The Patriot

The Patriot (2000)

78 mistakes

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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.

Visible crew/equipment: In the final battle scene where Benjamin is fighting Tavington one-on-one, the camera angle widens and shows the whole battle scene. In the bottom right corner, you can see another camera filming the action.

Factual error: In one scene Lord Cornwallis' adjutant announces to Lord Cornwallis that a messenger (Benjamin Martin) has arrived. After initially dismissing the message, Lord C. pays attention on the mention of two "Great Danes" in Martin's company. The Great Dane as we know it today had many names over the centuries, but the Danish connection only became common use in the 19th century (Comte de Buffon - l'Histoire Naturelle - 1811). Until then the British would have called them Mastiffs (English or German), English Dogges, or perhaps even Boarhounds. Actually - the English Kennel Club of Britain didn't officially recognize the term/breed "Great Dane" until 1884.

Continuity mistake: The beginning starts in 1776. The film ends in the year 1781 with the battle of Cowpens, a five year period. The children in the film do not age in that five years, except the youngest and that is after what I judged a six month period.

Continuity mistake: In the scene after Gabriel dies, the camera pans down from the top and you see the U.S. flag with all fifty stars, but when Benjamin leaves the tent it has only thirteen on it.

Revealing mistake: In the shot where Benjamin is riding his horse to the top of the hill, the camera pans from left to right and in the distance is the British army. But if you look to the left the trees are way too huge (a bad scale). If Benjamin had ten militamen cut one down, it would have wiped out 1/4 of the British army shown.

Continuity mistake: When John Billings, a member of the militia, finds his wife and child murdered and his house burned by Tavington's Green Dragoons, he promptly shoots himself in the head. But later in the movie, at the ending battle of Cowpens, you can see him standing in the ranks, getting shot if you look closely.

Continuity mistake: When Benjamin rides over the hill holding the fluttering flag, the flag is in his left hand. In the next shot, the flag is in his right hand, and the flagpole base is in a scabbard attached to the saddle.

Revealing mistake: When Benjamin and Harry are talking on the steps of the legislature of Charlestown after deciding to go on war with the British, you can see a man behind them with something in his ear, a hearing aid or earpiece. (00:16:30)

Continuity mistake: In the shot where Tavington is loading his pistol (before he shoots the Rev.), he throws his ram rod, but when Benjamin's son is going to shoot him he has it back (he did not have an extra).

Continuity mistake: When Benjamin comes down the steps out of the meeting, he walks towards his oldest son signing up. He approaches his son and his son is facing away, but they cut back to Benjamin and his son is facing him. They cut back to the son and he turns around and then back to Benjamin and it's the same shot again. His son was turned around before he turned around. (00:15:35)

Revealing mistake: In the shot where General Cornwallis says, "Unless I'm dreaming..." The shot is through his telescope. Notice that he's on a tall hill but the shot is almost level to the ground and it's moving down.

Continuity mistake: Gabriel writes in his letter that his friend was killed at Elizabethtown, but you can see that the letter actually states he was killed at Monmouth.

Revealing mistake: When Tavington has sliced Benjamin across the back in the final battle, Benjamin falls to his knees and the bayonet on the end of the gun he's holding, which is supposed to be metal, jiggles like rubber when the gun hits the ground.

Factual error: During the American Revolution, men saluted by taking off their hat and lowering to their side, then putting it on again. In the movie, Gabriel (Heath Ledger) salutes by placing his hand on his head....the way we are used to now.

Continuity mistake: In the final battle scene, when you see the British in the distance from the Americans' point-of-view. There is a fence in the middle of the field, but when the two armies engage each other the fence disappears.

Visible crew/equipment: In one scene while Benjamin and his friends are standing and talking, you can see above them a large microphone.

Joe Campbell

Factual error: When Benjamin Martin and his family go to Charleston, the first view we see of the city is a shot from a hilltop, looking down on the city from the north. Charleston is a port city in the "Lowcountry" of South Carolina, a broad coastal plain. Thus, the land around the city is extremely flat, and the nearest hill of that elevation is at least 80 miles inland.

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

Factual error: The French only seem to show up at Yorktown in 1781, but they actually arrived in 1778 (the Americans would never have won if they arrived that late).

Continuity mistake: When Thomas and Gabriel come out of the woods and spot the postman, Thomas start running and runs quite a distance from Gabriel. When it cuts Thomas is just a few feet away from Gabriel while running. (00:02:50)

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Continuity mistake: In the beginning when the girl is holding up a card in front of the boy, her grip on the card changes when she lowers it. (00:01:55)

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Continuity mistake: In the final fight scene between Benjamin and Tavington, when Tavington flies off his horse and lands on the ground, his pants are visibly untucked from his boots. A few seconds later, when he stands up, his pants are tucked back into his boots.

