In 13th century England, King Edward I (Patrick McGoohan) ruled with an iron fist over Scotland. He was trying to replace the Scots with English offspring. What he would do is parcel off the land to English Nobility and allow them the right to bed with Scottish brides on their wedding night. Thus hoping to impregnate the women before their Scottish husbands. The practice was called "Primae Noctis ".
A young man by the name of William Wallace (Mel Gibson) was in love with a young girl by the name of Murron (Catherine McCormack). They would secretly marry with the hope of the Lord never finding out. One day in the village a soldier wanted to rape Murron and Wallace stepped in. He would escape with his life but Murron was pulled to a post and tied and had her neck cut open. She would die and Wallace would go on to hate the English to the day he died.
Wallace would fight skirmishes for a short time until he would make a name for himself and the Scottish nobility wanted to use him. Wallace would meet up with Robert the Bruce (Angus MacFadyen) and some other nobles and would combine forces to fight the English.
Word of all this got back to Longshanks as King Edward I would be called and he wanted it stopped. Longshanks would head off to France and would put his son Prince Edward (Peter Hanly) in charge of the Scottish problem. The Prince was a player at war but not a player strong enough to fight. He would make a travesty of the Scottish rebellion and when his father returned would be replaced with his wife Princess Isabelle (Sophie Marceau). Longshanks felt that maybe his beautiful daughter-in-law could bring Wallace out in the open so he could be captured.
Wallace also had to beware of his own countrymen. You see as bad as Longshanks was if you were on his side he would reward you handsomely. Scottish nobility knew this and would only go so far with Wallace so long as it benefitted them. When it didn't, they would cut their losses and run.
Director Mel Gibson does a beautiful job with movie. As actor/Director he would have to fill many shoes and he pulls it off. This is one of his better movies and I wish he would go back to form of entertainment rather than get his face all over the rags. Beautiful movie and a must see.