[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/braveheart.jpg]]

->''"They may take our lives, but they'll never take... '''OUR FREEDOM'''!"''
-->-- '''William Wallace'''

1995 film directed by, produced by, and starring Creator/MelGibson, and written by Randall Wallace, a self-proclaimed RealLife descendant of the main character. ''Braveheart'' tells the extremely fictionalized story of the legendary Scottish rebel William Wallace and his revolution against [[EvilOverlord King Edward the Longshanks]] of England, in which he battled for the freedom of Scotland and... well... got himself killed.

Wallace starts as a [[CallToAgriculture simple farmer]] who [[RefusalOfTheCall only wants to live a peaceful life]] with [[TheLostLenore his beloved wife Murron]] (Catherine [=McCormack=]), despite [[YouKilledMyFather his father's death]] at the hands of the English. Unfortunately, he stops a rape of his wife by marauding English soldiers, and after the evil English magistrate executes her in retaliation, Wallace continues the spiral of revenge and soon the other villagers rise up as well. As the whole of Scotland is drawn into the rebellion against England, Wallace takes command of the Scottish army to kick ass... for FREEDOM!

The cast also includes Patrick [=McGoohan=] as Edward I "Longshanks", King of England, Peter Hanly as a young Edward II, Sophie Marceau as Princess Isabella of France, and Angus Macfadyen as Robert the Bruce (later King of Scotland). The film won five awards at the 1995 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

[[IThoughtItMeant It should not be confused]] with real history or the [[IOSGames iPhone game]] or the leonine leader of the [[CareBears Care Bear Cousins]]. Or a song from a certain [[Anime/DigimonAdventure cartoon]]...

----
!!This film provides examples of:

* ActuallyIAmHim: As William Wallace arrives at Stirling before battle.
-->'''Wallace:''' Sons of Scotland, I am William Wallace!
-->'''Scottish Soldier:''' William Wallace is seven feet tall!
-->'''Wallace:''' [[ShroudedInMyth Yes, I've heard. Kills men by the hundreds]], and if he were here, [[MemeticBadass he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arse]]!
-->(''the Scottish Army laughs'')
-->'''Wallace:''' I ''AM'' William Wallace!
* AdventurousIrishViolins: Braveheart is in love with this trope; its a wonderful example of its flexibility, for although the heroes are Scots-Highlanders (and an Irishman), the passionate strains of said trope in the musical score still flawlessly evoke the highland spirit of energetic playfulness, savage bloodlust, [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs and energetically playful savage bloodlust]].
* AllCrimesAreEqual: "An assault on the king's soldiers is the same as an assault on the king himself."
* AllThereInTheManual: The novelization written by Randall Wallace provides a more historically accurate depiction of the battle of Stirling Bridge (though Moray still isn't in it). It also explicitly confirms that Prince Edward's companion, called Phillip, is indeed his lover.
* AloneWithPrisonerPloy: Princess Isabelle demands some time alone with Wallace in his cell, so she could pass him the sedative which he refuses to take.
* AnachronismStew: The film depicts the medieval Scots as wearing both blue woad [[ThisMeansWarpaint face paint]] (which was characteristic of the ancient Picts and is seen in general use no later than the Roman occupation) and kilts (which [[NewerThanTheyThink didn't come into fashion in Scotland until the 16th century]]).
* AnnoyingArrows: ZigZagged. During Wallace's assault on the magistrate who murdered Murron, Campbell the Elder gets hit by an arrow, making Hamish stop to try taking it out, [[RealityEnsues until his father hits him for his foolishness]]. It gets cauterized afterwards. Later, during the Battle of Falkirk, as the English gain the upper hand with their volleys of arrows, Wallace is struck by one, making him stop, but is well enough to pursue Longshanks' knight, [[spoiler:Robert the Bruce]].
* AntiCavalry: When the Scottish army encounters the English infantry, the Scots taunt them into attacking with heavy cavalry. As soon as the English are too close to pull back, the Scots drop their facade and pick up long pikes, which [[InertialImpalement slaughter the horses]].
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler: Robert the Bruce is [[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains type II.]] He's ''definitely'' not a bad person, and really does seem to admire Wallace, but he is also weak and easily manipulated by his father, who convinces him to go along with the nobles' betrayal of Wallace at Falkirk. [[HeroicBSOD Seeing Wallace's face fraught with despair]] once he learns that Robert has betrayed him makes the bruce realize he was wrong, and he saves Wallace's life while making a determined HeelFaceTurn in the process. When his father uses him to betray Wallace yet again, he makes it clear to his old man, in no uncertain terms, that he is now [[ThisIsUnforgivable forever dead to him.]]]]
* AristocratsAreEvil: The working class Scottish villagers get pitted against the snobbish, aristocratic Norman nobles led by King Edward.
* ArrowsOnFire: Justified, as they are used to ignite flaming tar.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: In interview, Mel Gibson admitted that the film was heavily fictitious but claimed the changes had been made for dramatic purposes. The film is often cited as the least accurate historical epic of all time. It is estimated that more than 90% of the movie is fiction. The historical inaccuracies include:
** Much like the Balian of Ibelin in ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven'', this movie's main character is entirely a fictional construct, any similarities to the real William Wallace other than the events of the war against England are entirely coincidental. That said, writer Randall Wallace had very little historical evidence to work with in regard to William Wallace's life; he has noted that even Churchill's definitive work "A History of the English Speaking Peoples" observed in only a single line that virtually no factual material survives about the Scottish leader. Because of this, Randall Wallace relied heavily on a 15th-century romantic poem by the Scottish writer Henry the Minstrel ("Blind Harry") in constructing his story.
