1) "The Patriot" at 20. A timely film for a tyrannical world.

2) I must have seen "The Patriot," Roland Emmerich's timeless 2000 film about the American Revolution, a dozen times.

3) It is a profound story about a man of principles, Benjamin Martin, in 1776 South Carolina.
4) Martin, a veteran of the French and Indian War (of which it is revealed that he engaged in what would today be called "war crimes" against the French) now lives peacefully with his family minus his dead wife.

Martin has had enough of war, and especially fears . . .
4) contd . . . as he says, "his sins may come back" to him and would be "more than I can bear." He also fears losing his sons to war.

5) But Gabriel, his oldest boy, is a patriot. Gabriel believes deeply not only in the cause of freedom FROM England, but TO build a new world.
6) Gabriel pushes Benjamin to vote for war, but Benjamin says that he is a parent, and "a parent cannot afford principles."

7) Of course, Benjamin, played by Mel Gibson, and Gabriel, played by the late Heath Ledger, continue this conversation until Gabriel joins up.
8) A wounded Gabriel shows back up at the plantation just as a battle rages out in the fields. The Continentals are routed. After the battle, the evil British Col. Tavington (playing Col. Banastre Tarleton, played by Jason Isaacs) moves his forces to the Martin plantation . . .
8) contd . . . where they find both British and Continental wounded cared for by Martin and his workers (note, not "slaves," as they explain early on---highly unlikely). Tavington discovers a mail pouch carried by Gabriel, who admits to being the courier. Tavington orders . . .
8) contd . . . Gabriel taken prisoner to be hanged, then has the Continental wounded shot. When Martin's middle son, Thomas, rushes to save Gabriel, Tavington shoots him and fires the house.
A grieving Martin saves weapons from the burning house, takes . . .
8) contd. . . . two of his remaining three sons with their rifles, ambushes the 20 Redcoats escorting Gabriel, and wipes them out, creating the myth of the "Ghost." (Gibson's character is modeled on the real life "Swamp Fox" Francis Marion).
9) Freed, Gabriel announces he intends to return to the Continental Army, but is persuaded to stay with his father after Col. Harry Burwell (Chris Cooper) permits them to form a militia unit.

10) One of the most memorable scenes, but one that isn't quite right, . . .
10) contd . . . is when Benjamin and Gabriel look out the window of a farmhouse to see the Continentals again routed by the Brits. Speaking of Gen. Gates, Benjamin says "he spent too much time in the British Army. Going muzzle to muzzle in open field against the Redcoats is . . .
10) contd . . . madness." In fact, however, that is precisely what George Washington was training his men to do. Washington knew that guerilla war could not defeat the Brits, and that sooner or later they would have to fight "muzzle to muzzle" in open field.
11) Throughout, Gabriel's love for the new nation is found in his sewing of an American flag, which he keeps in his knapsack. He also has developed a love for Anne Howard (Lisa Brenner), who is as ardent a patriot as he is.

12) After numerous successful ambushes by . . .
12) contd . . . the "Ghost," Lord Cornwallis (Tom Wilkenson) unleashes Tavington to do whatever it takes to capture him. Tavington goes on a reign of terror, burning towns and slaughtering innocents, ending by trapping Anne's entire town inside the church and setting it aflame.
13) Actually, Tavington doesn't set the church afire, but a Tory named O'Hara (@AdamBaldwin) is force to.

13) When Benjamin and Gabriel discover this, Gabriel flies off in a rage along with Reverend Oliver (Rene Auberjonois) to find Tavington. They do, but in the subsequent . .
13) contd . . . battle, although Tavington is wounded, both Gabriel and Oliver are killed. Benjamin is beside himself, having now lost two sons to the war he opposed. He tells Col. Burwell he won't return.

14) Meanwhile, the Continentals have been reinforced in the North.
15) The French, as promised by French officer Jean Villeneuve (Tcheky Karyo) are on their way, and in the South, Dan Morgan has arrived with reinforcements. Burwell tells Villenueve and Martin's other loyal militiamen that he won't be staying with the army, which moves out.
16) After burying Gabrial, however, Benjamin finds the American flag in the knapsack, and is reminded that there are causes that transcend our lives.

17) In the pivotal moment of the film, the somewhat disillusioned Continental Army trudges toward a climactic battle with . . .
17) contd. . . Cornwallis and Tavington, likely only to lose . . . when riding through the fields comes an American flag borne by Benjamin. As shouts of "Huzzah!" erupt, the army has new strength.
18) Benjamin (the militia) joins Burwell (the Continental regular) and Villenueve (the French) in an iconic picture of the three military "legs" that won the American Revolution.

19) CONTINUITY ISSUE! I just noticed last night that when Mel rides through the field . . .
19) contd . . . he is carrying the American flag in his left hand. The camera cuts to the "Huzzahs" and when Mel is next shown, the flag it in his right hand.

20) The battle they prepare for is based on the real life American victory at Cowpens.
21) Earlier, Benjamin has captured and read the correspondence of Cornwallis, including his strategy and tactics. "A genius" he calls Cornwallis, but a man full of pride. Maybe, he muses, we can use that against him. Villenueve says "Stupidity would be better," but Benjamin . .
21) contd . . . says "Pride will work." Sure enough, the commanders of the outnumbered American force are looking for a way to beat Cornwallis and Martin comes up with a plan for the militia--which has a reputation for breaking and running--to form the center of the US line.
22) As the combatants approach each other on the battlefield, Cornwallis cannot believe his luck. The Americans have militia forming their center.

