The Patriot and the Real Francis Marion: Guerilla Warfare in the South
Movies under the genre of historical such as the recent “Lincoln” (2012) attract people to theaters all over the nation and ignite national interests in history. Although good for the profession and history as a subject, movies often perpetuate untruths that damage the veracity of historical events and people’s perceptions of the past. “The Patriot,” (2000) is one of Americas best examples. Many have heard of Benjamin Martin—the loving father, the unfortunate widower, the caring and kind employer of freedmen, the noble veteran of the French and Indian War, and the heroic leader during the American Revolution. This fictional character played by Mel Gibson, nevertheless, comes from a true historical foundation. This paper takes a look at the movie “The Patriot” and breaks down fact from fiction. It clarifies the story of the Revolution portrayed by Hollywood, by expounding on the actual events of the past, including Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox and illusive guerilla fighter of South Carolina, of whom Benjamin Martin was loosely based.