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BRAVEHEART Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1995

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Amid the color, pageantry, and violence of thirteenth-century Scotland unfurls the resplendent tale of the legendary William Wallace, farmer by birth, rebel by fate, who banded together his valiant army of Scots to crush the cruel tyranny of the English Plantagenet king.

About the Author

Randall Wallace is the author of seven novels, including the New York Times bestseller Pearl Harbor. He has written four feature films -- We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor, The Man in the Iron Mask, and the 1995 Academy Award-winner Braveheart -- and produced and directed We Were Soldiers and The Man in the Iron Mask. For his work on Braveheart, he received the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay as well as numerous other accolades, including Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.

In addition to his work as a filmmaker and author, Randall Wallace is the founder of Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity. This entertainment industry partnership with Habitat for Humanity works to garner financial donations, publicity, and volunteer involvement in support of Habitat for Humanity's goal of eliminating poverty housing worldwide. Wallace has two sons and lives in Los Angeles.


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; 1st Pocket Books edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671522817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671522810
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Randall Wallace - the Oscar®-nominated creative force behind the epic storytelling of such critical and box-office hits as BRAVEHEART, WE WERE SOLDIERS and PEARL HARBOR - last Fall brought to life the inspirational excitement of SECRETARIAT, the impossible true story of the racehorse who won the Triple Crown in 1973. In addition to his work in film and television, Wallace is also the writer of eight books. His latest, THE TOUCH, is slated for release September 1, 2011.

Wallace's skill with uncommon yet true tales of loyalty, courage and commitment from throughout human history has set him apart in Hollywood. His films have earned more than $1 billion dollars at the box office, but he is most sought after for something even more rare: a visual storytelling style that can make the past feel completely alive and screen characters from any time period compellingly real. He turned a forgotten Scottish warrior into a contemporary film hero in the screenplay for BRAVEHEART; adapted a classic Alexandre Dumas novel into an all-star adventure of palace intrigue with his directorial debut THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK; examined the sacrifices of American soldiers with one of the best-reviewed war movies of the last two decades, WE WERE SOLDIERS; and forged a blockbuster tale of friendship and romance against the backdrop of an America under attack in the script for PEARL HARBOR.

With SECRETARIAT, Wallace brought those skills to bear on a spectacular story for all ages. Wallace immediately had a personal vision for the film, one that honed in on themes he found irresistible and makes the action heart-pounding and immediate. Inspired by William Nack's book, Secretariat: The Making of a Champion, he turned the tale of the ultimate long-shot horse -- and a woman who refused to give up -- into a powerful depiction of the American zeitgeist at a time when the country was in search of hope. "Penny and her horse captured a part of my heart, and you've got to bring your heart to a story to tell it right. That's my only compass," says Wallace.

Telling the story right was no easy task. Refusing to use mechanical horses or digital trickery, Wallace instead utilized real jockeys, dozens of unpredictable animals and re-teamed with Academy Award®-winning cinematographer Dean Semler, who used unprecedented and innovative camera techniques to put the audience right on the track with a soaring Secretariat. Faced with a 45-day schedule and a budget under $40 million, Wallace came in early and with resources to spare.

SECRETARIAT was the culmination of lessons learned throughout Wallace's career, which has been unconventional in Hollywood, to say the least. Born in Jackson, Tennessee, he grew up in a vanishing world of country stores and potbelly stoves, where he once constructed a writing desk for himself out of pig-feed sacks. He went on to attend Duke University, where he studied Russian, religion, and literature, which he says made him acutely aware of how the past can be shockingly relevant to the present and would later influence the vibrant, dynamic way in which he would bring to life epic stories from history. After Duke, he put himself through a graduate year of seminary in a typically unusual way, by teaching martial arts (he is a black belt in Karate.)

Wallace continued down an ever-shifting path, managing an animal show at Nashville's Opryland, signing a contract as a songwriter and writing articles for Architectural Digest (while living in a tiny, garage apartment). But it was when he moved to California in 1980 that he found what he was looking for, unexpectedly, when he read his first screenplay. Along with screenplays, he began writing novels - and today he is the author of seven books, including four original novels and three novel versions of the screenplays of his films. From the moment he read his first screenplay, he knew this was the form that would change his life.

Wallace was taken under the wing of leading television producer Stephen J. Cannell and spent several years writing for television series in the late 80s and early 90s. He struck out into features with BRAVEHEART, which was inspired by a trip to Scotland to better get to know his roots as a Scottish American. It was there he learned about the true legend of medieval Scottish patriot William Wallace -- and instantly saw the sweeping cinematic potential in his story of betrayal and sacrifice.

BRAVEHEART became Wallace's first produced screenplay when it drew the interest of director and star Mel Gibson, and ended up as the film success story of 1995, sweeping the Academy Awards® for Best Picture and Best Director and garnering Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations as well as the Writers Guild Award for Best Screenplay for Wallace.

The success of BRAVEHEART sparked Wallace's desire to direct. Making his directorial debut with his own screenplay for THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK, he drew an extraordinary cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, John Malkovich, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons and Gerard Depardieu.

Shortly after, he wrote the screenplay for the Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster, PEARL HARBOR, directed by Michael Bay and starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale.

This was followed by Wallace's second film as director, WE WERE SOLDIERS. Once again, Wallace spearheaded the project, after discovering the book We Were Soldiers Once , , . and Young, in an airport bookshop. Moved by its starkly honest account of a singular battle in the Vietnam War, Wallace purchased the rights himself with money he had earned from BRAVEHEART. He then re-teamed with Mel Gibson to star in a film that would be widely acclaimed for its humanity and authenticity. Wallace was so committed to understanding the motivation of his characters that he even trained with career soldiers at the notoriously grueling U.S. Army Ranger School.

