What was there before Braveheart?

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

What was there before Braveheart?

PostWed May 17, 2017 8:47 am

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?
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline
User avatar

silentfilm

Moderator

  • Posts: 9045
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
  • Location: Dallas, TX USA

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostWed May 17, 2017 11:18 am


There was John Boorman's Excaliber (1981). Just about every version of Robin Hood or the Three Musketeers is an historical action movie.
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostWed May 17, 2017 11:39 am

Yeah, but most of them are all a bit further back. Well, the 1993 Three Musketeers, that's a good point.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline

wich2

  • Posts: 1345
  • Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:11 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostWed May 17, 2017 2:58 pm

Just a start, re: Features:

THREE and FOUR MUSKETEERS - 1973 & 1974
THE LONG RIDERS - 1980
HEAVEN'S GATE - 1980
GLORY - 1989
ROBIN HOOD - 1991

More, in TV Movies:

THE GREAT NORTHFIELD MINNESOTA RAID - 1972
THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK - 1977
LES MISERABLES - 1978
ROBIN HOOD - 1991
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5096
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostWed May 17, 2017 3:05 pm

Spiny, I've been looking at this thread and wondering what sort of criteria you're looking for. Others seem to know, but since I saw the movie in a theater and discussed it was a friend and a biographical dictionary --the word "crap" was used a lot -- is that what you're looking for?

Bob
To remain ignorant of what occurred before before you were born is to remain forever a child.
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostWed May 17, 2017 3:41 pm

boblipton wrote:Spiny, I've been looking at this thread and wondering what sort of criteria you're looking for. Others seem to know, but since I saw the movie in a theater and discussed it was a friend and a biographical dictionary --the word "crap" was used a lot -- is that what you're looking for?

Bob
No, I meant period (or historical) blockbusters on that scale. I wouldn't call Braveheart crap myself, I'd say it was pretty good mostly. At the very least sufficient. And it isn't easy to make a compelling film about national heroes.

Besides, I really wouldn't need any help to find crap; crap is the one thing that will never be in short supply in movie land (or even anywhere else come to think about it). :D
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 5619
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostWed May 17, 2017 9:39 pm

I think Michael Mann's version of Last of the Mohicans kicked the revival of the genre off, but you could argue any number of things.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 1:27 am

Mike Gebert wrote:I think Michael Mann's version of Last of the Mohicans kicked the revival of the genre off, but you could argue any number of things.
Funny thing is, I had never heard of that until I had this question and started looking.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 5619
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 5:40 am

It wasn't a huge hit, but it was successful enough, and it kind of reminded Hollywood that you could make romances that were set in another time, which seems entirely obvious yet somehow forgotten except by Merchant and Ivory at that point.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
Offline

wich2

  • Posts: 1345
  • Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:11 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 8:14 am

Mike Gebert wrote:It wasn't a huge hit, but it was successful enough, and it kind of reminded Hollywood that you could make romances that were set in another time, which seems entirely obvious yet somehow forgotten except by Merchant and Ivory at that point.


Of course, they hamfistedly inserted most of the romance there! In the novel, the Natty Bumppo part is adventure, not kissy-face.
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 5619
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 8:30 am

Terrible, that an adventure movie has really pretty people in it acting kissy-face toward each other.

Image
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 8:38 am

Ah well, so does nearly every of those movies... None of them has any problems with altering history either. Just a fact of life.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 9:11 am

Mike Gebert wrote:It wasn't a huge hit, but it was successful enough, and it kind of reminded Hollywood that you could make romances that were set in another time, which seems entirely obvious yet somehow forgotten except by Merchant and Ivory at that point.
I'll put it on the list.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2701
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 11:20 am

Was thinking of films set in that period of Scottish history. Although set much later, we have BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE (1947), which lost a packet, and there was an earlier film with Ivor Novello in 1923, which appears to be lost.
Offline
User avatar

silentfilm

Moderator

  • Posts: 9045
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
  • Location: Dallas, TX USA

