Producer-director-star Gibson does it all in this bold, ferocious, reasonably accurate epic about the passion and cost of freedom. Charismatic 13th century Scottish folk hero William Wallace leads his desperate and outnumbered clansmen in revolt against British oppression. Sweeping, meticulous battle scenes fit suprisingly well with moments of stirring romance and snappy wit. Among the mostly unknown (in the States, anyway) cast, Marceau and McCormack are elegant as Wallace's lady loves, and McGoohan is positively hateful as King Edward I. Gory and excessively violent (as medieval warfare tends to be) and a bit too long (as historical epics tend to be), but rewarding entertainment for those who stick it out--where else can you see the king's army get mooned en masse? Script was based on 300 pages of rhyming verse attributed to a blind poet known as Blind Harry. Gibson put up $15 million of his own money to complete the film.
Paramount Home Video, 5555 Melrose Ave., 5555 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, Phone: (323)956-5000, URL: http://www.paramount.com, Remarks: Does not handle retail queries from consumers; contact your local video distributor.
Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 178 minutes.
Oscars 1995: Cinematog., Director (Gibson), Makeup, Picture; British Acad. 1995: Cinematog.; Golden Globes 1996: Director (Gibson); MTV Movie Awards 1996: Action Seq.; Writers Guild 1995: Orig. Screenplay; Broadcast Film Critics 1995: Director (Gibson).
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