Continuity mistake: Charlotte is reading a letter from Benjamin at the end of the film. When the camera is pulled back far enough to show her surrounded by Benjamin's children as she reads, Charlotte's dress has a modest neckline and shows no cleavage. When the camera cuts to a closeup that shows just the letter and her chest, she suddenly has several inches of cleavage showing, obviously another dress.

Continuity mistake: When the Colonial militia leave after the parlay with Cornwallis, Benjamin Martin whistles for the two dogs. The dogs can be seen running through the gates at the heels of the militia but do not appear in any other of the scenes with the militia riding back to camp. (01:34:50)


Continuity mistake: In the scene when the Martins are in Charleston, Peter Howard is talking about his experience in the French and Indian War and how he lost his leg fighting in it. When the camera shows him standing there, he is holding a crutch under his right arm, seemingly supporting him, but it is his left leg that is missing. So he is actually giving support to his good leg while giving none to the missing one.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Cornwallis is being shaved with a straight razor the amount of shaving cream on his face changes from almost none to nearly full in one shot.

Factual error: When Cornwallis is preparing to hang the militia they are testing the gallows which have trap doors, these were not yet being used at the time of the American Revolution. (Source director's commentary.) (01:27:00)


Factual error: Although the historical advisor for the film is The Smithsonian Institute it does not seem to have noticed that the toy soldiers used in the film (some in superb close-up} are all dressed in uniforms of the mid to late 19th cent., i.e. approx. 100 years later than when the film is set.

Continuity mistake: During the battle of Cowpens, the French Major points out to Benjamin Martin that the line is beginning to falter. Benjamin runs to stop the retreat. As he runs towards the camera he is holding his pistol in his right hand but grips it by the barrel to swing it like a hammer or club. The camera then cuts to show Benjamin running away from the camera and the pistol is now gripped by the handgrip as it would be for firing.

Factual error: During the evening at the beach scenes, the sky over the sea appears as though it is during sunset. In the morning, the sunrise is in the same direction. A South Carolina beach would only face toward a sunrise.

Continuity mistake: In the part when Gabriel and Tavington are fighting right before Gabriel is killed, Tavington drops his sword before getting shot by Gabriel. When he is shot by Gabriel, he falls onto the ground which is clear of all debris. When Gabriel approches Tavington to stab him, Tavington flips over and stabs Gabriel with his sword, which he had dropped earlier.

Continuity mistake: In one battle scene, a soldier's head is knocked off by a cannonball but the same soldier appears in a later battle scene, complete with head.

Factual error: In the scene at Lord Cornwallis' outdoor party celebration, right after Benjamin Martin and his Continental Army blows up a British Ship, one of Lord Cornwallis' Captains throws back a big gulp of his drink from his Martini glass in grief and disbelief - the problem is this movie takes place in the mid 1700s and the Martini Glass wasn't invented until the 1920s, during the Roaring Jazz days.

Continuity mistake: When Thomas is sitting by the window painting his tin figure he looks out the window while holding his brush away from the figure. When it cuts to close-up the brush is on the figure. (00:21:40)

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Continuity mistake: In the scene where Benjamin Martin is saving Gabriel from the Redcoats, he's hiding behind the trees. In the second to last shot before he runs down the hill to go hand-to-hand, you can see that the tree has red marks on it, and then in the next shot of the tree, they're gone.

Factual error: In the scene where the Martins are leaving Charlestown to go to Santee, they are actually travelling south toward the west Ashley area of south Carolina. If they were actually travelling to Santee they would be heading northwest with Charlestown directly behind them.

Continuity mistake: When Thomas is shot, the entry and exit wounds are the same height. SInce the shooter was on horseback, the exit wound should be lower. (00:29:15)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Mel catches his son trying on his old uniform jacket. The shot goes from Mel to his son then back to Mel. The candle on the wall behind him is not lit, then lit, then out again.

Continuity mistake: When Gabriel is sitting in the snow writing a letter, we see a close up of a quill pen. Then, in the next shot, the writing implement looks more like a pencil than a quill pen. And wouldn't it be a trick to sit in the snow with a bottle of ink?

Continuity mistake: After the Green Dragoons burn the people in the church, the Militia chases them to the riverbank. Col. Tavington shoots Rev. Oliver who falls to his knees holding his rifle with the barrel to the right. Rev. Oliver throws the rifle up for Gabriel to catch, but now the barrel is pointing to the left.

