The Radio Times logo

Braveheart

  • Drama
  • 1995
  • Mel Gibson
  • 179 mins
  • 15

Summary

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.

Advertisement
Recommended

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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.

How to watch

Loading

Streaming

Credits

Cast

rolename
William WallaceMel Gibson
Princess IsabelleSophie Marceau
"Longshanks", King Edward IPatrick McGoohan
MurronCatherine McCormack
HamishBrendan Gleeson
CampbellJames Cosmo
StephenDavid O'Hara
Robert the BruceAngus MacFadyen
LeperIan Bannen
Prince EdwardPeter Hanly
Malcolm WallaceSean Lawlor
Argyle WallaceBrian Cox (1)
MornayAlun Armstrong

Crew

rolename
DirectorMel Gibson

Details

Theatrical distributor
20th Century Fox Film Co. Ltd
Language
English
Guidance
Violence, swearing, a sex scene and brief nudity.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content