** The battle of Stirling ''Bridge''. The bridge itself played a key role in the battle by bottlenecking the superior English force, so they could not come after the Scots all at once, and it was entirely missing from the movie.
** The sacking of York was invented for the movie. Wallace never got as far south as York during his invasion of northern England.
** "Braveheart" was actually the nickname of Robert the Bruce, not William Wallace.
** In the night scene after Malcolm Wallace's funeral we see the silhouette of a man playing bag pipes. Argyle tells William that they are outlawed tunes played on outlawed pipes. However, the bagpipes have only ever been banned twice in Scotland: in 1560 after the Reformation and again in 1746 after the Battle of Culloden. In the late 13th Century the bagpipe was much more popular in England and it certainly wasn't viewed as a Scottish instrument of any importance until much later.
** There is an in-joke in the film that William Wallace's private time with Isabella led to the conception of Edward III. This could not have been the case, since Edward III was born almost ten years after Wallace died. Also, Isabella of France was nine years old at the time of Wallace's death. And not yet married to Edward II. And still living in France.
** The Scots won their independence at the Battle of Bannockburn after an English army had arrived to lift the Scottish siege of Stirling Castle, not after Robert the Bruce changed his mind about a peace parley. Incidentally, the film has the Bruce starting the Battle of Bannockburn immediately upon hearing of Wallace's death -- which was actually nine years earlier.
** The makers were very nearly sued by the Scottish government for this one. Robert the Bruce did NOT betray Wallace, and in fact is considered a much bigger hero than Wallace ever was (the name "Brave Heart" was actually given to Bruce, NOT Wallace). To be fair, Wallace was probably the one person Bruce [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder didn't betray]] at one point or another, and that's mostly because they never actually met. That, and Wallace didn't support Robert's claim to the throne-he backed John Balliol, Edward's hostage in the Tower of London and the nominal and official King of Scotland. Winning the Battle of Bannockburn has given Robert the Bruce a HistoricalHeroUpgrade for years. He was an accomplished political manipulator, and was just as brutal as Longshanks towards his enemies - he invited John Comyn to peace talks in a church, then murdered him. His army then rampaged through the Great Glen, slaughtering Comyn's supporters. This was not only a treacherous move, but a stupid one, as it divided the Scots against the English, with the Comyn clan pursuing a blood feud against Bruce over this.
** The last scene in the movie has the Bruce starting the Battle of Bannockburn immediately after hearing of Wallace's death. While news did travel more slowly in those days, it did not take nine years for that bit of news to reach Scotland.
** All of the above aside, it's worth mentioning that the same historians who are quick to wag their fingers at this film are also quick to point out that the brutality of the battles is well represented, and in some cases ''understated'' in the movie, but, of course, if there's anything Mel Gibson unquestionably does well in his films, it's violence.
* AssholeVictim: The English magistrate of Lanark stands out among the English antagonists.
* AttemptedRape: Murron and the English soldiers.
* {{Badass}}: William Wallace.
** Longshanks is an utter dick, but he's a ''tough'' dick, kicking Wallace's ass at Falkirk.
%%* BadassArmy: The Scotsmen.
* BadassBoast: "They may take our lives, but they'll never take our '''[[BattleCry FREEDOM!]]'''" This has became a popular meme.
* BadassGrandpa:
** Campbell the Elder.
** EDWARD THE LONGSHANKS. After he throws his son's councilor/lover out a window, the enraged prince takes out a knife and attacks him. Longshanks effortlessly dodges the attack and delivers a massive pimp-slap that sends his son to the floor.
%%* BarbarianHero
* BattleCry: "FREEEEEEEDOM!" and "ALBA GU BRATH!"
* BatteringRam: Wallace and his man are seen ramming in the gate to York. This gets an added IncendiaryExponent - if the door doesn't fall down it can burn down.
%%* TheBeard: The French princess.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Murron is backhanded by a soldier and knocked off a horse by a spear to the face, but she still looks pretty good. See also GoryDiscretionShot.
* BetrayalByInaction: At the Battle of Falkirk, Lochlan and Mornay show up with their soldiers on the Scottish side, but once the battle has started and it's their time to charge, they simply turn around and leave the battlefield, hoping the Scottish army will be destroyed by the English.
* {{BFS}}: Wallace's claymore. It slices, it dices, it cuts warhorses down and then takes heads off with one swing. [[TruthInTelevision Which is one part of the film that was somewhat close]] to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_Sword historical record]].
* BigBadassBattleSequence: Both the Battle of Stirling Bridge and the Battle of Falkirk are epic ones.
* BigGood: William Wallace, of course. [[spoiler: After his death, [[HeelFaceTurn Robert the Bruce]] and [[TheGoodQueen Queen Isabella]] share the role for Scotland and England, respectively.]]
* BigWordShout: Wallace shouts "FREEDOM!", as his last word, until he is out of breath.