Continuity mistake: Another mistake in the scene for the battle of Cowpens involves Benjamin Martin charging at Colonel Tavington. As Benjamin charges, the camera shows him from the front and you see he is gripping the flag with one hand, his right. The camera then cuts to a different view to show Colonel Tavington on horse back charging towards Benjamin. Although Benjamin is slightly out of focus, you can see that he is now carrying the flag across his body with two hands (Flag towards Benjamin's left). The camera then shifts again to show Benjamin from the front and you now see him shift the flag from a one handed grip to a two handed grip.

Factual error: In Gabriel's letter, he says his friend fell at Elizabethtown. The battle, which was actually the battle of Monmouth in NJ, was fought in June 1780, but when they show him getting shot it is blizzard conditions.

Steve Kozak

Factual error: Mel Gibson's son has toy soldiers from the future. In one shot when he is melting one of the soldiers it is visible. Although it has a red uniform it isn't a British soldier. In fact it depicts Hofburg Trabanten Leibgarde which was the personal guard of the sovereign originally from Austria, in uniform from around 1850 - 1918. (01:10:55)

Pa Sta

Factual error: Throughout the film, all the women are running around without "modesty pieces," a scarf/shawl that would cover their shoulders and tuck into the front of their dress, so their breast tops were not exposed.

Deliberate mistake: The Americans actually spoke with American accents, but these very new Americans were British in origin, and so they couldn't develop a new accent in such a short time. The Americans should still have British accents. This would have been confusing and is done for the viewer's benefit, but still a mistake.

Continuity mistake: Right after the scene where Benjamin Martin attacks the British army for the very first time to save his son, Col. William Tavington is interviewing the only survivor of the attack in a tent in a British camp. His green collar keeps popping in and out from under his leather strap over his right shoulder.

Continuity mistake: When Gabriel wakes up after having had his wound treated he lifts his hand, covering his eyes. When it cuts his hand is suddenly on his forehead. (00:24:35)

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Continuity mistake: At the end when they are returning to the homestead, in one shot, Charlotte holds a baby in her left arm, followed by a shot of one of the boys. In that shot, Charlotte's left arm is hanging to her side with no baby.

Continuity mistake: After Benjamin and his sons ambush the British troops, a surviving British soldier is holding a knife to the left side of Gabriel's neck threatening to kill him. Benjamin throws his axe in the soldier's head, and he falls to the ground, but cuts Gabriel on the neck. As he falls, the knife drags along the left side of Gabriel's neck, but the cut is on the right side of his neck.

Revealing mistake: Gabriel is noticeably breathing when he is supposed to be dead.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Tavington is questioning the wounded soldier after Mel killed all those men with his sons, his collar is tucked in when he enters the tent, in the next shot it is tucked out. This continues for the next few shots.

Continuity mistake: Tavington does a fast reload and adopts a duelist's stance, i.e. side on so as to make a smaller target. Gabriel shoots him and Tavington falls. We later see that Tavington is only creased on his left side which is strange since Gabriel could not have hit him there since it was the side farthest away from him.

Continuity mistake: After Garbriel gets married, there was a wedding party. During the party you can see a slave playing a xylophone-type instrument while a boy stands next to him. However, when Benjamin is talking to his new daughter-in-law, the slave can be seen in the background while the boy is nowhere to be found.

Continuity mistake: In the battle scene where the cannonball rolls through taking out the troops legs. Watch it frame-by-frame, two legs are shown close up to be taken out by the cannonball. Both explode at the time it passes through the first leg, not as it hits each one.

Continuity mistake: When Gabriel dies his head is facing straight up looking at the sky. then they cut the scene and show Ben then they show Gabriel again and this time he is facing his father.

Continuity mistake: When Gabriel is pulling his knife out of the dead British soldier, there is a long piece of grass on it. It shows Col. Tavington's body on the ground, then it shows Gabriel holding his knife again, and the piece of grass is gone. He is also standing in the same position as before, so it seems unlikely that he pulled the grass off the blade.

Continuity mistake: This mistake is painfully speculative. A British soldier falls "as if he was hit with Benjamin's bullet" but this is not shown definitely, even submitter is not sure. Ends with a question, "How did he reload his gun so fast?" Because he has extensive military experience. Because the shot may not have represented real time. Because his life depended on it. Because he may have had a second gun. If submitter does not know these things for sure, how can this possibly be a valid mistake?

Continuity mistake: As Benjamin's milita walk onto the battlefield on the morning of the final battle, we see many shots of the soldiers. One soldier has a bloody bandage around his forehead and blood running down his face. This is early morning and there didn't seem to be a battle the previous day. Why is he bleeding, and why wasn't it cleaned up during the night?