SECRETARIAT would take Wallace into a completely different world, but one also full of inspired determination and people triumphing against the odds. Authenticity remained key as Wallace hand-picked the cast and literally went off to the races, immersing himself in the history and know-how of horseracing so that he could put it on-screen in a way audiences had never experienced before. He shot on location in Kentucky and Louisiana, with as many as 36 horses on the set at once.

The sense of pulsating life at the core of SECRETARIAT made it more than just a sports adventure tale for Wallace. "I love to take a great story and look for the poetics of it, look for what gives it the power of myth," he sums up. "There's a connection there with all of my films."

Wallace also recently took a comic turn in front of the camera, playing himself on HBO's hit comedy series ENTOURAGE, in an episode in which Vince, after a night of debauchery, blows his big meeting with the director.

In addition to his work as a filmmaker and novelist, Wallace is the founder of Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity and the father of two sons. In 1999, he formed his own company, Wallace Entertainment, which is focused on creating entertainment for worldwide audiences based on the classic values of love, courage and honor.

Follow Randall Wallace on twitter: @Randall_Wallace
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/randallwallace
Official Web Site: http://www.wallaceentertainment.com

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Nelson R. Willis on November 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As others have rightly pointed out, this novel does have its faults and weaknesses, but on the whole I found it entertaining. I normally read non-fiction, but I liked the movie so much that I felt that I had to read this book.
This would not be a particularly good book to rely on for a history lesson. Randal Wallace butchers history a bit in order to make a juicier plot. Though I would like to think that just as exiting a story could be told without sacrificing accuracy, I must admit that his technique works at times. For example, Randal Wallace portrays an affair between Scottish commander Sir William Wallace and French Princess Isabella that didn't and couldn't have happened. Randal Wallace also writes an epilogue which has an air of sober history, but where he's still running with his wildly revisionist story. He tells us that Edward II's reign was sad and brief. Sad, yes, but I wouldn't call a 20 year reign brief!
A blurb on the back cover makes the mistake of refering to Sir William as a highlander. Even Randal Wallace doesn't make this mistake himself.
There are also other little mistakes, such as giving the name "Stewart" to a character who is little more than a peasant. I'm no professor, but wasn't the name "Stewart" reserved for persons holding an important office in this period?
Despite these negative points, though, the book has it's strenghts. There is romance, drama, tragedy, humor, action, and there are interesting characters. Though I favored the movie over this book in many ways, the book does deliver some bits that the movie doesn't. There are two separate scenes in the book that appear as one combined scene in the movie, and actually that's to the movie's credit.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's finally happened . . . and I didn't think it possible. The movie was better than the book!

And while the story is a good one (and the only reason I gave this book a '5' rating . . . read on for further positive comments) . . . Mr. Wallace's prose style is rambling. His shift of viewpoints is confusing. And his references to modern phrasings and objects is bizarre, blasting the reader out of the storyline, and into reality.

An example: Fifty pages in . . . the setting is solidly 13th century Scotland, a festival is in progress, and the reader stumbles across
the following . . .

"Farmers were roasting a pig; women were comparing handiwork; young men were tossing a caber -- an unbranched tree trunk roughly half the size of a modern telephone pole -- in the traditional Highland games."


Slam! Bam! Back to 20th century America . . . and the telephone pole outside my house.

Should have stopped with ". . . an unbranched tree trunk," Mr. Wallace.

Leaves the reader scratching his head . . . a happenstance every writer worth his salt avoids like the plague.

Writers usually strive for one thing -- total reader immersion. And Mr. Wallace's writing reveals he, too, ascribes to this theory.

A better question may be -- where was the editor?!

On the good side, there was enough lyrical prose set solidly in the 13th century to keep me reading, which in itself is a coup of sorts. And, except for those jolts at odd intervals . . . it was, as they say on the dustjackets,

"A rollicking good tale!"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Natali Lekka on June 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A book about Scotsmen and their struggle to win their freedom forever ; a book about love, loyalty and devotion. Randall Wallace's Braveheart conjures up the scenes of a film we've all seen and loved. Only that it is much better. The writer pays his respects to his Scottish forefathers narrating the story of Sir William Wallace, the great Scottish national hero, through the eyes of a poet. His descriprions of this land of epic beauty carry us away to Medieval Scotland where we witness the leader's life as a boy, his secret wedding, the battles, his execution by the English.... 285 pages "haunted" by this 13th-century epic hi-story, written by a truly passionate writer. In the heart of Randall Wallace this is exactly how it happened... A true MUST-READ for every dedicated Scottish fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although I enjoyed the film despite all it inaccuracies, (Ayrshiremen in Kilts, no Stirling Bridge etc etc ) I had hoped the book would have been more accurate, but no. Nothing more than a badly written book version of the script. So now all the plebs out there think Wallace was father of Edward the third... no way. (And I'm an Ayrshireman myself btw)
Anyone who wants a reasonable factional account try Tranters the Wallace. It has all the myths and legends, although even it tries too hard to paint bruce as a good guy rather than a landgrabbing Norman who cared little for the people of 'his' country of Scotland.
If you want the real truth try one of the many Factual books just out, but don't waste your time or money on this. Hire the video instead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "trombonebagpipegal" on June 12, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a huge fan of the movie. I think it had excellent everything and wonderful music. But the book was awful-if I hadn't seen the movie and felt some devotion to it, I would have quit in the middle. The movie was quite inaccurate, but the action and storyline made up for that. But how can I comment on the book? I could say it was poorly written, or I could say that the plot was deviated with holes, or that William's eye color changes, and we never know what Murron is embroidering, or I could just say I wasted my time reading it. Unfortunatly for Randall Wallace, I rarely forget. Let's just say I won't be reading any of his books anytime soon. Don't waste your money-just watch the movie.
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