The Patriot Film Insights: 'The Funeral' Deleted Scene
3. Birth of the Ghost & The Funeral (2:00)
The scene picks up after Benjamin has finished off the last British soldier from the patrol that was taking Gabriel to Camden to be hanged.
From the perspective of the creek, we see a shot of Benjamin walking along side the wagon.
Closeup of a British soldier lying on his back in the creek. It is the same one that later tells Tavington about "The Ghost." He opens his eyes to look at Benjamin walking by.
Another shot of Benjamin walking along the wagon. This time he fades out of the shot (like a ghost?) before he walks off-screen.
Closeup of the same British soldier passing out and then fade to black.
Fade in to a wide shot of the farm, or at least what is left. The house is burned out. The same wagon is making its way up to the house with a horse and rider behind.
Margaret is sitting on the front steps of the burned out home, while Susan sits next to her, with her head in Margaret's lap and holding her doll. William stands nearby, leaning against the rail and looking away from the camera. Margaret stands up as she sees something (the wagon, since we can hear it wheeling up in the background).
Benjamin is walking toward the house, while Gabriel and Nathan stand by the wagon and Samuel is off to the left by himself.
The next shot pans down on the burned out house. Margaret has moved away from the steps, while Susan still sits there with William standing next to her, now facing toward the camera. Benjamin walks into the shot with his back to the camera. Tthe camera has panned down to show Thomas' body still lies where he died. Benjamin walks right up to his body.
Cut to in front of Benjamin as he kneels down. Gabriel, Nathan and Samuel can be seen standing a few feet behind him.
Closeup of Thomas' tin soldiers on the ground where they had spilled out of his pocket. Benjamin, whose arm and leg are on the right side of the shot, reaches down and picked up a soldier.
The shot continues as Benjamin turns his hand over, so we see a British soldier on a horse (Ed.: Not so subtle reference to Tavington) sitting on its side in his palm.
Closeup of Benjamin looking down at his hand, now off-screen. He begins to breakdown and cry. As he cries, he is doing something with his hands below the shot. By the sounds that we hear, it is likely that he is picking up several of the tin soldiers, putting them in a pouch and tying the pouch. He looks up and regains his composure (Ed.: probably because he looked up to see Susan and wanted to appear strong).
Closeup of Susan, sitting on the bottom step with her face leaned against the wooden post. She is expressionless.
Closeup of Gabriel who can be seen shaking and swallowing, trying to bury his emotion.
Shot of the family standing around a grave in the small graveyard by the tree.
"Lord, we pray that You accept this child and keep him at Your side with his mother."
Closeup of Benjamin as he continues speaking.
"We ask that You embrace him...and help us to understand the manner in which Your mercy works and forgiveth our sins."
The family is now riding up in the captured wagon with melancholy expressions as Benjamin finishes his prayer.
"This we ask in Your Name."
Comments About 'The Birth of the Ghost & The Funeral' Scene:
The deleted material is about two minutes long. This is the second of the two deleted scenes that I felt really added to the film. The first few seconds where the soldier in his wounded state believes he has seen a ghost responsible for the attack is unnecessary, but does set up his later scene with Colonel Tavington. He can be noticed earlier in the skirmish, being shot and falling into the creek.
As far as when the sequence moves back to the farm, I think it helps reinforce the chaos. In the final cut, we never see the farm again until it is being rebuilt, but here we see the burned out house and Thomas' burial. Not having them bury Thomas, or at least showing his grave in the final cut would have been better closure, especially since the militia are shown burying the townspeople of Pembroke later on.
The sequence also sets up some of the emotional threads that play out later on. One is Gabriel's later apology to his father for Thomas' death. Another is the way that Susan distances herself from her father. Lastly, is Benjamin equating the family tragedy as a consquence for his actions in the French and Indian War.
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