Best William Wallace documentary ever screened
anderson@braveheart. | Edinburgh, Scotland | 12/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is best of all the post-Braveheart documentaries on the life of William Wallace. It combines strong attention to the historical details, with an excellent grasp of the passion that drove Wallace in his own time, and influenced events in Scotland and elsewhere ever since. There is a good balance between narration and talking heads. If you enjoyed Braveheart, and want a straightforward and entertaining way to find out more about the life and legacy of Wallace, then this is for you."
A FINE COMPANION PIECE TO "BRAVEHEART!"
Steven Hancock | Winston Salem, NC United States | 05/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fine program about the true story behind Mel Gibson's criticallly-acclaimed epic "Braveheart." Here, you learn about the true legend of William Wallace, and of the liberties that screenwriter Randall Wallace took with the historical facts while crafting the screenplay. If you're a fan of "Braveheart," or just enjoy historical documentaries, then this is one to own, as it is one of the best out there.
A dose of reality to balance against Hollywood
gpstogo | Chicago, IL | 08/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"William Wallace is to be respected and revered for what he was..a patriot to Scotland as were our patriots here during the American Revolution. This dvd tries to take him out of legend a little and paint a more accurate picture of his origins, his education, the political turmoil and harshness of that period. He fought and gave his life for his country as our soldiers do and this tries to give as much reality to that as is possible. Many things are just unknown regarding details in his past and the narrators point this out. It's also interesting to hear the various historians give their 'take' or opinion of what we know.
My only complaint is them using that horrid 'hollywood/Mel Gibson' Braveheart statue that stands outside the Visitor's Centre. I've been there several times and given what that man did for Scotland, that statue is an insult. The majesty of his legend is better reflected on the Wallace Monument itself. I know maintaining tourist sites requires funding and more tourists can relate to Mel Gibson & Hollywood rather than the true Scotland but I sincerely wish they hadn't even shown it. Its the one factor that blemished an otherwise great dvd. If you like Scottish history and seek additional information, this will give it to you but only parts so don't expect a dissertation. Very good. I enjoyed it."
The son of Alan (or Malcolm?)
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 05/10/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
""HISTORY'S MYSTERIES: The True Story of William Wallace" makes note of what students of 13th and 14th Century Scottish history are well aware of: Mel Gibson's BRAVEHEART (1995), scripted by a man who believes himself a descendant, is a mostly-fictional account of Wallace's life. Battles depicted in the film also contain many inaccuracies.
Little is known of Sir William, not his face, whether he had a wife, or his specific lineage beyond a letter seal inscribed "son of Alan." This one-hour program steadfastly refuses to fill in the many gaps with invention, and admirably so. What has filtered down through the centuries are a small number of British accounts of questionable bias, and Scottish minstrel Blind Harry's laudatory saga written 150 years after Wallace's death.
Battles where specifics are known get coverage. Wallace's betrayal by a colleague, his arrest, show trial, brutal torture and execution are detailed. Instead of ending the Scots' uprising against England, Wallace's public killing made him a martyr for Scottish freedom, a cause that was fulfilled by Robert the Bruce.
In the telling we see the Scottish Royal throne, Sir William's 5 foot 7 inch broadsword and places scattered far and wide where he set foot. Wallace's graffitoed monument is pictured. Of most importance is a post-WWII renewal of interest in this hero that culminated in the reconvening of a Scottish Parliament, a body that was by decree disbanded in the early 1700s.
"The True Story of William Wallace" is a most interesting program. Highly recommended."