The Patriot

The Patriot (2000)

48 corrected entries

(14 votes)

Corrected entry: As the Battle of Cowpens opens, we see British artillery firing on the Continentals. Normally, that would not be a mistake, except that the artillery shown is seige artillery used on forts and such. The British would probably have used smaller cannon against advancing troop columns.

Correction: "Probably" doesn't qualify as a mistake, unless you know for a fact they didn't use this type of artillery.

Corrected entry: It's strange that all the "Redcoats" in the entire film have pronounced British accents. When you consider nearly 90% of the British force was made up of German mercenaries, it's odd that we never hear any speak in German or any with the slightest hint of a German accent.

David Mercier

Correction: While you are right that there were numerous German mercenaries fighting on the side of the British during the war, their numbers were nowhere near 90%. Rough estimates put it at around 25%, largely located in the Northern colonies which the British felt as "captured" and those not worth wasting British troops to guard. Also, Lord Cornwallis would never have fought with any troops other than British troops he had trained and knew their duty to his satisfaction.

However, it is interesting that there are absolutely no "English" accents amongst the Americans, at this point wouldn't all American accents sound more British by comparison to today?

Corrected entry: In the scene where Tavington is being told by Corwallis he may use "brutal" tactics, Tavington says he would not be able to return to England after committing such acts of violence. Cornwallis offers him the bribe of an enormous portion of American land. Tavington says "Tell me about Ohio." Ohio didn't not become an Amercan territory until after the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Ohio wasn't actually American land.

Correction: The Ohio River Valley was a British controlled territory at the time of the Revolution. Although many of the original colonial charters included parts of this area, the area was jointly claimed by France and Britain. It officially became part of the British Empire after the French & Indian War (Seven Years War in Europe). Tavington knew the colonies would eventually spread into this area and he wanted to control a big part of it when they did. To bad for him, the Americans won their independence, and in doing so the U.S. was given the Ohio River Valley as a concession in the Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolution in 1783. The Ohio River Valley was formally organized into several territories with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.

Mark English

Corrected entry: In the final scene between Benjamin and Tavington, Benjamin is kneeling ready to die and Tavington is standing behind him. Many continental army soldiers and militia are running past both men, one of them should have knifed or bayoneted a standing redcoat officer from behind. An easy win, but they all just run past.

Correction: They are too worried about their own lives to care about anyone else's.

Corrected entry: When Mel Gibson confronts Tavington at the end of the film, they engage in hand to hand combat, with Tavington using a long and short sword. Mel has his "Indian" hatchet and knife. Since Mel's a killer diller at throwing that hatchet, as evidenced earlier in the film during the ambush, when on two occasions he threw it at a distance with circus star accuracy, why not just dispatch Tavington that way, too, instead of getting into a bloody fight?

Correction: Because Tavington was an expert saberman and would have most likely blocked it. Then Mel would have only had his knife against a pair of swords.

Corrected entry: During one scene, Mel Gibson's soldiers ambush a British column in steady rain. In reality, the black powder used in the muskets of the day would not ignite if wet. Whole battles in the war were called off because of rain.

Correction: It is possible (though very difficult) to keep your powder dry in the rain. Several times during the revolutionary war Americans ambushed the British because the British thought they couldn't be ambushed in the rain. However sometimes it did backfire as the Americans didn't keep their powder dry enough and the British counterattacked with bayonets.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: Tavington seems to say he is from the "Queen's army" when he is introduced to the soldier injured by "the ghost," but there was no Queen then, there was a King (George III).

Correction: Tavington says he's from the Green Dragoons, not the Queen's army.

Corrected entry: When Ben tells his oldest daughter Margret to hide in the fields with William and Susan, as Ben and his 2 boys are running away there is a much older child than what Susan should be kneeling next to where Thomas is lying.

Correction: There is a passage of time, as noted in Gabriel's letter, from when the movie started in 1776, to when Thomas was shot. In his letter he mentioned the fall of Charleston to the British, which took place in 1780.