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Benjamin is saying goodbye and asking Susan to speak to him, Charlotte (standing beside Susan) puts her hand on Susan's back. In the shots of Susan (from the front), the hand remains on the back throughout the scene. In the shots from behind her (showing Benjamin's face), the hand is not on her back. There are several back-and-forths.

Continuity mistake: In the scene when Benjamin's previously silent daughter runs to him - to say that she loves him and wants him to come back, there's a continuity error in the location of her pigtails. When the camera is at her back, they're behind her head and when the camera faces her, they're in front over her shoulders.

Revealing mistake: During the battle at the end, while Martin and Tavington are fighting, you can tell the battle going on behind them is a blue screen because they are often moving slower than the battle and vice-versa.

Continuity mistake: In the fight scene between Benjamin and Tavington near the end of the movie, just as Benjamin is about to stab Tavington in the throat, the "blood" on his left sleeve appears to be green. In the next shot (as he turns away) it is a dark red. This was seen on a HD television broadcast.

Audio problem: After Gabriel shoots Tavington, he walks over to finish him off with his knife. He tosses it up in order to change his grip. When he does so, we hear metal scraping against metal, but he tossed the knife through the air, so it could not possibly have made that sound. (02:08:05)

Continuity mistake: In one scene where Benjamin rides up on the horse with the flag in the hand the flag changes. One shot it is old, the next is new. The white goes from dirty and then to clean.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Gabriel is in the tent with Benjamin and another officer, the officer has a jar in his hand and in the next shot he is handing Gabriel a piece of paper then in the following shot the jar is gone. What happened to it?

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Benjamin is meeting with General Cornwallis (when they have captured the "scarecrows"), and making agreements with him, watch the white feather sitting on his desk. First it's facing sideways then it's facing frontward this mistake continues about six or seven times in that one scene.

Revealing mistake: The obviously painted backdrops of Charlestown showed that the scene was not shot in location.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Benjamin and his fellow militamen got ambushed, the first wagon is half full with cargo and there are two men driving the cart, in the next scene several British soldiers jump out of the cart.

Factual error: The Union Jack flag is shown for the English side, but it was not adopted until 1801, long after the war ended.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The Union Jack shown in the movie is historically accurate, a combination between the flag of England and the flag of Scotland, it was adopted in 1606 by the navy and 1707 by the land forces. The 1801 version, which adds the flag of Ireland, is a different version currently used but not in the movie.


Continuity mistake: Benjamin Martin's right hand instantly changes from being below the muzzle of his musket to the top as the shots change during the scene in the tent with Harry.


Continuity mistake: When Benjamin Martin grabs the bone out of John Billings' hand, Martin is next to Billings, but when Martin throws the bone to get the dogs out of the wagon, he is at least three feet away from Billings, enough distance to allow the dogs to pass between them.


Continuity mistake: Early in the film, as Benjamin says goodnight to the girls, the candles he's carrying are approximately 3" long and remain so as he descends the stairs. As he reaches the bottom step the camera cuts and from there forward the candles are at least ½" longer.

Continuity mistake: When the movie begins it is 1776 and that is when Gabriel enlists in the Continental Army. In his letter home he mentions the fall of Charleston, which occurred in 1780. After Benjamin gets his commission as a colonel after the pitched battle, Gabriel states that he has been a soldier for 2 years. That would put the formation of the militia in 1778, 2 years before Charleston was captured by the British.

Steve Kozak

Visible crew/equipment: When Gabriel approaches Anne and she tells Gabriel, "You know who I am, Gabriel Martin." At the end of this shot you can see at the top of the screen a microphone moving back and forth.

Movie Mistake Man

Continuity mistake: In the final confrontation between Benjamin and Tavington, when Tavington is charging and Benjamin is running at him with the flag, during the closeups of Benjamin, he's charging at Tavington, but when the focus shifts to Tavington, Benjamin can be seen in the foreground already kneeling, with the shaft of the flag planted in the ground. This back and forth occurs 2 or 3 times and each time Benjamin's position is different, until he flips Tavington's horse.


Continuity mistake: In the scene where the boys go down to the river and see the bodies floating, Benjamin tells his daughter to go bring them back. As she is running through the field you see her trip into the grass right before they switch camera shots. where she is standing with her brothers like nothing happened. (00:24:45)

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Continuity mistake: In the final battle (Cowpens) when the milita are lined up, and Ben says "Take aim!" the first time, watch the guy behind Ben. The camera will show Ben and Jean(French guy). It will then show the line of milita aiming. Then the camera goes back to Ben and Jean. There is a different guy behind them. (02:32:35)


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