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.
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.
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.
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.
Corrected entry: At the scene where the surrendering redcoats are killed, after one kneeling is shot in the head, look to the left and a little farther in the background of this action. You can see an actor who is supposed to be stabbing a redcoat on the ground, but it actually looks like he's spanking him to death.
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)
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?
Corrected entry: In the last battle, Col. Tavington is racing towards Benjamin Martin (flag in hand) on his horse. Martin then kneels and stabs Tavington's horse, sending the horse flying. Freeze frame here, you can clearly see that the horse is on a track; the mechanics are visible on the bottom right of the screen. (The filmming crew used a fake horse for this, as mentioned in the special effects featurette on the DVD version).
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.
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.
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.
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)
Corrected entry: After Tavington is down by the creek shaving, he comes back up the hill and gets on his horse. He is supposed to be sticking something in his chest pocket, but you can clearly see it miss and fall to the ground.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Corrected entry: In church, Anne is wearing the necklace that Benjamin later gave her as a wedding gift when she and Gabriel got married.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!'
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.
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.
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.
Corrected entry: Cooper's character talks about the battle of Bunker Hill. At the time it was called Breed's Hill.
Corrected entry: In the beginning when all the children are rushing to Gibson in the woodhouse because of the postal worker delivering the mail, one boy loses his hat (this is very obvious), and it reappears in the next shot of him running.
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.
Corrected entry: When Gabriel comes to the house with his bloody chest wound, he lays down and they rip off his shirt to reveal the wound. On the far shot there is blood surrounding it, but when they come back to the near shot, the blood is gone.
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.
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).
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