem of changing sunlight.
Screenwriter Robert Rodat wrote the character of Benjamin Martin with Mel Gibson in mind.
Benjamin Martin's talent for recruiting men was based on Thomas Sumter, known as "The Gamecock."
Benjamin's retort on "tyrants" is actually a rephrasing of a quote by Mather Byles, a Loyalist clergyman from Boston.
This is Chris Cooper's second time playing a colonel. He was Col. Frank Fitts in American Beauty (1999).
The scene where Benjamin offers Gabriel an apple was improvised.
The scene where Benjamin gives Burwell a letter to give to his family is based on two real events: the Battle of Cowpens, won by the Patriots and the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, a costly victory for the British.
The city of Charles Town (or Charleston) was digitally added to the background during editing.
In an earlier version of the script, Anne is pregnant with Gabriel's child when she dies in the burning church.
During pre-production, the producers debated on whether Benjamin Martin would own slaves, ultimately deciding not to make him a slave owner. This decision received criticism from Spike Lee, who in a letter to The Hollywood Reporter accused the film's portrayal of slavery as being "a complete whitewashing of history". Lee wrote that after he and his wife went to see the film, "we both came out of the theatre fuming. For three hours The Patriot (2000) dodged around, skirted about or completely ignored slavery." Mel Gibson himself remarked: "I think I would have made him a slave holder. Not to seems kind of a cop-out."
David Arnold, who composed the scores to Roland Emmerich's Stargate (1994), Independence Day (1996) and Godzilla (1998), created a demo for the film that was ultimately rejected. As a result, David never returned to compose any of Roland's future films and was replaced by Harald Kloser and Thomas Wanker.
Three actors in this film went on to act in three separate Batman adaptations. Donal Logue is in Gotham (2014), Tom Wilkinson was in Batman Begins (2005), and Heath Ledger was in _"The Dark Knight" (2012)_.
The hatchet Benjamin uses to fight the Redcoats is made of rubber for safety, but when Benjamin gets ready to throw the hatchet, it is metal hatchet heavy enough to throw.
Mel Gibson was paid $25 million for making the film.
Freddie Prinze Jr. was in the running for the part of Gabriel.
The theme music was played after President Barack Obama's acceptance speech on election night in 2008.
Halfway through reading the script for the first time, Roland Emmerich knew he had found his next film.
The character of Col. Tavington is loosely based on Col. Banastre Tarleton, who was Cornwallis's cavalry commander. Col. Tarelton had a bad reputation, but some say he was not nearly as cold-hearted and evil as the fictitious Col. Tavington (though many historians portray them equally). In the movie, Colonel Tavington died at the end of the Battle of Cowpens. The real Banastre Tarleton lived to grow old until 1833, became a general and even served in the British Parliament.
Roland Emmerich previously directed Godzilla (1998) in which Philippe (Jean Reno) says he is a "Patriot who love's his country."
The historical accuracy of the costumes and settings was overseen by the Smithsonian Institution. It's the first time the Institution ever worked directly on the production of a movie.
Philip Winchester (Benjamin Martin's eldest son) previously appeared in the unrelated film of the same name The Patriot (1998).
The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger' and Chris Cooper; and one Oscar nominee: Tom Wilkinson.
The video game assassin's creed 3's combat system was influenced by the famous tomahawk scene in this movie