* BilingualBackfire: The princess speaks with her courtiers in Latin, but Wallace knows Latin as well as French.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:William Wallace gets executed in the end, but his soldiers fight on and end up winning the war]].
* BlackKnight: William Wallace duel a character like late during the Battle of Falkirk, complete with a DramaticUnmask.
* TheBladeAlwaysLandsPointyEndIn: Done in the ending sequence with Wallace's claymore.
* BloodIsTheNewBlack: William Wallace is seen walking around after the battles with the enemy's blood on his face.
* BloodKnight: Steven the Irishman. He seems to have only joined the Scots because he'll be able to kill Englishmen, [[NotInThisForYourRevolution not to help the Scots to get freedom]].
* BolivianArmyEnding: The movie ends with Robert the Bruce leading his ragtag Scottish army against the superior English army. The trope is then subverted when Wallace (narrating the epilogue), [[ForegoneConclusion explains that the Scots manage to eventually win their freedom]].
%%* BraveScot: Of course!
* BulletproofHumanShield: During the rebellion against the local English garrison, Campbell the Elder is shielding himself from hailing arrows with a dead English soldier in front of him. One arrow still hits him in the chest.
* BuryYourGays: The prince's male lover being murdered by King Edward by throwing said lover out a tall window right in front of the prince. In real life, Gaveston was Prince Edward's favorite, but it's not known with certainty that they were lovers. Gaveston was eventually captured and executed, but [[FictionalizedDeathAccount not the same way]], and it had more to do with Edward's favoritism than explicitly with homosexuality.
* CaliforniaDoubling: For tax reasons, most of the movie was filmed in Ireland. Although it's doubtful that most American viewers [[{{Scotireland}} noticed the difference]], Ireland's rolling green hills and Scotland's rugged, mountainous landscape really don't resemble each other very much. And those parts of Scotland which they did use were on the wrong side of the country; they use the West Highlands, which historically played little part in Wallace's campaign.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Robert the Bruce does this twice to his father: first after standing along Longshanks at Falkirk, which led to a humiliating defeat for the Scots, and again after Wallace gets captured.
* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive: And it's going to make sure Wallace doesn't try to avoid his destiny of fighting...
* CallThatAFormation: Played depressingly straight. The Scottish infantry fought as disciplined pike formations, it was their lack of armour and cavalry which made them so vulnerable to the longbow. (Also, what wasn't in those days?) They would not have charged wildly into battle, but advanced in disciplined rows in order to push back cavalry and infantry with massed ranks. The Scots didn't win the battles where they managed to close for battle with the individually more skilled English knights for no reason.
* CallToAgriculture: The movie starts with the hero choosing this trope: After his father's death and a TimeSkip, the now-adult William Wallace returns to Scotland after several years fighting in TheCrusades, heartily sick of war and with [[RefusalOfTheCall no interest in being drawn into talk of rebellion]]. He sticks to this proclamation until [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive English soldiers murder]] [[ItsPersonal his wife.]]
--> '''William''': I came home to raise crops and, God willing, a family.
* CatapultNightmare: Mornay has a nightmare about Wallace haunting him, which makes him wake up in this fashion. Cue OrWasItADream.
* CavalryBetrayal: [[spoiler:Very literally, at the battle of Falkirk, when Mornay and Lachlan lead their cavalry off the field rather than charge in at Wallace's signal. They were paid off by Longshanks prior to the battle.]]
* ChekhovsHobby: As a boy, William mentions to his uncle Argyle that he doesn't know Latin, to which Argyle replies "Well, that's something we shall have to remedy.". As an adult, Wallace tells Murron he can speak Latin as well as French. His fluency in both help him as he faces Princess Isabella and her adviser, as mentioned in BilingualBackfire.
%%** Wallace's skill with the rocks.
* ChekhovsGunman: When the English show up to the wedding and the magistrate takes the bride for Prima Noctae, we see a brief shot of the guard who will later attempt to rape Murron and start the whole thing. All he does is leer at first.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: William and Murron meet as children and become lovers later in life.
* CostumeDrama: The film was oscar-nominated for Best Costume Design but lost out to ''Film/{{Restoration}}''.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Wallace was Hung, Drawn and Quartered for his troubles. This involved being stretched until his limbs dislocated, hung by the neck but cut down before unconsciousness set in, strapped to a table, having his innards reeled out, his [[GroinAttack private parts cut off]] and eventually, when his suffering had ceased to be entertaining, having his head cut off. The corpse would then be cut into four and displayed as a warning to any other would-be challengers of the Crown. Somewhat distressingly, this is one of the bits that's ''pretty accurate'' to history.
* ConceptsAreCheap: Wallace speaks a lot about "freedom" and uses it to motivate and unite Scotland, but aside from "freedom from English Rule" he doesn't elaborate on what is so great about it or how Scottish rule would be any better. Scotland has the same system of oppressive nobility as England, the Scottish nobles are corrupt and out only for themselves, and the clans can barely keep from fighting each other.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: For his execution, William Wallace is tied to a cross-like wooden block, that makes him adopt this pose.
* CulturedBadass: William Wallace is foremost a BarbarianHero, but he is also fluent in Latin and French.
* DanBrowned: Despite the film's claims of historical accuracy, there are historical falsehoods from the opening narration to the final scene.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Possibly the only admirable attribute of Longshanks.
