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Plot: 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… Runtime: 112 min Release Date: 06 Nov 1992
Fierce, bold, and beautiful - "The Last of the Mohicans" (by dee.reid)
"The Last of the Mohicans" was one of the most popular and acclaimed films of 1992. Its vision of early America, as it was during the French and Indian War, is captured in its utter brutality and beauty, complete with the many driving ambitions and clashing cultures of everyone involved.This movie has a bit of everything, including action, romance, war, and passionate drama. The director, Michael Mann, knows the story well and does all but completely discard James Fenimore Cooper's source material, which some have dubbed as being racist and totally unfair in its portrait of <more>
Native Americans.The story and what a story is all over the place, with three frontier scouts - Hawkeye Daniel Day-Lewis , Chingachgook Russell Means , and Uncas Eric Schweig - escorting a British colonel's daughters - Cora and Alice Munro Madeleine Stowe and Jodhi May respectively - to safety at the besieged Fort William Henry. Major Duncan Heyward Steven Waddington rivals Hawkeye for Cora's affections and a vengeance-driven Huron named Magua Wes Studi seeks to have both daughters killed in retribution for the loss of his own children.This is by far Mann's best film yet it ranks #15 on my all-time favorite movies list and he uses the lush wilderness settings to great effect. He also makes good use of the editing, which actually comes in handy when showcasing the brutal violence that dominates much of the film's action sequences. The film's last 20 minutes are a definite stunner that can only be described as classic and vicious.This is a great movie that shows America in its infancy, complete with the rivalries, intrigue, and violence that I'm sure was an everyday part of life during this hectic time period.10/10
Overlooked masterpiece bucked trends of the time (by pete-246)
It used to baffle me why this film hasn't been held in greater esteem. I was blown away by this film when I first saw it, and knew quite a few people who snuck back to the theater several times for more. The beautiful and harsh scenery, dreamlike photography, sudden explosions of bloody violence, and raging, over-the-top passion amid a collapsing world create a pure emotional rush. This is melodrama at its best, which means that it can really stir your emotions if you let it.After reading a recent review of Ron Howard's "The Missing" by Steve Sailer Washington Times I <more>
think I know why "Last of the Mohicans" was overlooked. No matter how good this film was, it bucked the dominant trend in pop-culture perceptions of Native Americans at the time - a trend, according to Sailer, that might be reversing. Here's a historical breakdown of trends in similar films:1. 1950-1970 - Native Americans are one-dimensional, easily killed, comic-book villians. No religious elements appear. There are only a few exceptions to this rule e.g. John Ford's "The Searchers" .2. 1970s - Native American violence becomes brutal and real - but we also get rising sensitivity to Native Anericans without much sappy-ness. To quote Sailer:"'The Missing' resembles 'Ulzana's Raid,' the 1972 Burt Lancaster film that was one of several brutal but realistic films such as 1970's 'A Man Called Horse' made during a brief period of balance in the depiction of Native Americans, falling between the earlier era's anti-Indian prejudice and the present day's happy-clappy New Age nonsense."In other words, if "Last of the Mohicans" had been released in 1970 it might have been hailed as "progressive."3. 1980s and 1990s - Religious/spiritual interpretations of Native Americans become dominant but are just as comic-book as the old 1950s violence. Native Americans are cute New Age "Dances With Wolves" icons that sit around and act wise. "Native American" becames an always-good point of reference in the Culture Wars. Classic example from South Park: an old hippie screams in front of a new Starbuck's"...how many Native Americans did you slaughter to make that coffee shop?"Michael Mann's "The Last of the Mohicans" 1992 clearly ran counter to the 1990s trend - it was trashed by critics at the time but I've always felt it was a much better film than it is given credit for, even a classic. But it bucks the New Age image of Native Americans so popular in 1992. For example, the old chief at the end uses his spiritual authority to make a brutal, violent decision for death so that justice is served. The Native American father Chingagchook kills the revenge and power-mad Magua without pity. And as for Magua's own behavior...nobody on either side is asking "...can't we all just get along?"In other words, Mann picked the exact wrong time to make this film. In the 1970s it might have been properly recognized, but by 1992 it was out of step with the touchy-feely image of Native Americans. Coupled with its obvious melodrama and action-film hype, the film became too much of a "guilty pleasure" to win praise but don't let that stop you now .Movies are changing again, and that might be a good reason to go out and rent "Last of the Mohicans." According to Sailer, "the dark side of Native American spiritualism" is now being seen in "Missing". Like "Mohicans", Howard's new film loses the New Age stuff for a dreamlike action/horror state. The scenes below have their obvious parallels in "Mohicans":Blanchett finds her boyfriend's charred corpse strung up over a campfire where the Indians slowly roasted him to death. Later, when a photographer snaps the Apache leader's picture, the shaman gets his soul back by tearing out the man's heart.The other problem with "Mohicans" was that it is too "manly." There's a very strong female lead, but the men are also real, lusty, nasty men. By including this brand of passion, "Mohicans" conflicted directly with the "girl power" pop culture trend of the mid-1990s. Admitting you liked the film made you anti-woman as well as anti Native American.In this light, consider Sailer's comments on "Missing" - they apply equally to "Mohicans:""Still, I have to admire Howard for ignoring the bogus and condescending fantasies about American Indian culture rampant in our society today. Native Americans have suffered enough without having the memory of their warriors emasculated by self-absorbed eco-feminists into sappy symbols. Geronimo was a cruel man, but he was every inch a man."We may be on the edge of a revival of films which are capable of mixing Native Americans, violence, and romance in a good way. If so, the underappreciated "Last of the Mohicans" is a place to start.
