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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Revolution

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American Revolution 1763-1789 The birth of a new nation - to commence at the Proclaimation of 1763 to the end of the Articles of Confederation.

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Old 11 Apr 15, 15:13
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The Patriot 15 years later

Thank you History Fan for the idea:

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=158519

Quote:
It came out in 1995 and won Mel a load of awards.

Watched it recently and my god besides the rascism against the English and it's lack of historical accuracy, it doesn't hold up as a film. I remember watching it years ago think in it's good and now thinking my god that's so cheesy. Complete with Mel being crucified and tortured screaming freedom

What do others think
History Fan's take on Braveheart is more or less my take on The Patriot.

I walked out of the theater 15 years ago thinking it was the best thing since Last of the Mohicans. 15 years later it just seems like Mel taking another cheap jab at the British Empire. I still love Last of the Mohicans but The Patriot just does not hold up for me.

Especially bad is the film's Tavington/Tarelton connection. I've since learned that American hero Henry Lee was quite similar to Banastre Tarelton in some ways. Consider Bloody Ban's actions at Waxhaws and Light Horse Harry's actions at Pyle's Massacre, aka Pyle's Hacking Match.

But Light Horse Harry was one of ours, plus the father of "Marse Robert," so it's all forgiven for Lee while Bloody Ban was British so Tarelton remains an easy target for vilification.
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  #2  
Old 11 Apr 15, 15:23
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Fifteen years later and I am still not allowed to watch THE PATRIOT with family.
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Old 11 Apr 15, 16:33
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Originally Posted by KRJ View Post
Thank you History Fan for the idea:

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=158519



History Fan's take on Braveheart is more or less my take on The Patriot.

I walked out of the theater 15 years ago thinking it was the best thing since Last of the Mohicans. 15 years later it just seems like Mel taking another cheap jab at the British Empire. I still love Last of the Mohicans but The Patriot just does not hold up for me.

Especially bad is the film's Tavington/Tarelton connection. I've since learned that American hero Henry Lee was quite similar to Banastre Tarelton in some ways. Consider Bloody Ban's actions at Waxhaws and Light Horse Harry's actions at Pyle's Massacre, aka Pyle's Hacking Match.

But Light Horse Harry was one of ours, plus the father of "Marse Robert," so it's all forgiven for Lee while Bloody Ban was British so Tarelton remains an easy target for vilification.
Thank you KRJ for the thread. It's weird how before the Jews, the English (I say English as there were no Welsh/Irish or Scots in it) Mels main bad guys

One thing that incensed a lot of people (in the UK ) was the burning of people in a church. Which was a WW2 atrocity by the SS and given to the British. That was really offensive, particuarly as the screen writer was German.

Most Brits don't even mind being the villain in films but that crossed a line.

There's a number of insulting things in varying degrees though. Mel and his 2 kids wiping out a whole platoon of redcoats was actually kind of funny at how ridiculous it looked but Mel also being a South Carolina plantation owner with no slaves was like WTF.

But the film anyway was pretty poor besides the above (the VILLIAN playing dead !!! ) but they waved the American flag a lot so hopefully in the producers minds,no one noticed.
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Old 11 Apr 15, 18:58
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The Patriot was terrible when it came out and is still terrible.

Sincerely,
M
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Old 11 Apr 15, 19:28
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I think that the City of Liverpool made a formal protest at the blackening of the Tarleton name.(for he was obviously the bad guy).He was later the Member of Parliament for that city,hence the concern.

No doubt that Tarleton was a ruthless commander but the Redcoats weren't the Nazi types portrayed.

Gibson should have stayed on Gallipoli.
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Old 11 Apr 15, 19:45
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No doubt that Tarleton was a ruthless commanderÖ..
"Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton...arrogant, ruthless, and by all reports (including his own) utterly charming." - Karen Hayden

http://home.golden.net/~marg/bansite/btbanvswill.html

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Old 11 Apr 15, 19:57
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I'll go against the grain here and say 'The Patriot' was fine as an action movie.

But as about historically accurate as the 'Fast and Furious' movies.

Mel's defence that he was making entertainment (so I believe) not a documentary and that if they'd followed historical events the movie would have been as 'dull as ditch water' is fair enough.

That is if it were true but rather the 'history' if shown truthfully or close to it wouldn't have played well to the 'lowest common denominator' that the marketing people were aiming the movie at -- as Hollywood (NOT! America) usually does.

A 'truthful' film may have raised too amny awkward questions eg Mel's character holding (and I seem to remember not being very nice) to slaves.

Not PC not box office
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Old 12 Apr 15, 00:02
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"Suppose way back in history if you had a referee before every war, and the guy called the toss. Letís go to the Revolutionary War."

[Referee speaking] "British call heads. Itís tails. What do you do, settlers? . . . Settlers say that during the war they will wear any color clothes that they want to, shoot from behind the rocks and trees and everywhere. Says your team must wear red and march in a straight line."
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Old 12 Apr 15, 02:04
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Originally Posted by Kevinmeath View Post
I'll go against the grain here and say 'The Patriot' was fine as an action movie.

But as about historically accurate as the 'Fast and Furious' movies.

Mel's defence that he was making entertainment (so I believe) not a documentary and that if they'd followed historical events the movie would have been as 'dull as ditch water' is fair enough.