* DareToBeBadass: Wallace's speech at Stirling is almost purely this trope:
--->'''Wallace:''' .... Will you fight!?\\
'''Scotsman:''' Fight? Against that? No! We will run, and we will live.\\
'''Wallace:''' Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live, at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance--just one chance!--to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our FREEDOM!!!
* DeathGlare:
** There's no way to read that glare William gives the closest guy, moments before his rebellion begins, as saying anything other than a very emphatic and determined "I'm going to kill you now."
** Also William in Mornay's nightmare.
* DecapitationPresentation: After they sacked York, William has the head of the Duke of York cut off and sent back to the king in a basket.
* DefiantToTheEnd: Wallace during his trial and execution.
* TheDeterminator: Wallace during his trial. Even the English crowd, who at first calls for his blood, eventually get sick of seeing the torture and eventually start calling out for mercy. He was defiant to the end against the English.
%%* DirtyCoward: The Scottish noblemen.
* DisposableWoman: Murron dies to set the plot in motion.
* DoomedHometown: Seems to be the case at first, but then subverted as the townspeople rise up in rebellion and end up completely kicking the collective butts of the English soldiers who've been holding their town hostage. This scene ends up being a massive CrowningMomentOfAwesome for the townspeople.
* DoomedMoralVictor: William Wallace builds an army to drive the English garrison out, gets betrayed, captured, refuses to bow before the king, and is tortured and killed. But his spirit lives on.
* DramaticUnmask: Robert the Bruce, while fighting on the English side.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Twice.
** First William dresses as an English soldier to help his wife get out of town. His efforts are to no avail.
** Later he and his allies infiltrate an English fort by disguising themselves as English soldiers.
-->'''English Commander:''' I have dispatched 100 soldiers to Lanark! They will be returning ''now''!
-->'''Wallace:''' Were they dressed like this?
* DroitDuSeigneur: Called ''prima nocte'' in this movie, instated by Longshanks to win support for the lords and to keep the Scots under their thumb. Morrison and his wife are two of many people who suffer under this, and when Morrison confronts Lord Bottom, the lord responsible for raping his wife, during Wallace's attack on the English garrison, he invokes "the right of a husband" by killing him.
* DroolHello: Before Lochlan is thrown on Robert the Bruce's dinner table from above, there is blood dripping onto the bread served.
%%* TheDungAges
* EpicFlail:
** How Wallace exacts revenge on Mornay.
** After losing his left hand at the Battle of Stirling, Campbell the Elder spends the rest of the movie using a flail.
* EtTuBrute: Wallace when Robert the Bruce is unmasked at Falkirk.
* EternallyPearlyWhiteTeeth: For a 14th century Scottish peasant, Murron has exceptional dental hygiene.
* EverythingsLouderWithBagpipes: Irish pipes though, not Highland.
* EvilChancellor: Robert the Bruce's father is this to Robert until the latter [[CallingTheOldManOut calls him out on this]].
* EvilCounterpart: While evil may be a bit strong in this case, Prince Edward II essentially serves this role to Robert the Bruce in how both are young men with the (at least apparent) destiny to become king and are held within the grip of a controlling father.
* ExpectingSomeoneTaller: At the Battle of Stirling:
-->'''Scottish Soldier #1''': It's William Wallace.
-->'''Scottish Soldier #2''': Can't be. Not tall enough.
* EyeTake: Robert the Bruce's eyes widen creepily when he sees Lochlan with a slit throat lying on his dinner table.
* FamousLastWords: FREEDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!
* FightingIrish: Wallace's most eagerly violent soldier is an Irishman who joined the campaign not for the sake of freedom, but for the chance to kill Englishmen. He's also insane, or deeply religious with a sick sense of humor.
* FriendsAllAlong: The Scottish and Irish troops.
-->'''Longshanks:''' Irish...
* GeniusBruiser: Wallace is a combination of BarbarianHero and CulturedBadass.
* GiveMeLibertyOrGiveMeDeath: Wallace and his men are willing to die for their freedom.
--> ''' William Wallace''': And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!"
* GoingCommando: The Scottish warriors are naked under their kilt which they demonstrate when mooning the English forces.
* GoOutWithASmile: William Wallace does this, in part because he sees the spirit of his dead wife among the crowd smiling at him as he is being brutally tortured to death.
* {{Gorn}}: Mostly averted... though in the original cut, [[spoiler:Wallace's execution by disemboweling]] was this.
* GoryDiscretionShot:
** When the magistrate cuts Murron's throat, it's not explicitly shown. The camera cuts to a close-up of [[EyeTake her eyes]] as they first widen, then slowly droop as she bleeds out. In contrast, when Wallace does the magistrate, it's shown in vivid detail.
** We do not see the moment when Wallace's head is cut off. The ax moves in slow motion, and we know that he's dead when his hand opens.
* GossipEvolution:
** By the time of the Battle of Stirling in ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'', William Wallace could [[ShroudedInMyth shoot fireballs from his eyes and lightning from his arse.]]
** Later we hear the word spreading about Wallace having killed 50 men single-handedly, which turns into 100 men after some relays.
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: "ALBA GU BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATH!" sort of counts. That is the old Scottish language, but the film is in English.
