Films

15 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Braveheart

It won the Oscar for Best Picture and made Mel Gibson's name as a director. And made millions more people go to Scotland.

But how much do you know about the Scottish warrior? Have a wee look and find out.

(Images: AllStar)

  • 15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Braveheart

    1

    To save money, Mel Gibson used the same extras to play opposing sides in wide shots of the armies readying themselves for battle.

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    2

    William Wallace’s wife was actually called Marian, but the production changed her name to Murron to spare confusion with Robin Hood.

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    3

    Gibson shot approximately 90-hours of footage for the Battle of Stirling sequence.

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    4

    Mel Gibson offered the directing job to Terry Gilliam but was turned down.

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    5

    Woad, that blue gunk the Scots spread all over their faces, had ceased to be use as battle make-up about 800 years before the events of the film.

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    6

    Braveheart won Best Picture at the Oscars, but that was the only award body to deem it the best of the year.

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    7

    There was a good deal of controversy about the horses used in the film. Animal protection groups were so convinced that real animals were harmed that producers had to show them B-roll footage of the animatronic horses used for dangerous scenes. Gibson offered $5 to anyone who could spot the fake horses but has apparently never had to pay up.

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    8

    King Edward I (Patrick McGoohan) earned the nickname Longshanks because he was incredibly tall for the time. He was about 6'2".

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    9

    Gibson originally considered himself about ten years too old to play William Wallace. Ultimately, playing the title role was the only way to convince Paramount to put up the money needed to make the film.

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    10

    Gibson originally approached Warner Bros for financing but the studio said it would only stump up the money if Gibson would agree to another Lethal Weapon movie. He refused. He went on to make a fourth Lethal Weapon in 1998 anyway.

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    11

    Despite the Scottish setting, most of the battle scenes were shot in Ireland, many using members of the Irish army.

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    12

    Jason Patric was Gibson's first choice to play William Wallace.

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    13

    Gibson watched Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus and William Wyler's Big Country multiple times for inspiration on how to make an epic.

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    14

    Despite its Oscar success, Braveheart was not a particularly big hit, making $75 million in the US. It cost $72 million to make. It was the 13th highest grossing film in the world in 1995, just behind Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

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    15

    The film's final insinuation that Isabella's child, and the future Edward III, might be Wallace's was developed for the film. The child was born ten years after Wallace died.

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