Will make you forget that wimpy TV Hawkeye. (by jckruize)
Policier specialist Michael Mann steps way off his usual beaten path with this adaptation of that hoary old James Fenimore Cooper tale of frontiersmen, Indians, Redcoats and the French -- the latter back when they knew how to fight.Chameleonic actor Daniel Day Lewis is totally convincing as Hawkeye, tracker, warrior, and adopted white son of Chingagchook, last of the Mohicans tribe. Along with adoptive brother, Uncas, the three are swept into the French and Indian war of 1757, treading lightly between the antagonists: French and Hurons on one side, British and colonials on the other, each <more>
faction potentially treacherous and deadly.Mann doesn't waste time on exposition or character development; he just hurls us into the fast-paced, brutal action and the effect is like snagging the tail of a galloping racehorse and trying to hang on to the finish line. Madeline Stowe and Jodhi May, as sisters of the British major Munro, provide love interest for Hawkeye and Uncas, respectively. Steven Waddington is another Redcoat officer infatuated with Stowe, and he too shines as a 'bad guy' who's more complex than he at first seems. But the movie's almost stolen by Wes Studi as Magua, a Huron warrior who's allied himself with the French solely as a means to avenge himself on the white man. He's as mesmerizing and lethal as a cobra.Technical qualities are exemplary, with special mention to the magnificent scenery of old-growth forestlands and mountains in North Carolina, and a superb score by Trevor Jones, with an assist by Randy Edelman.Mann might not be the first guy you'd think of to stage an 18th-century period action/adventure/romance. But after seeing what he does here, no one can fail to be impressed by his range and bravura. This is a must-own.
The Last of the Mohicans is a timeless tale of the 18th century frontier and the virtue and tragedy that results when the uniquely different cultures of the French, English, Native Americans, and colonists collide. Based on James Fenimore Cooper's literary genius, The Last of the Mohicans transports the viewer back to a time of America's youth in a brilliant, mesmerizing fashion.The story centers on an eclectic band of travelers, thrust together by fate and their attempt to escape danger and reach the besieged British fort, William-Henry. Deep within the western forests of colonial <more>
New York, Hawkeye, the white, adopted son and brother of the Mohicans, tries desperately to avoid an ever-increasing war. He is forced to act when, along with his Mohican father and brother, he encounters two endangered sisters trying to reach their father, a British colonel in command at the fort. Hawkeye, the rustic tracker, and Cora, the refined, eldest daughter, are naturally drawn together much to the dismay of Major Heyward, an intriguing character who also vies for Cora's affections . Tensions and passions arise between the characters as a whirlwind of conflict and violence rages around them. In the end, each character must face heart-wrenching decisions that will affect their very lives, and the lives of those around them.I especially love the way that the film depicts the perspectives of each of the groups involved. Whether the group is competing for military superiority or simple existence in their homeland, the viewer is given a true sense of their mindset in the midst of a great conflict. It is difficult to say one side or the other is completely to blame for the events that take place. Even the story's main antagonist, Magua wonderfully portrayed by Wes Studi, Dances with Wolves draws in a fair amount of empathy.The Last of the Mohicans is a marvelous, visual adventure that thoroughly reveals the horrors of warfare, the wildness of a chaste frontier, and the fated and ill-fated romances of the characters involved.