Steve Kozak

Corrected entry: When Benjamin stabs Colonel Tavington in the throat at the end of the last battle, he yanks the bayonet out of his throat immediately after stabbing him and then throws it away. However, he turns to watch his advancing troops and the bayonet is seen hanging out of Tavington's throat.

Correction: This is incorrect. Tavington is supported by the rifle with the bayonet that stabbed him in the stomach, but there is no bayonet in his throat.

Corrected entry: When Benjamin's milita go out on the battle fields to fight, you can see the cannon balls flying over the soldiers and the cannons in the back of the battlefield. Armies only used cannons at the beginning of a real battle because there was too great of a risk of hitting their own men. What the cannons did instead of firing over the soldiers was fire all of their cannons to hit the opponents artillery (cannons) until they felt it was safe to move in with the men.

Correction: The above correction states that cannon fire was only used at the beginning of the Battle thus avoiding Killing members in their ranks via friendly fire. However, there are some historical accounts that upon seeing the potential of losing a battle, General Cornwallis, in his desperation to save the victory, actually ordered the fire of artillery later in the battle, causing tragic loss to his own infantry as cannon fire fell short.

Corrected entry: When Charlotte gets the children out of bed to flee from the British, Susan is barefooted when Charlotte picks her up and they flee the house. The next morning, Susan has shoes.

Correction: This is not a mistake, we don't know what happened in the meantime, they'd have had several hours to get some shoes from somewhere else (e.g. form another family on their way to their refuge).

Ronnie Bischof

Corrected entry: There are numerous references made to "Redcoats" in a sense of fear, as though they are the elite troops of the time, I think "We're talking about real redcoats here," even pops up as a line. Whilst this elitism may have been true, nearly 90% of the troops sent to America during the American Revolution were poorly-trained German mercenaries (from the German state of Saxe-Hess), not properly-trained British soldiers as it was too expensive to send the proper troops, and the American generals knew about this flaw.

David Mercier

Correction: Which is why the Colonials are so afraid of "real" Redcoats. They knew they were better than the regular German opponents.


Corrected entry: During the final battle when Benjamin grabs the flag to rally the Continental troops, he is seen throwing his pistol away to his right. Then when he crosses the hill in the Battle of Cowpens, he shoots a British soldier.

Correction: If you look closely you can see a second pistol in his belt after he throws the first one away.

Corrected entry: The Great Dane dogs were a present from the King of England. To this day the only country in the world that clips Danes ears to make them stand up is the USA. Great Danes from Europe would have floppy ears.

Correction: Great Danes' original purpose was to hunt wild boars in England and Germany. When they were used for this, their ears WERE cropped to keep them from being shredded by the boars' long, sharp tusks during the hunt. So the movie is correct on this one.

Corrected entry: Mel Gibson's character marries his deceased wife's sister. This was forbidden as incestuous under English law at the time (until about 1870), I presume it was the same in the colonies.

Correction: A lot of things that were forbidden under English law were not allowed in the colonies, but that isn't to say that it didn't happen. I know that I have read several accounts of men marrying their blood sister which is even more incestuous. This was around the Revolution, stuff happens.

shortdanzr Premium member

Corrected entry: Heath Ledger is not wearing a blue coat when he is confronted by the bad guy for having dispatches, but when they cut away to a new angle he is.

Correction: When the family is all standing on the steps, if you watch carefully, you can see the coat in Gabriel's hand (he's holding it down low so as not to be seen). You can also see him starting to swing it on just as the camera cuts back to Tavington.

Corrected entry: When Benjamin Martin meets with Cornwallis about the prisoner exchange and brings the dogs in (Great Danes or otherwise), Cornwallis refers to them as "boys." The black dog is female.


Correction: "Boy" for dogs is gender neutral. A lot of owners of female dogs call it a boy. Certainly with 2 dogs you'd never say "come boy and girl."


I have 3 dogs, 1 male, 2 female. No one in the family calls them boys. Sorry but I don't buy that explanation. I think it was just a miss.


1 example, an example where the females are the majority. Not really a good example I'd say. Again, "boys" is gender neutral. Also, he says it once, just once. Are you saying it is not possible for someone to call a male and female dog "boys"? It's not a movie mistake.