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 12:07 pm

The Michael Mann Last of the Mohicans (1992) is one of my favorite "modern" movies. It is a remake that is better and more exciting than most of its predecessors (although some of them are good also). It has a memorable music score and excellent performances by the leads, thrilling action sequences and just enough romance to keep the ladies interested.
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 12:13 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Was thinking of films set in that period of Scottish history. Although set much later, we have BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE (1947), which lost a packet, and there was an earlier film with Ivor Novello in 1923, which appears to be lost.
Initially I wasn't specifically aiming at Scotland, more at large scale historical epics 1985-1995. So far Braveheart still looks like a relatively original project for its time.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline
User avatar

Frederica

  • Posts: 4823
  • Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:00 pm
  • Location: Kowea Town, Los Angeles

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 3:59 pm

Kurosawa's Ran and Kagemusha were filmed in that time period, were you limiting it to Western film? I think you'd probably find a lot of historical epics in Chinese and Bollywood film.
Fred
"Screw the men. I've got the horse."
Helen B. (Penny) Chenery
http://www.nitanaldi.com"
http://www.facebook.com/NitaNaldiSilentVamp"
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 4:10 pm

Frederica wrote:Kurosawa's Ran and Kagemusha were filmed in that time period, were you limiting it to Western film? I think you'd probably find a lot of historical epics in Chinese and Bollywood film.
I was thinking more of commercial successes than artistic considerations. I don't know if for example an internationally successful samurai film would quickly lead to a big scale Hollywood historical epic. There might be some barriers in place there.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline

IA

  • Posts: 108
  • Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 4:19 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:Yeah, but most of them are all a bit further back. Well, the 1993 Three Musketeers, that's a good point.


Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974) have already been mentioned, but there's also his later follow-up The Return of the Musketeers (1989). Several films about Napoleon also might qualify--aside from Gance's silent version, there's his Austerlitz (1960), Sacha Guitry's Napoleon (1955), and Bondarchuk's Waterloo (1970).
Other suggestions: El Cid (1961) and Raymond Bernard's The Miracle of the Wolves (1924).
Offline

wich2

  • Posts: 1345
  • Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:11 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostThu May 18, 2017 9:29 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:Terrible, that an adventure movie has really pretty people in it acting kissy-face toward each other.


WELL, Mr. Smarty-Pants! :wink:

Sure, as Spiny noted, there's a long history of sliding the love stuff into these tales. But in Loxley's case, he's usually been much about his Maid; whereas Natty's real soulmate seems to to be Chingachgook!

-Craig
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostFri May 19, 2017 3:08 am

IA wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Yeah, but most of them are all a bit further back. Well, the 1993 Three Musketeers, that's a good point.


Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974) have already been mentioned, but there's also his later follow-up The Return of the Musketeers (1989). Several films about Napoleon also might qualify--aside from Gance's silent version, there's his Austerlitz (1960), Sacha Guitry's Napoleon (1955), and Bondarchuk's Waterloo (1970).
Other suggestions: El Cid (1961) and Raymond Bernard's The Miracle of the Wolves (1924).
Thanks, some of those examples are new to me.
But Lester's three musketeer films are kind of playful; while the Braveheart / Gladiator stuff is more ambitious, not just in scenes/budget but also in that they bring in serious stuff about freedom and revenge.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline
User avatar

greta de groat

  • Posts: 1999
  • Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:06 am
  • Location: California

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostFri May 19, 2017 9:50 am

Ivanhoe? Including the 1913 version.

greta
Greta de Groat
Unsung Divas of the Silent Screen
http://www.stanford.edu/~gdegroat
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5096
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostFri May 19, 2017 10:37 am

greta de groat wrote:Ivanhoe? Including the 1913 version.

greta


I think Greta has gotten to the source of my puzzlement. The IMDb shows two adaptations of Dumas in 1898 -- the Corsican Brother and "The Fencing Scene from The Three Musketeers". Even if you wish to claim that some particular movie is part of a different genre -- and there are good reasons to call Last of the Mohicans a western, anything else is redefining your definitions to achieve some particular result.

