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What's wrong with the movie Braveheart?

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:15 am
by shade
Non rant factual answers with sources please

Where to start, where to start?

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:48 am
by Colin MacDonald
Most of it is covered very well here.

The most visibly obvious horror is the kilt, for which more detail can be found here.

I saw an interview with Randall Wallace (sorry, no reference) in which he quite proudly admits that he wrote the first draft of the screenplay based on nothing more than knowing the names of the main characters and that Wallace won some battles against the odds. What's surprising about Braveheart isn't that it's so bad, but that it's not much worse.

On a general note, ragged clothing in any period drives me up the wall. Ragged cloth frays rapidly, and given the cost of cloth, you'd literally have to be too poor to own - or borrow, or make - a needle to allow it to get into that state. If you ever get a chance to examine ragged theatrical costume, you'll see that it's very carefully re-enforced behind the ragged edge.

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:57 am
by Alan_F
From the top:

Wallace wasn't a peasant farmer. He was the second son of a Knight, which whilst not being nobility, would mean that he wouldn't have been living in the circumstances seen in the film.

He wouldn't have painted his face blue (something that hadn't been seen in Scotland for over 1000 years) nor would he have worn tartan or kilt of any description. The earliest sighting of someone wearing a plaid is in 1595, over 290 years after Wallace's death! The Scots and the English would have been dressed pretty much identically, the only real difference being in the surcoats worn by the Knights.

There is no evidence that he met, let alone had an affair with, the then Princess of Wales - she was in fact only 3 years old at the time. Nor did he die at the same time as Edward I, who died in 1307, ironcially whilst going north to invade Scotland.

The Battle of Stirling Bridge - where was the bridge? Also, the Scots deployed into Schiltron to fight there (a Schiltron is similar to a Greek Phalanx), they certainly didn't run in some mass screaming charge. When they used their spears, they didn't have them lying on the ground to 'surprise' the english cavalry, but held in a tight formation designed to break a cavalry charge. Also, where was Andrew Moray? He'd been leading a rebellion before Wallace, and was the commander of the bulk of the army.

There is no evidence that Wallace fought for 'the people of Scotland'. He was a supporter of King John Balliol, whom Edward I had deposed. In fact, Wallace's whole point was to reinstate King John Balliol as the Scottish king, rather than a fight for freedom and independent nationhood.

At one point in the film, Robert the Bruce says "We can have something we've never had; a country of our own". In fact, Scotland had been a country in her own right for over 150 years by that time, and was recognised by the Catholic Church as such. Scotland and England also hadn't. as the film claimed been at war for over 100 years - for the past 70 years they had enjoyed the fruits of peace.

Prima Nocta - there is no evidence to support this, nor is there evidence that Edward ordered the disarming of the Scottish populace. As he had supporters in Scotland, what would have been the point? He also didn't order the massacre of the Scottish nobility after inviting them to meet with him. Come to that, Wallace's father died a year before his son, and his brother two years after.

Whilst the homosexuality of Edward II is not in dispute, his father didn't murder his lover Piers Gaveston, who died after Edward I's death.

Sources:

Michael Lynch: Scotland: A New History

Richard Oram: The Kings and Queens of Scotland

Ranald Nicholson: Scotland The later Middle Ages

Ronald McNair Scott: Robert the Bruce King of Scots

Alexander Grant: Independence and Nationhood: Scotland 1306 - 1469

Michael Penam: The Scottish Civil War: The Bruces and the Balliols and the War for the control of Scoland

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:58 am
by Lady Morgan
I did mention this error on the old forum, and it's one the really erks me, but it's not technically a historical problem.

He says 'Play forbidden music on forbidden pipes' and you see them silhouetted playing the Scottish highland warpipes, but you're actually hearing Irish Uilleann pipes.

For me, as a piper, it is such a glaring change, and I can't see any reason why they would make it, because it also loses the impact of the warpipes, and the power of their sound and part of the point to them being banned in the first place! Because, of course it was true there was a period when the playing of the pipes was banned in Scotland, so at least they had that much right.

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:13 pm
by Alan_F
Lady Morgan, I forgot that one - there is also the facts that bagpipes weren't around in Scotland at the time either - there is no evidence to support that claim either.