It is entirely possible that the film-makers chose to have a female dog play a male dog. For example, in the TV show Lassie, Lassie is played by a male collie even though it is well-established that Lassie is a female. A more recent example is the reverse, where on the CBS show Seal Team, there is a dog on there named Cerberus who is male, but is in fact played by a female named Dita.

It should be noted that people have submitted mistakes for the wrong sexed animal being used (i.e. a male dog playing a female). But really to be considered a character mistake, it would have to be out of character for the person calling a female (or male) animal "boy" (or "girl"). Calling a male and female dog "boys" doesn't seem out of character enough to be a mistake.


Corrected entry: When the church is burned down and Anne is inside, the congregation is burned to death. Then, when they find the necklace that was given to Anne, it is still attached to the string. How could a ribbon and metal charm still be in good shape if the fire burned down the church?

Correction: Since it wasn't around the neck of Anne's body, we can assume that it fell off and then most likely got kicked by the panicked crowd into an area that didn't get as much fire damage.

Phixius Premium member

Correction: Possibly this could be explained by the fact that the British army never burned a church with people inside. While the British army did commit atrocities in North America during the war, but they never went as far as to deliberately incinerate civilians in a church.

They tried to, but after they left the town, it started raining, so the fire was put out.

Corrected entry: The main historical falsehood in this film is, of course, the burning of the church by British and Loyalist forces with the population of the town inside. This type of incident is typical of the Germans in World War 2 (e.g. Lidice, Oradour) but there is no comparable incident recorded from the American Revolution by either the British or the Americans.

Correction: You say the British tried to incinerate people in a church? Yes, atrocities were committed during the war, but I have NEVER heard of the British doing that! Please can you name the community where this took place? Or the date it occurred? Or name the Britons who perpetrated this outrage? The nearest equivalent I can find is Brunswick Town, in North Carolina. The citizens of Brunswick Town were exceptionally active in opposing British rule. In 1776 the British army and navy launched a retaliatory attack on Brunswick Town, and burnt the town, including the church. But the citizens of Brunswick Town saw the British coming, and fled for safety, so nobody was killed. Brunswick Town was never rebuilt, and the ruins of the church and the rest of the town are now a historic visitor attraction. I concede the British may have been morally reprehensible to burn Brunswick Town, but they did not go so far as to try to incinerate the townspeople.

Correction: Actually, the British did burn a church with the entire population of a town inside. However, the makers did change the fact that the moment the British had left the town, it began to rain and put out the fire; thus everyone survived. Most likely they only changed this for theatrical effect.

Corrected entry: When Gabriel is looking out the window you can hear the British playing "the British grenadiers." This was only used in the northern British campaign.

Correction: The music was used at the battle of Hobkirks Hill in South Carolina in 1781, the music was used by Lord Rawdon to help his troops defending the hill.

Factual error: All soldiers in the Continental Army are wearing the same uniforms. Officers and enlisted men wore significantly different uniforms.

More mistakes in The Patriot

Colonel William Tavington: Kill me before the war is over, will you? It appears that you are not the better man.
Benjamin Martin: You're right. My sons were better men.

More quotes from The Patriot

Trivia: The character Benjamin Martin was based very strongly on the real life militia leader Gen. Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox". In the original drafts of the script even the character's name was to be Francis Marion. However, during filming certain historical sources revealed that Francis Marion was perhaps a very dubious character who was accused of hunting Native Americans for sport and raping his female slaves. Historical debate rages over the veracity of these accusations; but Sony Pictures changed the name of the character to Benjamin Martin to avoid any potential controversy around the film.

More trivia for The Patriot

Question: Who was the baby in Charlotte's arms in the closing scene? Why was the baby not alluded to previously?

Answer: At the end of the film, it is implied that Charlotte and Benjamin Martin have married and had a child together. It wasn't alluded to earlier because it is meant to show that a person's life can start over, even after tragedy and loss.

raywest Premium member

More questions & answers from The Patriot

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