"Lower your flags and march straight back to England, stopping at every home to beg forgiveness for a hundred years of theft, rape, and murder. Do this, and your men shall live. Do it not, and every one of you will die today."
Description: Mel Gibson as William Wallace tells the leaders of an invading English forces that he will permit them safe passage through Scotland back to England in the motion picture Braveheart (1995).
William Wallace is a common man living in 13th century Scotland. All he wants is to live in peace, and marry the woman of his dreams. But his dreams turn to nightmares when the British rulers of his homeland murder his wife (slit her throat) to get to him.
"We all end up dead, it's just a question of how and why." - William Wallace
Embittered and tired of all the cruelties that the British have lavished on his land for centuries, Wallace gathers his countryman together and takes back Scotland from the throne of England.
The first thing Wallace does is find the man who killed his wife. When he does, he ties him to a post, as the man did to his wife, and in one swift vengeful stroke, Wallace ends the man's life by slitting his throat.
|Princess Isabelle:||The king desires peace.|
|William Wallace:||Longshanks desires peace?|
|Princess Isabelle:||He declares it to me, I swear it. He proposes that you withdraw your attack. In return he grants you title, estates, and this chest of gold which I am to pay to you personally.|
|William Wallace:||A lordship and titles. Gold. That I should become Judas?|
|Princess Isabelle:||Peace is made in such ways.|
|William Wallace:||Slaves are made in such ways. The last time Longshanks spoke of peace I was a boy. And many Scottish nobles, who would not be slaves, were lured by him under a flag of truce to a barn, where he had them hanged. I was very young, but I remember Longshanks' notion of peace.|
Of course, the King of England and those Scots noblemen who have been living comfortably under British rule take up arms against Wallace and conspire to bring him down. But before all that happens, Wallace and his loyal followers reclaim much of their country. Their rebellious nature forces Longshanks, King Edward of England (Patrick McGoohan) to send troops to battle the insurrection.
At the beginning of one battle, as the troops of England face off with Scottish freedom fighters, Wallace is in no mood for negotiation and tells the King's messenger:
"Lower your flags and march straight back to England, stopping at every home to beg forgiveness for a hundred years of theft, rape, and murder. Do this, and your men shall live. Do it not, and every one of you will die today....[to emphasis his point, Wallace further declares] Before we let you leave, your commander must cross that field, present himself before this army, put his head between his legs, and kiss his own arse. "
The British are insulted at Wallace's demands and confident of victory they stand their ground. Returning to his troops, William Wallace rallies his fellow Scots to face their fears and battle the enemy.
“I AM William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my country men, here, in defiance of tyranny. You've come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight? A soldier responds, “Against that? No, we'll run, and we'll live.” Wallace continues, ”Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live...at least for a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take...OUR FREEDOM!”
After the English fire a volley of arrows, the Scottish resistance troops show their asses in contempt for those who had tortured, enslaved and made their lives miserable for years. During a later battle led by Longshanks, the King says, "Not the archers. My scouts tell me their archers are miles away and no threat to us. Arrows cost money. Use up the Irish. The dead cost nothing."
In the end, William Wallace is betrayed, captured and tortured by his enemies for his alleged treasonous actions against England. As Wallace looks death in the face, he shouts "FREEDOM!" as a message to his people to never again to submit to tyranny.
"Men fight for me because if they do not, I throw them off my land and I starve their wives and their children. Those men who bled the ground red at Falkirk, they fought for William Wallace, and he fights for something that I never had. And I took it from him, when I betrayed him. I saw it in his face on the battlefield and it's tearing me apart." - Robert the Bruce
Soon after Wallace's death, Robert the Bruce (Angus MacFadyen) leads the armies of Scotland against the British and wins their freedom. As he heads the charge, he shouts, "You have bled with Wallace, now bleed with me."