* HealItWithBooze: William's childhood pal Hamish and his father Campbell have just helped him defeat the local English lord, but Campbell sustained an arrow wound in the process. He's [[LiquidCourage blind drunk on whisky]] awaiting his son and friends helping him to HealItWithFire. After a comedy moment where first one, and then a second clansmen say "Here, you do it, [cauterise the wound with the poker], I'll hold him down!", Campbell asks Hamish to pour some on the wound first: "Pour it straight in the wound, boy. I know it seems like a waste of good whiskey, but indulge me."
* HealItWithFire: [[TheBigGuy Hamish's]] [[OldSoldier father]] needs to have a wound cauterized with a red hot iron after receiving an arrow to the shoulder. In a nice nod to how such a thing might have played out in those days, whisky gets a lot of use both as an [[LiquidCourage anesthetic]] and [[HealItWithBooze disinfectant]].
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Robert the Bruce goes from neutral to allies, then betrays Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk, only to come to his senses again after a MyGodWhatHaveIDone moment. Eventually he becomes an UnwittingPawn to Wallace's capture.
* HeroicBSOD:
** Happens to Wallace after he finds out who betrayed him at the Battle of Falkirk. His previous anger instantly vanishes and he goes numb.
** Bruce himself gets one later on when [[spoiler:his father's machinations lead to Wallace's betrayal and capture]].
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Wallace himself at the end.]]
* HiddenWeapons: When [[ISurrenderSuckers pretending to hand himself over]] to the local English garrison, Wallace hides a pair of nunchaku behind his back which he then pulls out to start his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* HistoricalBadassUpgrade: William Wallace was either this or a downgrade, depending on your point of view. The real William Wallace really was close to 7 feet tall for a start, and did quite a bit of the stuff he does in the film (not all of it, but it does cut out other badass feats as well). Of course, he was also a textbook example of TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized and WouldHurtAChild, but being a bastard doesn't make him not a BadAss.
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: Wallace is made a lot more important than Robert Bruce, and the third key figure in the war, Bishop William de Lamberton, was cut out altogether. Another character cut out was Andrew de Moray, another Scottish noble who died after the battle of Stirling Bridge. Some historians have argued that his contribution to the war was just as important and more successful than William Wallace's.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: King Edward Longshanks was a bastard (though many would call him a MagnificentBastard) in real life, but is a downright mustache-twirling thug in the film. Scots understandably take a dim view of him, as do the Welsh with equally good reason but the English quite correctly regard him as one of their best kings. He was also an excellent husband and father. He may never have known of Edward II's proclivities, he certainly didn't kill any of his male lovers.
* HollywoodHistory: The film is full of historical misconceptions beyond those intentional rearrangements mentioned under ArtisticLicenseHistory:
** [[ThisMeansWarpaint Blue body paint]] (Woad) for battles had stopped being used around the end of the Roman era - roughly 800 years before the events of the film.
** While the movie took great care to depict several groups all dressed alike in their representative tartans (the plaid pattern on the kilts), the use of clan tartans and any organized rules for kilts and patterns was a Victorian invention, much later than the time of the movie.
** Unlike the Iron Age wasteland depicted in the film, Scotland at the time was the destination of many trade routes, and Scots had access to luxuries such as silk, spices and glass.
** While it is true that one of the earliest records of the "schiltron" (a ''circular'' formation of pikemen wielding extremely long anticavalry spears) was the Battle of Stirling Bridge, putting up a wall of shields and long spears is a tactic dating back to ''Roman'' times, and pikes date back to prehistoric times. Wallace hardly invented either.
** Edward I and the members of his court spoke French, not English; this could be written off as part of the TranslationConvention, except that the Queen and her lady are shown speaking French.
** Evidence overwhelmingly points to ''Primae noctis'' or ''DroitDuSeigneur'' -- the right of a Lord to take the virginity of serf maidens within his lands -- being a fabrication of the modern era. Medieval marriage was controlled by The Church, which has typically championed marital fidelity. If any lord tried to claim the "right" to rape another man's wife, the least he could expect was excommunication, along with an almost certain peasant revolt (as Machiavelli wrote in ''The Prince'' a ruler could get away with a lot of things, but taking people's wives wasn't one of them). So, it's not that some lords didn't take advantage of their power to rape peasant women-they probably did. Claiming ''a legal right to it'', however, is ''extremely'' dubious. WordOfGod on the DVD commentary notes that they did this to make the English [[ArtisticLicense more villainous]] and they were well aware it was never a real thing.
** Bagpipes were not outlawed in 13th-century Scotland. They were outlawed in the 18th century after Scotland and England had become one country (the UK) and the north of Scotland, the Highlands, had been the breeding ground of several 'Jacobite' rebellions/mini-Civil Wars.
* HollywoodTactics:
** Longshanks' tactics are extremely wasteful and seem more designed to [[KickTheDog show what a bastard he is]] than to actually be effective. He doesn't use his archers against the Scots at first, preferring to send the Irish conscripts because "Arrows cost money; [...] the dead cost nothing." But then he fires his arrows anyway, ''after'' his troops are engaged in melee, guaranteeing friendly fire. Why? "WeHaveReserves."
