The Patriot

The Patriot (2000)

47 corrected entries

(7 votes)

Corrected entry: When Mel Gibson is making bullets by melting metal toy soldiers in a spoon over a fire, from one shot to the next, the soldier's uniform changes colors, from red to blue.

Correction: He was melting metal soldiers of both the British and the colonial Americans. That explains why it appears to be changing from red to blue.

Corrected entry: Throughout the movie when loading their pistols, the characters are always seen ramming the musket balls into their guns and then throwing the ramrod away. In reality soldiers were taught to always place the ramrod back in the gun after they were done ramming. It would be impossible to fire the gun again if they did not have a ramrod to ram the next musket ball in.

Correction: It is quite likely that the soldiers would have tossed their ram rods aside BRIEFLY, so that they could slightly shorten the reloading process (which is a good thing to do if you're required to stand up in the open in order to reload.) You'll see Civil War skirmishers (reenactors who engage paper targets with live ammunition) do it all the time, in order to maintain the muzzleloading musket's goal of 3 rounds per minute. Once they fired, they would have picked the ram rod up again to reload, then toss it aside again.

Corrected entry: Tavington supposedly knew where to find the Martin family by asking Wilkins who lived in the home he had burned down, yet that home was no longer occupied, and he would not have known to look for them at Charlotte's house.

Correction: First he asked him who lived in that home. Then he asked him where Martin would hide his children. Wilkins said he would lead Tavington to Charlotte's house.

Corrected entry: The flames from the torch that are burning the church are WAY up high on the building, far away from the door. A split second later, tons of smoke comes pouring into the church from under the door.

Correction: Yes, because another torch was thrown in front of the doors (we don't see it happen). You can see when they show the outside the church that there are flames (a torch) in front of the doors, presumably there to prevent anyone's escape if they managed to break through the chains on the doors.

Corrected entry: In church, Anne is wearing the necklace that Benjamin later gave her as a wedding gift when she and Gabriel got married.

Correction: The necklace Anne wears in church is one with a cross on it. The necklace she receives from Benjamin is one with a polestar.

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.

Twotall

Corrected entry: In the shot were Cornwallis just won his victory and Martin and his son witness the defeat, Cornwallis' colonel says "Glorious victory my lord." The shot is through the his telescope and you see the Continentals retreating towards him and the British chasing them. So he is sitting with General Gates--his arch enemy.

Correction: That particular shot is from the perspective of General Gates as he realises he has been beaten again.

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 escaped slaves would not have been living openly on the beach and fishing. They would probably have been way off in the mountains. This is verified in the Smithsonian Article by the researcher from the Smithsonian involved in research for the film.

Correction: While it may not be factual, it is made evident at the beginning that Martin does not consider these people slaves. One tells Col. Tavington "We are freed men..." It is also fairly evident that the beach is a refuge set up by Martin's men for the people they free from captivity, which happens to be most of the "freed men" and women that previously worked at Martin's plantation (including Abigale).

Corrected entry: Benjamin and his children arrive at Charlotte's house with only the clothes on their backs (their belongings were burned with their house.) Yet, the next morning, there seem to be plenty of well-fitting clean clothes for everyone. The same is true of going to live with the slaves. They seem to be able to get more clothes there as well.

Correction: Charlotte has a plantation full of slaves and lives otherwise by herself. Martin's family seems to be her only close relatives. It would make sense that she would have clothes for the children at her house. If she didn't, she had plenty of slaves and could have easily had clothing made during the night - plantations kept plenty of material around. It is very evident in the movie that Martin has freed the slaves that were taken from his house and set them up on the beach / island. It is possible that he had the slaves make or obtain clothing for them in the case that they had to leave Charlotte's plantation.

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: 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: 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: After ambushing the British in order to save his son, Gabriel, Mel Gibson surveys the carnage and then as the scene ends there is a silhouette of Mel walking off and the scene of the dead men and a wagon with a dead soldier on it. As the scene fades out you can very obviously see the 'dead' soldier laying across the wagon seat, sit up - as though the director had just yelled 'Cut!'

Correction: The soldier sits up very slowly, as if surveying the damage. It is possible that the soldier is not 'dead'. Just because the man was shot, does not mean he died. Many people live through a gun shot. I assume that if the director had yelled 'Cut' all soldiers in the scene, including the one on the wagon seat, would have sat up much more quickly.

Corrected entry: In the movie, you see Gabriel (Heath Ledger) repairing a torn American flag, and when he dies, his father (Mel Gibson) finds the flag and rides out to the army with it. It's also used as a symbol during the Battle of Cowpen and motivates everyone to keep fighting and motivates Mel to not give up. It's all very touching and patriotic and all, save for the fact that the design for the American flag was not made until a good 20 to 30 years after the revolution.

Correction: This is totally untrue. from www.ushistory.org "On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress, seeking to promote national pride and unity, adopted the national flag. "Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."

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: 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: Amusing trivia: In the scene where Martin (Mel Gibson) goes to Fort Carolina to get his men released, there is a shot of him and Tavington (Jason Isaacs) facing each other. Gibson is wearing a hat and Isaacs isn't. Not only that, the latter is standing in a trench. These two things were done to make it appear as though the actors were the same height, when in fact, Isaacs is about five inches taller than Gibson.

Correction: Actually, according to IMDb.com, the two actors are only half an inch apart in height.

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.

Factual error: When Benjamin is handing a store clerk some money, you can see that he is giving him a $5 bill with Abraham Lincoln on it. This happened more than 80 years before he was president.

More mistakes in The Patriot

Susan Martin: Papa! Papa, don't, I'll say anything! Please, papa, I'll say anything you want, tell me what you want me to say and I'll say it... Papa please don't go.

More quotes from The Patriot

Trivia: At the beginning of the movie when Benjamin is taking the children to Aunt Charlotte's house in Charleston, there is a woman on the street that does not move, and wearing a big hoop dress. She is there to hide the fire hydrant on the street underneath her dress.

More trivia for The Patriot

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