Pure cinematic excitement... (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
The year is 1757... The principal occupants of the region are Native Americans and a great diversity of wild life... It is the third year of the war between French and British, for the possession of the continent, somewhere on the frontier west of the Hudson River... The Mohicans are allied with the British while their old enemies the Hurons side with the French... There, three men roam the forest making their living as frontier trappers and scouts... The first is Hawkeye, a superb frontiersman raised by the Mohawk, who can reload and fire a flintlock at full run; the second is his adopted <more>
father Chingachgook, the last of the Mohicans, and the third, his brother Uncas, 'a warrior swift and straight as an arrow shot in the sun.'This trio seems have nothing to do with the early Colonial wars, until they come upon the vengeful Magwa and his Huron war party as they attempt to slaughter the Munro sisters, Cora and Alice, heading with a small regiment of redcoats to meet up with their father, Colonel Munro, at Fort William Henry...Eventually, the compassionate Mohican family comes to the rescue with a spectacular style of fighting... The film takes full advantage of their graphic capabilities with incredibly fast and fluid fighting action and mind-blowing attack moves... Shortly thereafter, two love stories take place... The three men lead the survivors to the English fort besieged by French forces and their Huron allies... The siege is a grand affair of roaring nighttime cannon and mortar attacks...Michael Mann's historical romance film gives a realistic picture of the frontier life, and a vivid impression of the horrors of warfare in the wilderness at the time where the combatants often had time for one shot before being overpowered and reduced to hand-to-hand fierce combat... The movie is filled with scenes of incredible, brutal violence... It's warfare at a primal level... Academy Award Winner Daniel Day Lewis also known as "The long rifle" is splendid as Hawkeye, the legendary warrior who encourages the Colonial militia to desert... He agrees to surrender in exchange for the life of two sisters and one British officer... He vows romantically to Cora that he will find her no matter how long it takes, no matter how far...Madeleine Stowe manages to find in Cora's fiery character a balance between sensitivity and strength... War and tragedy swirl around her as she struggles to protect her man... Cora's attraction grows for the soft-spoken warrior, who shows marked differences when compared to Major Heyward...Jodhi May is the blonde Alice, Cora's younger timid sister... By that long shot of her innocent face - a portrait of extreme torment and despair - we are all aware of her sufferings... We sense more pain than she can cope with... May has almost no lines, but her eyes, brimming with tears, are saying everything... No matter how much she wants to remain standing, she was retreating further and further from the ugly face of Magua... Her heart was crying out in anger... We all know that she will do anything than surrender... Her breakdown turns the scene into a willpower for revenge..Russell Means is powerful as the Mohican elder Chingachgook... His running battle along that majestic ridge is some of the finest film-making we've seen in terms of action and intensity... There is no dialog in these moments but the scene leaves us certainly breathless.. Wes Studi is Magua, the infamous Huron Indian who always speaks of himself in the third person... He is fluent in English, French, and Huron... Magua is a strong, vibrant villain consumed with hatred... Magua plots the massacre of the retreating troops, their women and children... Eric Schweig is Hawkeye's gentle and valiant brother Uncas... His quiet tenderness for Alice adds emotional weight to what could be passionate and unique... He asserts his mythic stature in a battle on a mountain top with Magua, not only to determine the winner in a struggle between good and evil, but also to decide the destiny of a race...Steven Waddington is the last survivor of a troop of English soldiers caught by France's Indian allies... He is a jealous and snobbish officer who wants the radiant Cora at any price... Heyward brings some realistic touches of duality, showing his courage with one life-saving act...Maurice Roëves seems impotent as Munroe... His blindness to the realities of "honor" brings destruction... Patrice Chéreau is the French General Montcalm who gives Magua the go ahead to attack Munro's retreating army... He begs Munrow not to sign the death warrant of so many, and promises safe passage for the English so long as they return to England and fight no more on the continent...The real inspiration of 'The Last of the Mohicans' is the extraordinary action sequences, the intensity of its music, and the exotic romanticism of such 1930's adventures as 'Charge of the Light Brigade', 'Gunga Din', and 'The Lives of a Bengal Lancer', where unshaken heroes never hesitate in the face of savage adversaries...Michael Mann's camera exploits the beauty of the North Carolina mysterious Smoky Mountains, its verdant forests, and its white-water rapids and waterfalls... The opening shot of the fog misting through the Smokies are enough to take your breath away...