** The Scots aren't innocent of it either, with their complete lack of massed pike or any real discipline whatsoever. Oddly enough, this winds up making the English ''look more competent than they were'' in at least one case. The Battle of Stirling in the movie features the two sides launching berserker charges at each other on an open field with neither side having polearms. The historical Battle of Stirling ''Bridge'' saw the English launching a frontal assault across uneven ground and a narrow bridge [[TooDumbToLive against a Scottish pike wall.]]
* IncurableCoughOfDeath: King Edward the Longshanks, though in reality he lived two years beyond Wallace's death.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Prince Edward. He tries so hard to meet his father Longshanks' expectations, but he never does.
* InertialImpalement: {{Invoked|Trope}} when the Scots [[AntiCavalry counter an English cavalry charge]] by getting them to crash into a wall of crude pikes.
* InfantImmortality: Averted with the hanged kid in the stable, a view that gives young William nightmares.
* InvulnerableHorses: Actually [[AvertedTrope averted]]. The depiction of horse wounding (mostly at the Battle of Stirling) was so realistic that the film was actually ''investigated'' to see if animal cruelty had occurred (don't worry, it was all dummy horses).
* ISurrenderSuckers: How William Wallace starts his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: When Princess Isabella's adviser says, in Latin, about Wallace "He's a bloody, murdering savage. And he's telling lies," Wallace immediately replies in Latin "I never lie. But I am a savage."
* KarmicDeath: The English lord who executes Murron by slitting her throat has his own throat slit by Wallace, using the same exact knife.
* KickTheDog:
** Longshanks repeatedly kicks the dog in his treatment of Scotland, and throws his son's best friend (and implied lover) out the window.
** Also Longshanks' decision to have the archers fire at the battle ground with [[WeHaveReserves no regard to his own men]].
* TheLostLenore: Murron, see also DisposableWoman above. Not all [[DisposableWoman disposable women]] are also [[TheLostLenore Lost Lenores]] but Murron fits this trope as her relevance to the story doesn't end with her death. Wallace clearly still loves and mourns her, and she appears in dream sequences and flashbacks.
* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe: The film features a scene in which Scottish soldiers hide under their shields during an arrow barrage.
* MadeOfIron: Campbell the Elder is shot with an arrow, has his hand chopped off, takes an ax to the stomach, and still keeps fighting. [[spoiler:That last one finally does him in.]]
* ManInAKilt: Although plaid kilts were introduced only three centuries later, and the Scottish didn't wear them until much later than that (and even then, they were typically saffron or brown, not plaid). Also, no Scotsman of any pre-industrial era would have worn enough cloth to clothe a family to a battle, where it could get cut up and bled on. That much cloth would take the average subsistence-farmer at least ''a decade'' of scrimping and saving to buy - cloth was expensive as all get out before extensive inter-continental trade and mechanized spinning and weaving. [[IShallTauntYou Flashing and mooning]] ''was'' a combat tactic, however.
* ManlyTears: After betraying Wallace on the battlefield of Falkirk, Robert the Bruce sheds a tear when giving his HeelFaceTurn speech [[CallingTheOldManOut to his father]].
* ManOnFire: Some Scottish warriors are set on fire by arrows from the English defenders during the battle of York.
* MementoMacGuffin:
** William's ceremonial cloth that he [[ItWasAGift got from his wife]]. He carries it with him and when it gets lost on the battle ground, Robert the Bruce picks it up and returns it to William.
** Also the thistle, that young Murron gave William at his father's burial. He has kept it pressed in a book.
* MemeticBadass: William Wallace becomes one InUniverse; promptly {{Lampshaded}}:
--> '''Young Soldier''': William Wallace is [[ExpectingSomeoneTaller seven feet tall]]!
--> '''William Wallace''': Yes, I've heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse!
* MexicanStandoff: When Steven the Irishman meets Wallace and his men in the forest, there is a moment where both parties have their knifed/swords drawn and pointed at the opposition's throat.
%%* TheMiddleAges
* AMinorKidroduction: Writer Randall Wallace initially planned to start the story with William Wallace as an adult and added the prologue of his childhood only as an afterthought.
* MuggedForDisguise: Near the beginning of the film, Wallace steals the uniform off an English soldier in order to get his wife out of town. Later, "Were they dressed like this?"
* MultiMeleeMaster: In addition to his iconic [[CoolSword claymore]], William Wallace is seen to be proficient with a huge mallet, a flail (both ball-and-chain and hinged stick), a dagger, a longspear, a bow, a deer's antler, a warhammer, an ax, and rocks of various shapes and sizes.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Robert the Bruce suffers from this [[spoiler: after seeing Wallace's face at the Battle of Falkirk.]]
* NeverTrustATrailer: The film's theatrical trailer shows a scene where Wallace is telling Hamish that they'll be different from the English by sparing women and children. This scene does not appear in the final cut of the movie.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: When the Scots struggle to [[BatteringRam ram open]] the gates to York, the English help them unwittingly. First they pour boiling tar on the attackers and then they shoot ArrowsOnFire at them. The arrow sets the tar-soaked ram on fire which in turn sets the gate on fire. Problem solved for the Scots.
* NightmareSequence: Mornay's dream of Wallace charging at him out of a firestorm, screaming, and replete in [[ThisMeansWarpaint blue warpaint]]. It then becomes horrific for the viewer given the way Mornay is then dispatched straight afterwards.
