As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
The last members of a dying Native American tribe, the Mohicans -- Uncas, his father Chingachgook, and his adopted half-white brother Hawkeye -- live in peace alongside British colonists. But when the daughters of a British colonel are kidnapped by a traitorous scout, Hawkeye and Uncas must rescue them in the crossfire of a gruesome military conflict of which they wanted no part: the French and Indian War.Written by
Many long nights were spent filming the siege scenes. Due to the expansive area involved, loudspeakers were installed around the battlefield and fort so directions could be easily given to the hundreds of cast and crew. One night after many long hours, Mann was heard to shout over the speakers, "What's that orange light? Turn out that orange light!" After a pause another voice (an A.D.?) came over the speakers stating, "That's the SUN, Michael." See more »
When Major Heyward and Cora Munro first meet and discuss marriage, there is a large sheet on a washing line flapping violently in the wind. However, none of the three characters in this scene is remotely affected by the wind. See more »
1757 / The American colonies. / It is the 3rd year of the war between England and France for the possession of the continent. / Three men, the last of a vanishing people, are on the frontier west of the Hudson River.
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The Director's Definitive cut placed back mostly everything from the Theatrical release leaving some of the things from the Director's Expanded Edition still intact. This cut contains several new shots/scenes that were added/deleted:
While Jack says that he tries to find people that are willing to join the militia, it shows him in a frontal shot.
The following scene in which the soldiers tell the people to join the fight, it shows the major sitting on his horse. It leaves almost no time difference.
When the Mohawk's chief talks, the TC shows Jack from a side-wise shot.
Both cuts have a different beginning of the scene. The DDC begins with a different shot that is focused on Jack while he's talking. Duncan enters in the background and tells the soldier what to do. Then, there's the extension that can also be found in the old DC. Still, some words seem to be added at the end of some of the lines: Settler: "Any of the boys worth havin' can disappear in the forest.." Officer: "They will be found." Settler: "And where does that leave you then?" Officer: "Those men will be found, arrested--"
The general gossips more about the French. He stated: "Their Latinate voluptuousness combines with their Gallic laziness and the result is [they'd rather eat and make love with their faces than fight.]"
When Duncan and Cora sit at the table, there were two additional shots.
-The shot of the fight starts a bit earlier.
-The line "Find yourself a musket." was deleted.
A shot of Hawkeye looking angrily at Duncan and then starting to look more mild and almost mockingly was deleted. In the DDC, he's seen grinning only.
-When Hawkeye suggests to Duncan and the women to resume their trip, it shows Duncan and the women both being in the picture.
When Hawkeye tells Cora about his mother, the camera stays in one position in the TC, while the DDC shows Cora looking at Hawkeye.
The camera pans along the battlefield a bit earlier.
The side-wise shot of a gun being positioned is shorter.
In a scene where the French-Indian enemy in the trench. It's shorter.
Unimportant shot of the English fortress from the outside. An Indian gets in position and there is also a further shot.
Hawkeye is seen in a different perspective when one guy tells him that he didn't expect them to show up in the fortress.
While Hawkeye reports about the attacked village, it shows Col. Munro while the theatrical cut shows Hawkeye.
-The children's choir is shown in the front.
Montcalm's line: 'I will give you three oxen for a feast.' was deleted.
The line "We're at one. Join us. Hear what he has to tell us." was added.
As Cora tells Duncan that she's not very fond of him, it shows Duncan listening to her in a serious face.
Col. Munro's march is longer.
Magua turns his head before talking was shortened.
The line "Col. Munro would. But General Webb will not honor their agreement and send their soldiers away." was deleted.
The Huron Indian is seen earlier as he runs towards the British convoy and again a scene begins some frames earlier.
Cora's first line behind the waterfall was inserted. But she spoke half of her second line: "If the worst happens". The second half of her line: "and only one of us survives, something of the other does, too." was deleted.
The Clannad song 'I Will Find You' was reinserted but it is not the version from the Theatrical Cut or the soundtrack album. The song now plays over an extended sequence of shots and none of the lyrics are English. Previously in the Theatrical Cut the sequence was significantly shorter and the beginning of the song was sung in English.
A more distanced shot of the villagers going to the center of the village is seen earlier.
As the Huron chief is guided to his seat, this shot was shown completely.
At the position, where the scene with the villagers has a later shot where only some people go slowly to the center of the village.
As Hawkeye talks to the chief, it shows the chief and it happens again, but the other way around this time.
There is a change in position when the chief gives a speech.
Restoration of Dignity to Native Americans, Long Overdue
James Fenimore Cooper's trusty old nineteenth century novel 'The Last of the Mohicans' has provided a surprisingly sound springboard for a film that tries and succeeds in restoring a profound respect for the Native Americans. Yes, it is a story about the Indians and their culture desecrated by the arrival of European entrepreneurs and colonists all relating to Hawkeye/Nathaniel Poe (Daniel Day-Lewis), who as a child was taken by the Mohawk tribe and raised by wise Chingachgook (Russell Means) with the graceful skills and philosophy of the Native Americans. And it is through his eyes that we are brought into the universe through the eyes of the Indians.
The story is well known and needn't be elaborated once again. Suffice it say that Hawkeye becomes the scout who leads British family Munro including Colonel (Maurice Roëves) and his daughters Cora (Madeleine Stowe) and Alice (Jodhi May) into upstate New York and along the way find altercations with the French and with the Huron Indians, especially one Magua (Wes Studi) whose loathing for Munro's devastation of his village drives him to vengeance against the entire Munro family. Hawkeye and his ally Uncas (Eric Schweig) protect their lieges while steadfastly holding to the honor of their heritage. And of course during the harrowing events Hawkeye and Cora fall in love and Hawkeye takes great risks against his own life to ultimately defend Cora and her family.
Yes, there are many battle scenes, great reenactment of the scenery of the novel, and villains in all camps that provide the stormy progress of the novel. But it is in the quiet moments where Chingachgook speaks about the Great Spirit, the sanctity of nature, and his waiting to join the Great Council in the sky as the last of the Mohicans that the film's power is best communicated. The acting is very fine and the cinematography is splendid. This is a film worth seeing, one whose 117 minutes fly by leaving the viewer with a renewed respect for Native American philosophy. Grady Harp
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