After witnessing the treachery of King Edward I (McGoohan) as a boy, Scotsman William Wallace (Gibson) returns to the tiny village of Ellerslie 20 years later with an education in the classics. Hoping to settle down to a quiet life tending his crops, Wallace is instead forced to flee English barbarity, and eventually leads his kinsmen in a bloody revolt against their oppressors.
Epic, grand-scale movie-making at its best, this tale of heroism and courage in 1300s Scotland marked a career highpoint for Gibson as actor and director. Ruggedly charismatic, he plays a peaceful man reluctantly drawn into the violent drift of history, after which he becomes a ferocious leader and combatant. Marceau is alluring as Isabelle, a stunning English princess who draws Wallace's eye and heart, but the film really blazes thanks to those savage, jaw-dropping battle sequences. Nominated for ten Oscars and winning five, including Best Picture and Director, "Braveheart" never loses steam, even at three hours. A triumph.