* NoEscapeButDown: After Wallace rides into Mornay's bedroom to give him an EpicFlail in the face, his escape route leads him out of the door down into the water.
* ObiWanMoment: When Campbell the Elder dies, he declares to be a happy man and that he lived long enough to live free. Then he dies with his son sobbing over him.
* OhCrap:
** When Wallace and his crew take a fort [[DressingAsTheEnemy disguised as English soldiers]]:
-->'''Lord Bottom:''' I have dispatched a hundred soldiers to Lanark! They will be returning ''now!''
-->'''Wallace:''' ''(indicating his disguise)'' Were they dressed like this?
-->'''Lord Bottom:''' ''*eyes widen*''
-->'''Wallace:''' [[DeadpanSnarker Actually, it was more like fifty]].
** The [[SmugSnake English commander's]] face at the end of the movie, when he realizes [[spoiler: Robert the Bruce and his army are not coming to pay them homage, [[CurbStompBattle but are rather charging their line.]]]]
%%* {{Oireland}}: The character of Mad Stephen.
* OneMarioLimit: Wallace's wife was really named Marian, but it got changed to Murron to avoid confusion/comparison with RobinHood's love interest Maid Marian.
%%* OneSidedBattle
* OnrushingArmy: There are ScreamingWarrior charges, sure, but there's also [[RainOfArrows archers]], [[TheCavalry cavalry]], and [[WeHaveReserves Irishmen]] deployed in various battles before they get to that bit.
* OrWasItADream: [[FaceHeelTurn After he betrays William Wallace at Falkirk]], the Scottish Noble Mornay has a nightmare in which Wallace is riding towards him, fire blazing all around and the most terrifying DeathGlare ever. He [[CatapultNightmare wakes up]], relieved that it was just a dream, but moments later Wallace actually rides into his bedroom and gives Mornay [[EpicFlail a face full of flail]].
* PimpedOutDress: This film avoids GorgeousPeriodDress by averting the fancy clothes, even for the royals. Although Isabella does get some fancy dresses.
* PlayingGertrude: Creator/JamesCosmo, who plays Campbell the Elder, is only seven years older than Brendan Gleeson, who plays his son Hamish.
* PlotTriggeringDeath: Murron's death is kicking off a Scotland-wide rebellion after William's RoaringRampageOfRevenge against an English oppressor.
* ThePowerOfHate: After Robert the Bruce disowns his father, the Elder Robert the Bruce, and wishes for him to die, the Elder Bruce says he's now ready to be king now that he knows hate (oddly enough, in addition to saying this [[Franchise/StarWars Palpatine-esque]] line, the Elder Bruce also ''looks'' unnervingly like Emperor Palpatine). The Younger Bruce answers, in calm example of ShutUpHannibal, that his hate will die with the elder Bruce.
* ProducePelting: When Wallace is rolled in for his execution, the raving crowd throws vegetables at him.
* AProtagonistShallLeadThem: William Wallace, after [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive the call found him]].
* RainOfArrows: The English use this tactic repeatedly with Welsh longbowmen. In the Battle of Stirling the Scots held their ground and put their shields up, but that didn't completely prevent casualties. In Falkirk, it's used with deadly effectiveness, efficiently shredding the Scottish army (though the English took heavy casualties as well) and wounding Wallace.
%%* RatedMForManly
* RefusalOfTheCall: Wallace refused to fight the English at first, preferring to raise a family and [[CallToAgriculture live a quiet farming life]].
%%* RegionalRiff
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: What happens to Wallace after finding out Murron was killed by English soldiers.
%%* RomanceGenreHeroes
* RoseTintedNarrative: {{Lampshaded}} in the opening narration, as Robert Bruce says "Historians in England will say I am a liar. But [[WrittenByTheWinners history is written by those who have hanged heroes]]." [[IResembleThatRemark Not one part of it is correct]]:
** ''Scotland 1280 AD. I shall tell you of William Wallace. Historians from England will say I am a liar, but history is written by those who have hanged heroes. The king of Scotland had died without a son, and the king of England, a cruel pagan known as Edward the Longshanks, claimed the throne of Scotland for himself. Scotland's nobles fought him and fought each other over the crown. So Longshanks invited them to talks of truce -- no weapons, one page only. Among the farmers of that shire was Malcolm Wallace, a commoner with his own lands. He had two sons -- John and William.''
** In 1280, King Alexander III of Scotland was not only still alive, but his two sons were also alive. The younger son, David, died in 1281; the elder son, Alexander, died in 1284; and finally Alexander III himself died in 1286. Alexander III left a granddaughter, Margaret, acknowledged as his heir by the Scottish nobles. Rather than fighting each other over the crown, the Scots appointed regents who ruled until she died in 1290. At this point, the nobles did not fall into civil war, and Edward did not claim the throne of Scotland. Instead, the Scots nobles asked Edward to preside (as a neutral party) over a commission to determine the rightful king. While Edward did claim overlordship of Scotland and undoubtedly influenced the conclusion, the result was to choose John Balliol as King of Scotland by the normal rules of primogeniture. At no time did Edward invite the nobles of Scotland "to talks of truce -- no weapons, one page only". Balliol did start a war against Edward in 1296, because he felt that Edward was being overbearing. Unfortunately for Balliol, Edward was one of the best generals ever to sit on the English throne, and beat Balliol handily. Incidentally, Edward was in no sense a "pagan" -- there had not been any true pagans in Britain for centuries (he wasn't even a ''paganus'' in the Classical Latin sense of "peasant" or "yokel"). In addition, Malcolm Wallace had three sons in 1280. The one left out was the eldest, also named Malcolm.