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:23 pm
by Ian Macintyre
The most amusing bit is when Mel charges at the English. Start of charge Mel is holding a silly claymore, cut to Mel from another angle, he is now holding an axe, change camera angle to show Mel killing English knighte with.... silly claymore.

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:04 pm
by Fox
Alan_F wrote:Whilst the homosexuality of Edward II is not in dispute, his father didn't murder his lover Piers Gaveston, who died after Edward I's death.
Really?

I'll dispute it.

It's not at all clear that he was homosexual. It is certainly not clear that either Piers Gaveston or Hugh Despencer were his lovers.

Edward liked favourites, and particularly men of his own age and social group. He was, as a nearest anology, a "petulant teenager" who prefered to advice from his mates rather than elder statesman.

It is possible that he was homosexual, but it's as likely that any innuendo to that effect is part of the rumour mongering put around after the rather sticky ends that all three men came to. Also it may be misinterpretting the facts. Edward IV regularly shared his bed with Hastings. It was nothing sexual, and was perfectly normal practice. Both were, in fact, infamous womanisers.

Edward and his favourites were definitely not effeminate. All three were experienced combatants, Gaveston being a well known tournee champion. Edward had to be dragged from the field at Bannockburn.

I have no reason to defend the man, but since we're talking about accuracy....

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:00 pm
by Colin MacDonald
Edward II: England's first recorded Metrosexual?

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:47 pm
by Alan_F
Edward and his favourites were definitely not effeminate.
I never said he was effeminate.

He may have been a Champion on the tourney field, however he legged it from bannockburn leaving his Royal Seal behind.

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:33 pm
by Guest
Alan_F wrote:I never said he was effeminate.
No you didn't that was shot at Braveheart.
Alan_F wrote:He may have been a Champion on the tourney field, however he legged it from bannockburn leaving his Royal Seal behind.
He was dragged from the field against his will, and two good men gave there lives to protect his getaway because he would not leave earlier, despite repeated pleas.

He was a bad commander, and a total w***ker, but he was not a coward.

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:35 pm
by Fox
Sorry, that was me above, I forgot to log in.

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:48 pm
by Alan_F
Anonymous wrote:
Alan_F wrote:I never said he was effeminate.
No you didn't that was shot at Braveheart.
Alan_F wrote:He may have been a Champion on the tourney field, however he legged it from bannockburn leaving his Royal Seal behind.
He was dragged from the field against his will, and two good men gave there lives to protect his getaway because he would not leave earlier, despite repeated pleas.

He was a bad commander, and a total w***ker, but he was not a coward.
Although the problem is that you realise that we arguing over a battle about which there is still a lot of conjecture? To quote Aryeh Nusbacher "All we can really say about Bannockburn is that two groups of men fought there"

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:06 am
by Fox
Yes, that's true.

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:20 am
by Ian Macintyre
And we are not even sure where "There" actually was.

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:28 pm
by Lady Morgan
Alan_F wrote:Lady Morgan, I forgot that one - there is also the facts that bagpipes weren't around in Scotland at the time either - there is no evidence to support that claim either.
Alan, it's true they didn't exist in the form we know them as today, and just incase anybody is interested I've found a few websites about them. But bagpipes have been around in one form or another for longer than people realise! Which I think is pretty cool.

http://www.bagpipes-henderson.com/historyBagpipes.html
http://www.kilberry.com/history.html
http://www.visitdunkeld.com/bagpipe-history.htm

They were just the first ones to come up.

Now I have the dates, and you look at what's on the website they should had the Uilliean pipes on screen as well, as they would have been around during the period. :|

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:52 pm
by zauberdachs
Perhaps it'd be simpler to have a "what's right about Braveheart" thread...

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:03 am
by Alan_F
zauberdachs wrote:Perhaps it'd be simpler to have a "what's right about Braveheart" thread...
It'd be a very short thread..

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:28 am
by Jenn R
The horses are quite nice! :lol:

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:13 pm
by zauberdachs
that's the spirit! :D

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:34 pm
by Chickun
yeah but they are all leggy thoroughbred / Irish draught types, totally different to late 13th C destriers....

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:38 pm
by Jenn R
:oops:

I said they were nice.....I didn't realise they weren't authentic.....my mistake!

