The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War, and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.
Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's (Bradley Cooper's) pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.
A marksman living in exile is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the President. Ultimately double-crossed and framed for the attempt, he goes on the run to find the real killer and the reason he was set up.
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.Written by
In the scene where the British raid Charlotte's plantation, Tavington looks under the tablecloth to see if anyone is hiding under the table. At this time, Nathan is hiding on the outside of the table on the right side. The tablecloth hangs several inches from the floor, so Tavington should have easily seen Nathan hiding on the other side the tablecloth through the gap between the tablecloth and the floor. See more »
I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me, and the cost is more than I can bear.
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In the extended edition, there are additional scenes involving Cornwallis and Tavington. Here, the viewer witnesses Cornwallis scolding Tavington in the presence of other officers -- In the scene, Cornwallis sarcastically remarks that Tavington has earned himself the nickname "The Butcher." This scene is important in that it helps establish and underscore the motive Tavington has for eliminating "The Ghost," Benjamin Martin. Further dialogue between the two is found later in the movie as well. See more »
Despite it's being fiction, it is certainly good entertainment
Whenever I see a film that is supposed to have historical basis, I am always a bit surprised to find out how much people complain about historical inaccuracies. I admit that I have done so in a few cases myself (Thin Red Line). However, in this case, I feel I must point out a few things.
All such films come with a disclaimer saying something to the effect that the characters portrayed aren't real and the story is just that, a story. For entertainment. Martin and Tavington did not actually exist, they are merely characters, possibly based (as has been suggested) on actual historical figures. I often wonder if such films as Treasure of the Sierra Madre, or Rio Grande, or just about any western flick was judged so harshly when it came out as we judge 'historical' pictures today? Or any pirate film? Zorro? Any film with knights in it? It seems to me that unless you are making a documentary, the historical accuracy doesn't truly matter in detail. Certainly, I enjoy films better when they seem to be a reasonably accurate portrayal of a time (costumes, technologies), but I don't carp about whether some person existed. Even if they did, I expect the film to be untrue so I can be entertained. For example, most wars are not constant fighting. Certainly some battles went on for days at a time, but there is a lot of waiting and a lot of marching. Yet most war films seem to be battle after battle after battle, with no real respite except for the wounded. Not so. How about some facts? Fact: Americans fought against themselves during the war. Many Americans served with the British forces. Fact: There were in fact many atrocities committed by the British forces, rapes, property burning, etc. Don't believe me? Check out the history of what happened to the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, their families and their properties. That's actual history, not just entertainment history. Of course, this wasn't only limited to the British forces. According to Massachusetts history, the Revolutionary forces (not necessarily the armed forces even) were, um, not kind to people who sympathized with the British. The tavern recruitment scene suggests this quite well. Were churches actually burned with a town's population inside. Maybe, maybe not, but it certainly was dramatic, wasn't it? Fact: Literacy was not as common at that time as it is today. Many people, especially the lower classes, and slaves could not read.
Did Cornwallis have a pair of great danes that were 'captured' by the enemy? I doubt it, but possibly. Were slaves that served in either army freed after a certain term of service? Again, I don't know. (I am not even certain that slavery was allowed in Britain at the time. Indentured servants, I think yes (though the difference is slight, I grant you), but actual slavery, hmm. I'll have to check on that.) The colonies typically did form their own militias for local use. The americans did, as a general rule, fight using more guerilla tactics (especially early on, the american forces were composed largely of more militia than regulars, see below for comments on militia), check the accounts of the battle of Concord, and what happened to the British forces as they withdrew.
War is brutal and ugly. People die. Many of the soldiers don't want to be there. Militia, being less well trained and thus disciplined, does have a tendency to fight very poorly in set piece battles (check current and past arguments for keeping a 'standing' 'professional' army).
Ignoring the historical accuracies or lack thereof (and btw, Braveheart was not 100% accurate either, though the main characters , Wallace, Robert the Bruce, King Edward, did all exist, but again, I don't seem to recall people complaining so loudly about that) I found Mel's character to be believable and well portrayed. Yes, there were elements of Hollywood happiness in the film (the beach town, he workers attitudes, the romances) and Hollywood sadness' in the film (the massacre, the child's death), but it was very entertaining. I found many of the battles to be very realistic (okay, pistols WERE NOT that accurate and never have been) and sufficiently entertaining for my needs.
Overall, a very good film. Hollywood, certainly, but entertaining.
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