That is if it were true but rather the 'history' if shown truthfully or close to it wouldn't have played well to the 'lowest common denominator' that the marketing people were aiming the movie at -- as Hollywood (NOT! America) usually does.

A 'truthful' film may have raised too amny awkward questions eg Mel's character holding (and I seem to remember not being very nice) to slaves.

Not PC not box office
In regards to Hollywood and the marketing, The reason they have there Issacs in a Redcoat rather than a Green coat(despite being called the Green Dragoon) is that they felt it would confuse the audience

Perhaps your right about awkward questions but Mel not having slaves and even hiding out on a slave island full of happy blacks, was so insulting it did ask the question whose picking the cotton ?
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Old 12 Apr 15, 02:34
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Perhaps your right about awkward questions but Mel not having slaves and even hiding out on a slave island full of happy blacks, was so insulting it did ask the question whose picking the cotton ?
Rice. Not cotton.
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Old 12 Apr 15, 02:52
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Tarleton seems to be on those fellows who was really bad at picking political fights. Part of the reason I would suppose that he's not well liked in history is because he's not likable. He and Cornwallis got into a controversy about the Southern campaigns after the war if I recall correctly and being one of the last major defenders of slavery and his opposition to abolition in the British Empire combined with American accusations of brutality during the war (not just limited to the Waxhaws Massacre) and you have a case of Tarleton perhaps earning some of his villainous reputation. I don't think this is entirely deserved, but then Tarleton was no angel either. That said, the proto-Nazi representation by Isaacs is a gross disrespect.

These days I cannot even sit through the entire film. The inaccurate uniforms, the complete inexcusable depiction of the Battle of Camden and the pissing on the performance of Johann De Kalb and the Maryland-Delaware division of Continentals makes me quit watching every time I attempt to make myself watch it. Sometimes I do wish that I could disengage and take it to be a stupid Roland Emmerich blockbuster that it is meant to be. But I can't when some people start thinking what is depicted is actual history.
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Old 12 Apr 15, 04:58
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Tarleton seems to be on those fellows who was really bad at picking political fights. Part of the reason I would suppose that he's not well liked in history is because he's not likable. He and Cornwallis got into a controversy about the Southern campaigns after the war if I recall correctly and being one of the last major defenders of slavery and his opposition to abolition in the British Empire combined with American accusations of brutality during the war (not just limited to the Waxhaws Massacre) and you have a case of Tarleton perhaps earning some of his villainous reputation. I don't think this is entirely deserved, but then Tarleton was no angel either. That said, the proto-Nazi representation by Isaacs is a gross disrespect.

These days I cannot even sit through the entire film. The inaccurate uniforms, the complete inexcusable depiction of the Battle of Camden and the pissing on the performance of Johann De Kalb and the Maryland-Delaware division of Continentals makes me quit watching every time I attempt to make myself watch it. Sometimes I do wish that I could disengage and take it to be a stupid Roland Emmerich blockbuster that it is meant to be. But I can't when some people start thinking what is depicted is actual history.
During the war Tarleton had a good relationship with Cornwallis, it was only after the publication of his book and critcisms of Cornwallis that they fell out.
There was one officer (forget the name) who hated him and did everything he could to blacken his name and even got into a publishing war with Hanger over it.

Tarleton was a young man who liked to fight. His boast that he killed more men and fu@#ed more women than anyone else summed him up. You'd always find him in the front rank. The 18th century version of the work hard play hard type. Was he ruthless yes but no worse than other commanders at the time.

In a strange way he'd probably be perversely proud of the whole Tavington reputation and find it funny.
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Old 17 Apr 15, 15:33
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The Patriot starring (Mel Gibson in 2000) did well at the at the Box Office @ $215,294,342.
Compared to Jeremiah Johnson starring (Robert Redford 1972).
@ $44,693,786.
I think I'd rather have seen a movie about the real life man Francis Marion. than the Composite Character Benjamin Martin.
I'm not sure if I'd want to meet the real life John "Liver Eating" Johnson though....
I'm thinking I'd rather stick with the Composite Character Jeremiah Johnson.
Hollywood creates these Composite Characters to produce what they think will be acceptable and sell to the public.
The hard core history buffs are left to explore how much is history fact or fiction.
Crow Killer "The Saga of Liver Eating Johnson by Raymond W. Thorp & Robert Bunker looks like a good read.
It would be interesting to see how much John Johnson has in common with The Kentucky Cannibal ( Boone Helm) if anything at all.

This is an excellent forum for W5 History Fact/ Fiction type questions & answers!

Regards,

Patrick
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Old 17 Apr 15, 15:45
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I liked the Patriot as an action movie.

While overall it was not realistic, it had some points I genuinely liked:

Excellent depiction of knife & hatchet fighting, a little-appreciated American fighting style that was important in its day.

It showed the limitations of muzzle-loaders.

It is one of the few movies to show the poor quality of the US militia in the Revolution.
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Old 17 Apr 15, 16:24
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Same here .

I watched it with my daughter (she was about 11-12)... it both made her cry AND fall in love with Mel . She is over that tho after some of his behavior off screen.

Her favorite character now after watching it many times is the horrible British leader (T) . Must be the accent.
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