William Wallace is a Scottish rebel who leads an uprising against the cruel English ruler Edward the Longshanks, who wishes to inherit the crown of Scotland for himself. When he was a young boy, William Wallace's father and brother, along with many others, lost their lives trying to free Scotland. Once he loses another of his loved ones, William Wallace begins his long quest to make Scotland free once and for all, along with the assistance of Robert the Bruce. Written by
At the funeral of Wallace's father, the child Murron plucks a thistle, the national flower of Scotland, and gives it to the boy Wallace. This is both physically impossible (every species of thistle in the British Isles is so prickly and so tough-stemmed that you could only wrench one from its stem wearing protective gloves) and symbolically absurd (the toughness and prickliness of the thistle is its whole point as a symbol of Scottishness). See more »
I shall tell you of William Wallace. Historians from England will say I am a liar, but history is written by those who have hanged heroes. The king of Scotland had died without a son, and the king of England, a cruel pagan known as Edward the Longshanks, claimed the throne of Scotland for himself. Scotland's nobles fought him, and fought each other, over the crown. So Longshanks invited them to talks of truce - no weapons, one page only. Among the farmers of that shire was Malcolm ...
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On USA prints, the Paramount Pictures logo has a gray tint, while on international prints, the 20th Century Fox logo fanfare is muted. See more »
I tried to like this movie, I really did. The freedom speech earned all the above stars you see, just for that tiny scene. One of the most powerful scenes in all of cinema, yet, there is the matter of the other three hours, forgive me. The movie is one of the darkest, relentlessly depressing movies with gratuitous gore, cannibal glee and blood lust that is, frankly, disturbing. Did we need to see the pick through the top of his head? The weapon into both eye sockets? This was my problem with Apocalypto it probably is a good movie if I bailed all the blood and gore out of my living room. From the beginning, it is depressing; only The Elephant Man exceeds it in pure dark night. I defer to other historical experts; I can say this much the English do not have a patent on villainy. I agree with Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket: "Here you are all equally worthless." For those who do not live in books, as I do, here is a good rule of thumb: whenever any ethnic group holds themselves up as the repository of light and all others of darkness, you can be assured they are full of crap. The Scottish nobles were not renowned for they saintliness. I do know that the historical time line is completely false. She could not have carried Wallace's baby. Edward I was considered to be one of the most innovative and greatest rulers of England. Could we have, perhaps, a slightly more historically balanced presentation of him?
Aside from these endless debates, which get us nowhere, The movie is one long gore fest like Apocalypto. McGoohan is at the top of this acting form here; this is the reason to watch the movie. I do not think the man ever gave a better performance,"The trouble with Scotland is that it is full of Scots." The savage glee with which the killing is performed; the open cannibal blood lust and joy of bathing in other's blood: forgive me, was that necessary to tell his story? See, when people with intelligence watch this we cannot but wonder if the killing was the point and the ideology justifying it a fig leaf. If you like seeing Gibson, bathed in human gore, dripping with blood happier than a cannibal at a missionary cook in: this is the movie for you. Cruelty never justifies cruelty; he becomes the very image of the people he detests and we get a bit morally lost along the way. The whole sub story of the adoring English ladies forming a kind of glee club for blood soaked butchers is most tiresome.
The two of them walking around recounting his deeds, as if this gets their bloomers ablaze, forgive me, is rather puerile. It reminded me of Shatner showing himself climbing that mountain and putting a Klingon whose sole purpose in life is to defeat him. Both are parallel self pleasuring if you know what a mean. When we are not drenched in blood and gore, the film drags quite a bit. I am sorry but which group of land lusting noble swine oppress the people just doesn't send my elevator to the top. Yes, if only fur coat boy were in charge, yes, then heaven would be on earth. Indigenous nobility were not appreciably worse than alien nobility. They both had the same purpose: milk the peasants of every drop of money and labor they could give. If you enjoy lots of squabbling over who is in charge of what with a bunch of kilted men eternally bitching and fighting: have at it. It bored me. I advise you to read a history of Mary Queen Of Scots. This is not heaven you have entered; she assisted in killing her own husband then married one of the killers. Watch the excellent movie with Vanessa Redgrave.
My point is which group of villains rule over a country could not interest me in the least. Where on earth do you imagine all this iniquity flows from? Human Nature, good luck improving it. The glorification of the Scots and the concomitant delineation of the English as Satan's imps, forgive me, speaks more to Mel being an Australian than to historical veracity. There is this unrelenting demonetizing of the English right out of a comic book. The Lords Of The Congregation who ruled over Scotland, for a time, were not renowned for their heavenly saintliness towards papists. This is the other problem the movie's deep sense of historical unreality about it. You feel right away that you are getting a parallax view, a very biased one sided picture.
I just cannot recommend the movie. I loved the freedom speech, that is the reason for the four stars. The rest of the movie is long, ugly, boring, gory and depressing.
"We Shall Leave This Earth As Foolish And As Wicked As We Found It." Voltaire
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