%%* RousingSpeech: see DareToBeBadass
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Say what you will about Longshanks. At least he gets shit done himself. Robert the Bruce also gets to be this at the end of the film.
* SadBattleMusic: Begins playing once Wallace realizes the two nobles he was relying on for cavalry support instead deserts him, continues on as his own troops are killed by English arrows, until finally he discovers that [[spoiler: Robert the Bruce]] also betrayed him after promising to help (of course, the historical Bruce was not present at the battle).
* SceneryPorn: The Scottish highlands are given many lovely shots in this film.
* Scotireland: Despite the film being set in Scotland, and based on the life of a Scottish folk hero, the primary instrument heard throughout the soundtrack (most notably at William's father's funeral) are the Uilleann pipes, which are a smaller traditionally Irish version of bagpipes rather than the ubiquitous Great Highland Bagpipe.
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: Longshanks sends Isabella to deliver gold to Wallace in an attempt to buy him out of an invasion of England. Wallace firmly refuses.
-->'''Isabella:''' He proposes that you withdraw your attack. In return he grants you title, estates, and this chest of gold which I am to pay to you personally.
-->'''Wallace:''' A lordship and titles. Gold. That I should become Judas?
-->'''Isabella:''' Peace is made in such ways.
-->'''Wallace:''' ''Slaves'' are made in such ways!
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Subverted at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. The Scottish forces are outnumbered three to one by the English forces which scares some of the Scots enough to leave the field, which in turn prompts William to deliver his DareToBeBadass speech that sparks new confidence amongst his men.
* ShootHimHeHasAWallet: When Steven the Irishman, who William and his men meet in the forest, reaches into his coat, he is being stopped by Hamish, but it turns out he only wanted to pull out a present for William.
* ShoutOut: In the DVD commentary track Gibson cheerfully admits to stealing the final scene between Robert the Bruce and his father, the one where the door closes on Papa Bruce, from the shot that ends ''Film/TheGodfather''.
* SlashedThroat:
** Murron gets her throat cut [[GoryDiscretionShot offscreen]] by the Magistrate.
** Following his RoaringRampageOfRevenge, Wallace kills the Magistrate [[KarmicDeath the same way]], this time shown in vivid detail.
** Later we see Lochlan lying with a slit throat on Robert the Bruce's dinner table.
* SmugSnake: Practically every single British character, except [[MagnificentBastard Longshanks]] and [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain Prince Edward]].
* SomeoneToRememberHimBy: Wanting to make Longshanks' victory over Wallace sour, Isabella tells him that the child she is pregnant with, and will one day grow up to be Edward III, was fathered by Wallace, and that Longshanks' bloodline will effectively end with Edward II.
* StabTheScorpion: Stabbing the would-be assassin in this case. Steven seems to be attacking Wallace, but is actually taking down a guy trying to kill Wallace.
* ThisMeansWarpaint: The Scottish warriors painting themselves with woad.
* ThousandYardStare: Robert the Bruce, during his MyGodWhatHaveIDone moment when seeing the carnage at Falkirk he helped to commit. Leads shortly thereafter to a CallingTheOldManOut when he tells the elder Bruce he's finally had enough of the "noble way" and declares he will [[HeelFaceTurn never be on the wrong side again.]]
* TogetherInDeath: [[spoiler:Wallace and Murron]]. Possibly due to hallucination, possibly played straight, but for those few moments, together nonetheless.
* TrapIsTheOnlyOption: Wallace is being warned that the meeting with Robert the Bruce would be a trap and he kind of senses it himself, but he feels it is worth trying because the chance to reunite the Scottish forces is their only hope.
* UnwantedSpouse: Isabella of France falls (somewhat) into the heroic category when her awful marriage and clear unwanted status leads her into the arms of William Wallace.
* UnwittingPawn: Robert the Bruce becomes this at the end when his father uses him to lure William Wallace into a trap.
* WaitHere: When Young William wants to join his father in the fight against the intruders, the latter tells him to stay behind.
* WeAreStrugglingTogether: After their major win against the English at Stirling, Wallace is disappointed to see the Scottish nobles feuding with one another over claims to the Scottish throne.
-->'''Wallace:''' We have beaten the English, but they'll be back because you won't stand together.
-->'''DVD Commentary''' (Gibson chuckles): ...and in the next shot we see them all standing together.
* WeHaveReserves:
** The TropeNamer, in this case referring to Longshanks' justification, when called for one, for calling the archers to fire in the middle of a heated infantry battle -- granted, his own troops would be hit, but so would the Scots.
** Also used with sending the Irish conscript infantry in first.
-->'''Longshanks:''' Arrows cost money. Use up the Irish. The dead cost nothing.
* WoundThatWillNotHeal: Robert Bruce's father is a leper with permanent wounds on his face.
* YouRemindMeOfX: Version 3. Wallace tells Isabella he was secretly married to Murron. "I don't know why I tell you now except I see her strength in you."

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