Sometimes a movie looks very beautiful but that's about it, 'The Mission' comes to mind. Sometimes a movie looks and sounds great and it is already enough to like the movie and for me 'The Last of the Mohicans' is one of those movies. Fortunately there is so much more.The story is set in 1757 in a time where France and Britain are fighting over America. Three people do not want to join that war. Chingachgook Russell Means , an Indian of the Mohican tribe, his son Uncas Eric Schweig and his white adopted son Nathaniel Hawkeye Daniel Day-Lewis . They do end up in that <more>
war because they help a British major named Duncan Heyward Steven Waddington who is escorting the two daughters of Col. Edmund Munro Maurice Roëves . They were attacked by the Huron tribe and their leader Magua Wes Studi hates Munro and therefore his daughters as well. The daughters are named Alice Jodhi May and Cora Madeleine Stowe . The three decide to escort the major and the daughters and once they have arrived at the fort where Munro is they are not allowed to leave.How the story develops is not for me to say, but you can understand there must be a love story between Hawkeye and Cora and that things must be settled with Magua. The story is interesting and actually pretty good, mainly because the clichés are made interested. A love story, the character the major is, a sacrifice, it is all there but done in a great way.Back to the beauty. The locations are great and beautiful and they are on the screen almost the entire movie. The cinematography is splendid. Another very good thing is the costumes and everything that comes with that. It is not only what we see but also what we hear. It won the Oscar for Best Sound and not without a reason. We also hear the music and it is one of the most beautiful scores I know. The song "I Will Find You", performed by Clannad, is beautiful as well.Daniel-Day Lewis is, as always, very good and probably the perfect actor for Hawkeye. Even better is Madeleine Stowe, who owns every scene she is in. Them together is what we want to see and that is what we get, and they make sure it is the way we want it. Lewis, Stowe, Wes Studi as the evil Magua and the others do a great job. Directed by Michael Mann, who made good movies like 'Manhunter' before this and great movies like 'Heat' and 'The Insider' after this, this is a great movie that I enjoy every time I see it.
Restoration of Dignity to Native Americans, Long Overdue (by gradyharp)
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 <more>
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
I loved the period piece of this movie as I'm a big fan of our history. The facts were accurate for the most part except for one glaring scene. When Montcalm approaches Magua, after Fort Henry falls, he is obviously playing to his sympathies about the British not keeping to their terms of the surrender. Montcalm, knowing of Magua's lust for revenge, knows that he will then attack the defeated inhabitants as they leave the fort.That scene is sheer poetic license, as the facts bear out that Montcalm had assurances from the Indian chiefs after that battle that they would refrain from <more>
attacking the departing party in exchange for all the forts plunder. In fact, it was Montcalm who finally put a stop to the actual massacre once he was informed of it. No, I'm not French, but all books and letters, show Montcalm as a man of highest honor and a champion against greed and corruption.
This movie is so much better than what I first expected... (by philip_vanderveken)
My first reaction when I heard that this movie was more or less a combination of a western with a costume drama: Please allow me to run away while screaming as loud as I can. I just couldn't think of any other combination that is worse, but as always I tried to keep an open mind towards it and I was willing to give it a try. After reading some reviews on this website and seeing that it got a very nice rating of 7.5/10, I was convinced that this movie might actually be different. And it was, no doubt about that...As the battle for colonial America goes on between the English and the <more>
French, both helped by various Indian war parties, the British troops enlist the help of local colonial and native American militia men. But these men are reluctant to leave their homes undefended and three of them, who all belong to a dying tribe called the Mohicans, refuse to enter the militia. Two of these men are original tribesman, the third one is a white man who was adopted by the Mohicans as a kid. When the three are on their way to Kentucky, they see how a small regiment of British soldiers, including the two daughters of an English Colonel, are attacked by an Indian war party on their way to a fort. The three men save them and lead the survivors to their destination. In the meantime, encouraged by the events and the presence of the three 'wild' men, the two women start to change from for that time period typical, obedient and silent women into independent and strong women with a will of their own...Now that I've seen this movie I can only come to the conclusion that I'm happy that I didn't follow my first opinion. This movie certainly isn't as bad as I feared it would be. This is without any doubt a very fine movie and there are many reasons for that. One of the reasons is the very nice story. It not only gives a good idea of how the colonial wars were fought at that time, but it also breaks some typical boundaries. Instead of showing the woman as silent, helpless and obedient toys for the obviously heroic men, this movie changes all that. The women get an important and strong role in the story and I really appreciated that. Also the fact that the Indians weren't automatically seen as one big bunch of blood thirsty, wild and crazy men, driving on the back of a horse without a saddle, over the vast Western prairie and shooting with bow and arrow, was a relief. But not only the story was more than OK, so was the direction and the acting. With a director like Michael Mann, you can't expect any less than a great movie of course. With movies like "Heat", "The Insider", "Collateral"... he has more than once proved that he knows what he is doing. But what is a good director without a good cast to work with? Absolutely nothing. With people like Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig,... he had a cast that was a very nice mix of well-known and not so famous actors and they all did a very good job. Together with the story, they made this movie and its characters come to live. These people didn't feel like they were made out of cardboard, they felt genuine and that's something that you don't always get in a movie.Overall this is a very good movie with some very nice acting, good direction, a fine story and last but not least some very beautiful music. For some that may not be important, but for me it is. I prefer to hear no music at all, rather than an annoying tune in the background. The music needs to be good and has to support the movie and that's exactly what it does in this film. I must say that I liked everything about this movie and that's why I believe that it doesn't deserve a rating lower than 7.5/10. Even an 8/10 isn't exaggerated in my opinion.