Director: Mel Gibson
Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan
Plot: When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.
"Braveheart" was actually the nickname of Robert the Bruce, not William Wallace. Many Scots were offended by the film's portrayal of Robert the Bruce, who is considered a National Hero of Scotland (along with Wallace).
When asked by a local why the Battle of Stirling Bridge was filmed on an open plain, Gibson answered that "the bridge got in the way". "Aye," the local answered. "That's what the English found."
Mel Gibson initially turned down the role of William Wallace, as he felt that at 40 he was too old for the part. However, he could only get financing for the film if he agreed with Paramount studios to play the lead role.
The extras used for the battle scenes were mostly members of the F.C.A., the reserve Irish army. As they were drawn from many different army companies, and the members of these are usually drawn from the same locality, local rivalry between such companies is common. Apparently, some of the battle scenes seen in the movie are far more realistic than you might imagine, with rival companies actually using the occasion to try the beat the lard out of each other.
Mel Gibson was on the set of Ransom (1996) when both Braveheart (1995) and Apollo 13 (1995) were nominated for Best Picture. He pulled a prank on Apollo 13 (1995) director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer by giving them an ad in which Braveheart (1995) was considered for 'Best Moon Shot'. The accompanying picture was a shot of the Scottish army mooning the English.
Several of the major battle scenes had to be re-shot, as extras were seen wearing sunglasses and wristwatches.
Mel Gibson really hanged himself for a moment during his death scene. He had to be cut down. Gibson says, "I remember waking up with all these people standing over me."
The film is often cited as the least accurate historical epic of all time.
King Edward I was called "The Longshanks" (long legs) since he was uncommonly tall for a man of the time. Edward I was at least 6 feet, 2 inches.
Wallace's two most trusted captains throughout the film are Hamish who is Scottish and Stephen who is Irish. Hamish was played by Irish actor Brendan Gleeson and Stephen by David O'Hara, a Scot.
In the movie Wallace is jumped, beaten down, and captured at Edinburgh Castle, betrayed by Robert Bruce the Elder; in real-life, Wallace was betrayed by a Scottish nobleman loyal to King Edward, Sir John Menteith. Wallace was captured at what is now Robroyston (named for another legendary Scottish hero, Rob Roy MacGregor), a suburb of Glasgow.
Mel Gibson originally wanted Jason Patric to play William Wallace.
The men hanging are real actors. They hung from harnesses all day to shoot the scene.
Mel Gibson turned down the roles of James Bond in GoldenEye (1995), Two-Face in Batman Forever (1995) and Simon Templar in The Saint (1997) due to his commitment to this film.
Every time Mel Gibson would yell his lines, his horse would run. It made the scene more difficult to shoot but added to the intensity.
Randall Wallace first had the idea for the film on a vacation to Edinburgh. He saw statues of William Wallace (no relation) and Robert the Bruce adorning Edinburgh Castle and asked a tour guide who they were. The guide proceeded to tell the screenwriter about their story. Wallace was immediately inspired to write a screenplay about the famed warriors.
Mel Gibson brought in actual members of the Wallace clan as extras. They're standing around Wallace during the opening shots of battles.
Voted the worst film to win an Oscar by "Empire" magazine in 2005.
William Wallace's disembowelment was filmed in graphic detail, but was cut so that it's implied to occur out of frame, due to negative test audience reaction.
When speaking with Isabella before his execution, William Wallace delivers the famous quote "Every man dies - Not every man really lives." This famous quote commonly attributed to the "Braveheart" character was actually authored by a 19th Century American Poet whose name was William Ross Wallace, famous for writing the poem "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World", who is of no relation to the William Wallace in the film.