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:36 pm
by gregory23b
Jenn you forget that Braiefart is not even in the consideration stakes for much historically, and any wheat that there may be is soooooo buried under tonnes, metric or imperial of chaff that it is hard to see.

Ole Chickun may be fowl but is an equestrian anorak type, so to him he will see thoroughbreds, to us they are nice horseys either to look at or to consume - or both even.

It is Alan F's favourite film, he uses it for all of his references on Medieval Scottish History, he is always telling us how accurate it is, aren't you Alan?> :twisted:



<ducks

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:57 pm
by Alan_F
Jorge.

Run.

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:08 pm
by guthrie
It is fun to point out that in the SCotsman newspaper yesterday they had an opinion piece by a professor of history complaining about how they were going ot downgrade history teaching in schools nad merge it with geography and modern studies etc. It was acccompanied by a picture of bekilted and be-targed types at Bannockburn. How ironic.

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:31 pm
by craig1459
Billy Connolly was spot on:
"You know all that tat that we sell to tourists - hairy highlanders and tartan? We think that's the culture - we give each other hairy highlanders for Christmas!"

(Exiled Scot)

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 2:08 pm
by gregory23b
Alan, not only am I running, I have changed my identity ;-)


Craig - funny.

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 3:43 pm
by Segrave
Alan_F wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Alan_F wrote:I never said he was effeminate.
No you didn't that was shot at Braveheart.
Alan_F wrote:He may have been a Champion on the tourney field, however he legged it from bannockburn leaving his Royal Seal behind.
He was dragged from the field against his will, and two good men gave there lives to protect his getaway because he would not leave earlier, despite repeated pleas.

He was a bad commander, and a total w***ker, but he was not a coward.
Although the problem is that you realise that we arguing over a battle about which there is still a lot of conjecture? To quote Aryeh Nusbacher "All we can really say about Bannockburn is that two groups of men fought there"
As I understand the politics of the time, it was not the fact that Gavaston was (or wasn't) gay it was he was a jumped up Gascon who had been elevated by Eddie 2 to the nobility (can't remeber which Dutchie!!) and was p*****g of the rest of the nobility by lording it over them. He also was a Tourney Champion if I remember rightly!

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:49 pm
by Vlad
Segrave wrote: As I understand the politics of the time, it was not the fact that Gavaston was (or wasn't) gay it was he was a jumped up Gascon who had been elevated by Eddie 2 to the nobility (can't remeber which Dutchie!!) and was p*****g of the rest of the nobility by lording it over them. He also was a Tourney Champion if I remember rightly!
As I recall Gaveston was put in charge of a little place called 'Ireland', and yes, this didn't sit too well with the rest of the nobility.

A lot of the reasoning behind Edward II and Gaveston's supposed homesexuality comes from the greeting bestowed on Gaveston by Edward II following his return from France.

As you'll recall, Gaveston was exiled to France by Edward I, however as soon as Mel Gibson'd dwarf ninja assassin squad had killed him off (with lasers, I believe), Gaveston came sailing back to jolly old England with a fetching "Baissez moi vite" hat and much garlic.

The story goes that Edward II met Gaveston at the dockside and kissed him - on the forehead, the lips, the palms of both hands, the groin and then on both feet (stories vary, but Edward kissing Gaveston's feet is pretty much constant).

It was the idea of the new king geting all smoochy with some bloke's feet that seemed to confirm his sexuality.

Most things I've read suggest that Edward II's actions were those of somebody greeting his returning lover - the only exception being an account penned by some space cadet who stopped re-arranging her furniture, burning essential oils and waving crystals about for long enough to speculate that it was the traditional greeting accorded by a follower to the leader of a secret wiccan cult (!).

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:51 pm
by Vlad
Oh, and I think that the authenticity of 'Braveheart' could have been greatly improved by the inclusion of more dinosaurs.

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:52 pm
by colonelboris
Any one else seen that bloke near Edinburgh castle dressed up like a poor extra from that film telling the Yanks 'that's how it really was'. Oh how I laughed... That and the line of descent of the Scottish crown, ending in ERII, but they still whine on about then not being the real Royal family up there.
Grr...