Bob
To remain ignorant of what occurred before before you were born is to remain forever a child.
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 5619
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostFri May 19, 2017 11:04 am

The way I took the question was that during the 1980s there seemed to be a time when the pre-1900 historical epic, with or without romance, was sort of a moribund genre, like the western. You could do it in space, but not in 14th century England in the movies.

Then it came back. The Kevin Costner Robin Hood, woeful as it mostly was, and Mann's The Last of the Mohicans seemed to revive it as a possibility, and then Braveheart as a huge hit seemed to spark a revival that has continued to the present, more or less.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostFri May 19, 2017 11:17 am

Mike Gebert wrote:The way I took the question was that during the 1980s there seemed to be a time when the pre-1900 historical epic, with or without romance, was sort of a moribund genre, like the western. You could do it in space, but not in 14th century England in the movies.

Then it came back. The Kevin Costner Robin Hood, woeful as it mostly was, and Mann's The Last of the Mohicans seemed to revive it as a possibility, and then Braveheart as a huge hit seemed to spark a revival that has continued to the present, more or less.
And that is exactly how I meant it; although the other answers and examples are interesting too.

Robin prince of thieves, Braveheart, Gladiator. Apart from their big blockbuster ambitions, they've all got the same "one old fashioned hero rallying the people against the rotten system" vibe.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5096
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostFri May 19, 2017 11:18 am

And the newest King Arthur movie, in the theaters as we write, may kill it. Doubtless it will be blamed on the genre, or the lack of true stardom of whoever was paid megabucks to star in it, or something. It may, of course, simply be a poor movie, or a stupid effort by the producers, but I doubt it will affect their careers.

Ok. Got it, at least Mike's definition of what this thread is about.

Bob
To remain ignorant of what occurred before before you were born is to remain forever a child.
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero
Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1222
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostFri May 19, 2017 1:47 pm

boblipton wrote:And the newest King Arthur movie, in the theaters as we write, may kill it. Doubtless it will be blamed on the genre, or the lack of true stardom of whoever was paid megabucks to star in it, or something. It may, of course, simply be a poor movie, or a stupid effort by the producers, but I doubt it will affect their careers.

Ok. Got it, at least Mike's definition of what this thread is about.

Bob
Oh dear that looks very LOTR-rip off.

Speaking purely of antiquity, it looks like the new Ben-Hur has dealt the final blow and killed it.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline

IA

  • Posts: 108
  • Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostFri May 19, 2017 10:43 pm

I haven't seen Griffith's revolutionary war film America (1924), but it might fit your category, though it's said to be one of Griffith's weaker efforts. The other revolutionary war epic of the era, Robert Goldstein's Spirit of '76 (1917), is sadly lost but sounds bonkers and would have given Mel Gibson a run in the sadism department.
Offline

wich2

  • Posts: 1345
  • Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:11 am

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 9:31 am

IA, Spiny is looking at a much more recent production period.

Mike, as I tried to show with some of my examples, some Big-Scale Period Films did still happen in the '70s/'80s. But they tended to -

- 1. Be Westerns.
-and/or-
- 2. Be Broadcast, rather than Theatrical. (By the way, add the American TV miniseries era here.)

Best,
-Craig
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 5619
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 9:46 am

Well, if they're westerns, they're NOT Sir Walter Scott type historical romances. Neither was, say, Gandhi. Or Roots.

The fact that something is being done on TV is usually a reason not to do it in the movies, unless you can significantly outdo it. The obvious problem that King Arthur has is that it looks like a pale shadow of Game of Thrones, and not the reverse.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
Next

Return to Talking About Talkies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 6 guests