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What was there before Braveheart? Opinions please.

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  • What was there before Braveheart? Opinions please.

    Was watching the DVD yesterday and the question struck me, what was there before Braveheart if you look for anything similar? Apart from Highlander I can't really think of anything in the 10 years before 1995. Or even before that. Not since the 1960s in fact.

    But there must have been some historical action blockbusters leading up to it? Or was Braveheart simply relatively original for its time?

  • #2
    Off the top of my head, "Excalibur"(1981), which is more or less fiction, but perhaps only as much as Gibson's Braveheart(1995).
    First Knight is also 1995
    You could go all comic book, with the two Schwarzenegger Conan films.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Spiny Norman View Post
      Or was Braveheart simply relatively original for its time?
      Braveheart was very original, making up loads of "history"

      Steve

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      • #4
        After a bit of playing on IMDb, I can find Cromwell(1970), A Man For All Seasons, The War Lord(1965), Lionheart(1987), Mary, Queen of Scots(1971), Alfred the Great(1969), Aguirre, Wrath of God(1972), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves(1991)

        But you are correct, there does seem to have been a lack of that certain type of historic/action/epic movie that Braveheart exemplified. Presumably the financial gamble of "will it sell tickets?" was a major factor.

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        • #5
          Oh definitely there are other examples, but they're mostly over 10 years older or much more.

          Robin Prince of Creeps, yes of course, how could I forget that one!

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          • #6
            Although a fictional character, I think Rob Roy (Liam Neeson) was released the same year as Braveheart. For my money, I found Rob Roy to be more entertaining with Tim Roth in his usual villainous role.

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            • #7
              There was also:
              Hero (1982)
              - A medieval fable of sorcery and witchcraft in a remote corner of the Scottish highlands.
              Chasing the Deer (1982)
              - The Jacobite Rebellion of Scotland, and thirty years after the first battle, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army make a stand at Culloden.

              Steve

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post
                There was also:
                Hero (1982)
                - A medieval fable of sorcery and witchcraft in a remote corner of the Scottish highlands.
                Chasing the Deer (1982)
                - The Jacobite Rebellion of Scotland, and thirty years after the first battle, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army make a stand at Culloden.

                Steve
                Oh but as it happens I wasn't specifically looking for Scotland, that was just a coincidence when I named Highlander. I was thinking more in general of epic scale historical movies. So in that sense Braveheart was original, because it wasn't really a proven concept when they made it.

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                • #9
                  But you are correct, there does seem to have been a lack of that certain type of historic/action/epic movie that Braveheart exemplified. Presumably the financial gamble of "will it sell tickets?" was a major factor.
                  I think that the sort of 'historical' epic that Hollywood used to churn out (El Cid) went out of fashion as you say, because the business wasn't there. The studios were tending to lose money on big real life war films and other historical stuff as well, and then Jaws/Star Wars came out, and suddenly that was where the money was.

                  But everything goes in cycles, and then you get a star like Gibson, whose Mad Max and Lethal Weapon franchises made a huge amount of cash, and gave him a lot of power. Studio's will do a lot to please a star who can deliver box office. Steven Bach wrote in 'Final Cut' that UA didn't hugely mind that The Missouri Breaks was a bit of a flop, simply because it opened up to UA once again a pipeline of talent willing to work with the studio, simply because they had faith in what turned out to be a failure. So if he wants to make and star in a film about a Scottish bloke in a kilt who has a blue face and ends up getting hung, drawn and quartered, then why not?

                  But even then Gibson's star power couldn't get it made - Warner Bros were going to do it if he signed on for another Lethal Weapon, but he refused (at least then). Paramount and Fox buddied up to split the rights/costs (and therefore the risks), and thats how it got done. The fact that it made a lot of money, got an Oscar, etc meant that everyone thought that they could do the same. Rob Roy came out about a month before Braveheart, so it could be one of those Hollywood things where things come in waves, and once one studio thinks that a film in a runner, then everyone comes up with something a bit similar hoping to catch the wave (think The Hot Zone/Outbreak).

                  It does help that Braveheart is mostly fiction, which means its commercially more viable than a lot of historical films. The Costner Robin Hood is rubbish ('the Celts' got a big laugh when we watched it university, since we were all studying archaeology), but Rickman is great and it showed you could make money out people shooting arrows at each other.

                  Chasing the Deer (1982)
                  - The Jacobite Rebellion of Scotland, and thirty years after the first battle, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army make a stand at Culloden.
                  I possibly caught ten minutes of that film on one of those cheepie movie channels a couple of years ago (Movies4Men?). It looked like it had been made on tiny budget in about 1972 (I can't believe it was 1994), and the version they showed was appalling - I thought it was a different film, but with the same title. I remember it being made at the time, because it was funded in part by people putting in small amounts and being extras - a sort of early Kickstarter.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bonekicker View Post
                    It does help that Braveheart is mostly fiction, which means its commercially more viable than a lot of historical films. The Costner Robin Hood is rubbish ('the Celts' got a big laugh when we watched it university, since we were all studying archaeology), but Rickman is great and it showed you could make money out people shooting arrows at each other.
                    With most of this I agree but I'm not sure if there is a relation between historical facts and viability. They're all mostly fiction aren't they. Certainly that Robin Hood is no better for making up those Celts. (Where they supposed to be Welsh, or what?)

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                    • #11
                      What about Tora tora tora! 1970 or A Bridge to far 1977 they were historical epics. Oh and of course Waterloo 1970.
                      Last edited by tv horror; 18th May 2017, 12:36 AM.

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                      • #12
                        You could bring in the international brigade with all the Samurai movies from Japan
                        Or go traditional with Shakespeare, like Macbeth(1971)

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                        • #13
                          "The Master of Ballantrae" & "Kidnapped"!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spiny Norman View Post
                            Oh but as it happens I wasn't specifically looking for Scotland, that was just a coincidence when I named Highlander. I was thinking more in general of epic scale historical movies. So in that sense Braveheart was original, because it wasn't really a proven concept when they made it.
                            Well looking for historical films made (at least partly) in the UK from 1960 - 1995 (The year Braveheart ws released) in descending IMDB rating
                            excluding those alredy mentioned I see;
                            St. Joan (1978)
                            Rachel and the Beelzebub Bombardiers (1977)
                            ¬°Que vivan los crotos! (1995)
                            Mary Magdalene (1993)
                            Patmos (1985)
                            El dirigible (1994)
                            Hero (1982)

                            Use http://www.imdb.com/search/title to do a similar search

                            Steve




                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carl V View Post
                              Although a fictional character, I think Rob Roy (Liam Neeson) was released the same year as Braveheart. For my money, I found Rob Roy to be more entertaining with Tim Roth in his usual villainous role.
                              Rob Roy wasn't a fictional character. I can't say he looked or behaved much like Liam Neeson but the source material was real enough

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