Mel Gibson (1995)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Mel Gibson directs this 13th-century saga of Scottish revolt against English tyranny with a claymore-like flourish, defying the criticism that there are moments as bogus as plastic haggis. He also stars, portraying William Wallace as a medieval, woad-smeared Mad Max-like hero, a rebel leader and rabble rouser, an intrepid champion from the mould of Hollywood heroes, made believable by the grace of the star. However, if he's a wartime resistance leader in the style of Robin Hood with a comely Maid Marion in the shape of Sophie Marceau then Patrick McGoohan as the villainous King Edward "Longshanks" is a jeering, sneering cliché too far - the Sheriff of Nottingham with his own portable torture chamber. As director, Gibson's control over thousands of extras, in the swift succession of gruesome hand-to-hand battles, is as effective as anything in Laurence Olivier's Henry V. But when the action moves in for the emotional kill, the film loses credibility - Wallace's disdain at his own disembowelment being a prime example. Yet, for all its stereotypes and disparities, there is a nicely judged air of political cynicism, as noblemen switch allegiances as easily as horses. It succeeds in bringing to life the reality of Scottish patriotism and brilliantly captures the spirit of revolution. Little wonder it won an Oscar for best picture.


Account of the life of medieval Scottish hero William Wallace. After the slaughter of his father and brother, young Wallace is taken in by his uncle, who teaches him how to use not only his brawn but his brain - which he employs to great effect years later when he resolves to drive the English out of Scotland. Oscar-winning historical epic, directed by and starring Mel Gibson. With Patrick McGoohan, Sophie Marceau and Catherine McCormack.

Cast & Crew

William Wallace Mel Gibson
Princess Isabelle Sophie Marceau
"Longshanks", King Edward I Patrick McGoohan
Murron Catherine McCormack
Hamish Brendan Gleeson
Campbell James Cosmo
Stephen David O'Hara
Robert the Bruce Angus MacFadyen
Leper Ian Bannen
Prince Edward Peter Hanly
Malcolm Wallace Sean Lawlor
Argyle Wallace Brian Cox (1)
Mornay Alun Armstrong
Director Mel Gibson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Co. LtdGuidance: Violence, swearing, a sex scene and brief nudity. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray