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Hollywood vs. History - The 2000 film The Patriot is a story of Good versus Evil; a story of freedom.

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Introduction

Evan Feist AP American History Summer Assignment Choice I: Hollywood vs. History The 2000 film The Patriot is a story of Good versus Evil; a story of freedom. Also, it is a story that was definitely geared toward a mainstream audience for the reason that it is more fiction than fact. Although the film tells a captivating and exhilarating tale, it cannot be used to depict actual events. There are many factual errors regarding the battles, time period, and even characters themselves. The film did have some good elements along with all the misinterpretations. It was mention several times and even shown at the end that the French army was aiding the Colonial army which most Revolutionary War film never point out. This is one of the aspects that helped the Americans win the war. One issue was that the colonial, especially the militia had a greater will to win because they'd be losing more. Also the wagon that the militia took over with Cornwallis's possessions and Redcoat uniforms really helped them in terms of negotiation and sneak attacks. ...read more.

Middle

because this way, Robert Rodat (the writer) did not have to stay true to the facts and statistics. He could make up his own battles and have them go any which way he pleased. In terms of equipment and customs, the fifers and drummers in the Revolutionary War wore coats of the opposite color of the army that they were a part of1. In The Patriot, both British and American fifers and drummers wore the same color as their militia. Also, in the film they marched in front of the troops whereas they would've been in the back where it makes more sense being as they don't have guns! Another anachronism is when Benjamin Martin rides in with the American flag. It was originally created to identify US merchant and military ships. The first time it was actually carried into battle was in the Mexican War (1846-1848).2 During the movie, there were battles that take place in Camden and Cowpens, there's two places are very far inland, yet the troops march there in a day from the shoreline. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think he might be right; none of this film has much to do with the historical reality of the Revolutionary War besides costuming. It is a crowd-pleaser first and the context comes later. The British are seen as gentlemanly fops or sadistic monsters, and the Americans were either brave or braver. This movie is about as historically accurate as Shakespeare in Love. Martin is only shown as good, caring, and loving so the audience roots for him and cares about what he does; Tavington is so "hissable" just to make the audience cheer for Martin more. This is a movie about the Revolutionary War that was made for and by Americans. Its release date is July 4th. It's called The Patriot; it's obviously going to be biased! But then again, any and all history is recorded through the eyes of individual humans, many of whom either have "an agenda" or are simply unable to put their own biases aside. 1 Noble, Matt. SparkNote on The Revolutionary War (1775-1783). 2 Betsy Ross Homepage. 25 July 2003 http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagfact.html 3 DVD commentary for "The Patriot" 2000 4 Hoberman. The Village Voice, issue 26. 6 July 2000 ...read more.

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