The Patriot

The Patriot (2000)

48 corrected entries

(15 votes)

Corrected entry: In the scene where Benjamin Martin receives mail from the mail carrier, he fails to pay him the postage. At the time period, postage was always payed by the receiving party rather then the sender.

Michael Bailey

Correction: It was common practice at that time for well to do men, such as Benjamin Martin, to have an account at the post office much like he would have had at supply stores where he would pay monthly, or possibly after harvest times.

Corrected entry: During the battle of Cowpens, the bigot who has a change of heart says to the slave that "It's October" and "it's been over twelve months", meaning that the slave is free. All good and well. However, the Battle of Cowpens was fought in the month of January not October. (02:20:58)

Correction: Although largely based on actual events, the film is an historical fiction. Plenty of details surrounding timeline, identities, actions, etc are changed for drama. In fact, the battle is never actually identified as the Battle of Cowpens in the film, though it's based on the real battle. The date was likely chosen to fit the timeline better.

Corrected entry: The official design of the flag was 13 alternate red and white stripes, with a blue canton containing 13 stars, but the Continental Congress never specified any design for the stars. One variation was the circle of stars seen in the film, but it is very unlikely that every flag would have used this design. Many flags at the time had varying numbers of stripes, plus a Union Jack in the canton.

Correction: Unlikely but not impossible, so it's not a mistake.

Corrected entry: After the ship explodes and the woman proclaims, "Oh, fireworks. Lovely," Tavington downs his drink and places his glass gently on a surface to his left, yet we hear the sound of glass breaking, as if he had slammed or thrown it down. In fact, if you look closely you can see he hasn't even finished putting it down when we hear the sound effect. (01:14:20)

Correction: In my DVD version you can't see the glass anymore when you hear the sound. And if he throws the glass down powerful enough, there is no proof that the sound isn't corresponding with the impact of the glass.

Ronnie Bischof

Corrected entry: In the scene were Benjamin Martin is fighting Travington in the Battle of Cowspen, there is a shot of the overall battle and Martin starts to advance on Travington. Go to the scene before that, and in slow motion see Martin losing his pistol as it flies through the air. But because of film editing, he has it in the next shot.

Correction: Benjamin throws the gun away because he has already fired the shot. In the next scene you can see him running with a second gun tucked in his belt. That is the gun you see him holding in a later scene.

Corrected entry: During the Battle of Cowpens, the militia did fire two shots and was then allowed to withdraw, giving the British Army the impression that the Americans were fleeing. The Continental Army was also waiting for the British to fall into this trap. But the Continental Army was not waiting at the bottom of a hill as depicted in the movie. Only the troops landed by the British Navy at Gallipoli during World War I were foolish enough to dig in on the low ground.

Correction: At the Battle of Cowpens, the Continental Army did use a "reverse slope" ambush. A "reverse slope" ambush is where the main force waits on the back side of a hill at a point lower than the crest. The enemy is then lured to rapidly pursue fleeing forces over the crest of the hill. When the enemy reaches the top of the hill they are silohuetted against the skyline and are easy targets for the ambushing force. The volly delivered by the ambushing Continental Army was devestating to the British force, which combined with the surprise and confusion, allowed the Continental Army to win the Battle of Cowpens. (I've no idea what the Battle of Gallipolie has to do with this movie.).

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: 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: 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: 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 "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: 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, the two actors are only half an inch apart in height.

Corrected entry: In the scene when Benjamin Martin gives the necklace to Anne, in one shot Benjamin's got it in his hands, in the next one Anne holds it in her hands.

Correction: Ann never holds the necklace. Benjamin shows it to her, but she only cups it in her hands while Ben is holding it by the string and says "it's beautiful". Immediately after, Ben puts it on her so she never has a chance to hold it by the string.

Corrected entry: Cooper's character talks about the battle of Bunker Hill. At the time it was called Breed's Hill.

Correction: Actually, there are two hill's: Bunker and Breed's, which are right next to each other. The actual battle took place on Breed's Hill, but it has always been called The Battle of Bunker Hill.

Corrected entry: When Thomas gets shot by Tavington they show the blood-mark on his back. Then they show the blood-mark on his stomach and there's no blood-mark on his back.

Correction: If you look closely, you can see that Mel grabs Thomas before you get a second look at Thomas' back. Mel's hand happens to grab Thomas at exactly the place of the blood-mark.

Factual error: When Benjamin is handing a store clerk some money, he is giving him a $5 bill with Abraham Lincoln on it. This happened more than 80 years before he was president. And they didn't even use dollars during the Revolutionary war. They would have used British pounds.

More mistakes in The Patriot

Benjamin Martin: Before this war is over, I'm going to kill you.
Colonel William Tavington: Why wait?

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

Question: At the end of the movie, Martin stabs Tavington in the stomach, and then in the throat. How does he know Tavington is really dead this time? Earlier in the film, Tavington pretended to be dead twice after Martin's sons shot him.

Answer: Guns were less powerful during Revolutionary times and the wounds were more survivable. Deep and ripping knife stabs to areas like the abdomen and the neck area are more likely to be fatal. Tavington may not die instantly, but he would probably bleed out and/or bleed internally fairly quickly.

raywest Premium member

Would being stabbed in the stomach, and in the throat have been enough to kill a person as tough as Tavington?

Absolutely. A deep stab to the stomach/intestinal area would be very deadly even today. Being stabbed directly in the throat would kill someone very fast due to a lack of air and inhaling blood into the lungs.

LorgSkyegon Premium member

More questions & answers from The Patriot

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