23) Little does he know that Benjamin has told his men to fire two shots, then run.
24) One of the militiamen, listening to the plan, shakes his head and says, "A lot can happen in the time it takes to fire two shots against the Redcoats."

Benjamin replies, "That's why I'm not asking you to fire three."
25) As the battle unfolds, the militia fire their two shots then run over a hill. Cornwallis, thinking he has a decisive victory says "This ends today." He sends his entire reserve over the hill.

On the back side of the hill, however, is the bulk of the American army, waiting.
26) Lured into a trap, the British fight tenaciously and are still making headway until Benjamin throws down his musket and picks up the flag, rallying the men to overwhelm the British.

27) Tavington has charged into this melee, and of course in the final battle he and . . .
27) contd . . . Benjamin fight it out until Benjamin wins. Just as he thought he had won, Tavington said, "It appears I am the better man." Now Benjamin says to the dying Tavington, "My sons were the better men."
28) In 20 year retrospect, little could be done to make the film better. It is a tad long, and I would have eliminated the scene where the British burned the plantation of Mel's sister-in-law (whom he later falls for).
29) The other motif is the white racist volunteer (Dan Scott) who chaffs at having a slave (Occam) in the ranks. Occam was signed up by his master, but a new policy by Gen. Washington grants freedom to any slave who serves 2 years. As Scott and Occam await . . .
29) contd . . . the final onslaught, Scott notes that it's October, more than two years. Occam is free.
"I know," says Occam. "I'm here now on my own accord."

That would have been perfect. Instead, in one of the few lapses, the screenwriter Robert Rodat had to add in . . .
29) contd . . . Scott's character saying 'I'm honored" to have you with us. Then repeats, "Honored."

30) Nevertheless it's a remarkable script. The idealist Gabrial is filled with rage when someone he loves is killed, while the pragmatist Benjamin turns idealist when . . .
30) contd . . . he truly grasps what his son was fighting for. Likewise, the "honorable" Cornwallis is willing to fight a gentleman's war until it becomes clear he will lose. Then the barbaric Isaacs is turned loose.
31) In one of the funniest scenes, Benjamin's men capture a wagon with Cornwallis's papers but also his two Great Danes. As the militia discuss what to do with the wine, the papers, and the dogs, the rough John Billings says they should drink the wine, eat the dogs, and use . . .
31) cont'd. . . the papers for musket wadding. Rev. Oliver is horrified. "Eat the DOGS?" he exclaims.

Benjamin turns to Oliver, nodding and smiling and says "Dog is a fine meal."

A blanched Oliver mutters "Good heavens."
32) In reality however, Benjamin trains the dogs so well that even when he temporarily returns them to Cornwallis, he whistles for them as he rides off and they scurry out of the fort after him.
33) I always thought that a darker, but equally powerful sequel would be based on O'Hara (@adambaldwin) with the guilt-ridden and tortured man who burned women and children seeking salvation in the post-Revolutionary world.
34) At age 20, the "Patriot" remains the best movie on the Revolution ever made--remarkable that in fact, there are so few. Al Pacino's "Revolution" (1985) sought to achieve the same "reluctant combatant" story arc, but failed. "1776" is a musical comedy.
35) Yet "The Patriot" is good enough that no other films are needed. It is poignant without being preachy; informative without being dull; and exciting without sacrificing the very reason for which the story was written. Freedom.

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More from @LarrySchweikart

18 Sep
1) @rushlimbaugh is reading the Lee Smith piece---I'll get a link for you--but this ties ALL of it together better than anything I've ever heard.

2) Smith explains that in the early 2000s the internet DEFUNDED ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN news and reporters. Since news could be . . .
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4) Smith (and Rush) maintain that the sheer hatred of the China Controlled Elites . . .
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18 Sep
1) @rushlimbaugh playing a clip from Lurch (John Effing Kerry) saying as Sec State that "there will be no Middle East peace without the Palestinians."


This is the kind of thinking that says, "We can never explore any other alternatives than those we always worked with."
2) What does this remind me of?

In the 1970s EVERYONE thought that "defeating" the USSR was impossible, that we had to have "detente" but couldn't beat them.

EVERYONE thought that except one man.

Ronald Reagan. Image
3) Do you remember his response when he was asked for his view of the Cold War?

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1) Lotta new followers so, just FYI.

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2) I follow real, tangible #s, not polls which are stated intentions of what people might do in the future. And remember Dr. House: "everybody lies."

Instead I watch trends in special elections (ALL toward . . .
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16 Sep
1) Rush @rushlimbaugh yesterday correctly said that "if the DemoKKKrats win this election, it is the end of the two-party system. They do not believe in legitimate opposition."

Fully agree: spocksockets like Minion, Broken Kristol & any other neverTrumper are advocating . . .
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14 Sep
1) Demented Perv Biteme and every single DemoKKKrat gov & mayor is cupable in the assassination attempt on two LA cops.

2) Full stop. Period.

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6) This includes you, racist NBA & NFL.

No cop or security person should ever work a one of your little games. They are literally funding their own assassination attempts.

7) Corporate America, now in the grip of SJW/Karen/Snowflake marketing departments better recover fast.
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1) Some of you are not going to like this column, but I'm gonna say it anyway.

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5) Indeed, this week the biggest news was that OBL's niece SUPPORTS TRUMP!

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7) So, without downplaying the horror of ISIS or its early success . .
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