'The Patriot' Synopsis

South Carolina -- 1776.

A former hero of the French and Indian War, Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) has renounced fighting forever to raise his family in peace. Although once a wily, efficient and ferocious soldier, he marries a fine woman who bears him seven children and, under her influence, trades his violent past for a peaceful future on his sprawling plantation.

But rebellion is brewing. Another conflict, this time with England, is inevitable.

A dedicated family man, Martin is not anxious to return to battle. Recently widowed, he has different goals now. He is the sole caretaker of his brood, and the horrors of past combat haunt him still. "If you're asking whether I'm willing to go to war with England, the answer is no. I've been to war, and I have no desire to do so again," says Martin in an emotional address to the Charleston Assembly. "I have seven children. My wife is dead. Who's to care for them if I go to war?"

Benjamin's eldest son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger), harbors no such doubts. The radical speeches, pamphlets and newsletters that begin in the cities and pews and traverse the Colonies make an impression on the young man. War is coming, and the cause, he feels, is just. In defiance of his father, Gabriel joins the fight.

Benjamin Martin is conflicted -- as stalwart as he is in his opposition to the war, he believes in the cause. Then the British, led by the cruel Colonel Tavington (Jason Isaacs), arrive at his doorstep and endanger the one thing he holds most dear -- his family. With his South Carolina household threatened, Martin agrees to take up arms alongside his idealistic patriot son and lead a brave rebel Militia into battle against a relentless and overwhelming English army.

In the process, this reluctant hero discovers that the only way to protect his family is to fight for a young nation's freedom.

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