As Alice and Cora Munro attempt to find their father, a British officer in the French and Indian War, they are set upon by French soldiers and their cohorts, Huron tribesmen led by the evil...
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In the year 1756, Fort William Henry on Lake George is under siege by the French and Hurons under General Montcalm. Alice and Cora Munro, young daughters of the British Commander, Colonel ... See full summary »
George B. Seitz
During the French and Indian War in colonial America, a white scout, with two of his Indian brothers, helps a British officer escort two women through dangerous territory, with both French ... See full summary »
Natty Bumppo, known as Hawk-Eye, is a frontiersman in the American wilderness. Together with his Indian friends Chingachgook and Uncas, he fights battles against nefarious white soldiers as... See full summary »
B. Reeves Eason
Frank Coghlan Jr.
Nat Cutler, known as Hawkeye, is a fur trader. With his faithful Indian companion Chingachgook, the last of the Mohican tribe, he fights to protect settlers against the raiding Huron ... See full summary »
Gloria Dawn lives down the hall from her sweetheart, Bobbie Knight. The dishonest Henry Black is Gloria's guardian, and he is also in charge of Bobbie's inheritance. The scheming guardian ... See full summary »
Clarence G. Badger
A stranger comes to work at widow Halla's farm. Halla and the stranger fall in love, but when he is revealed as Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation, they ... See full summary »
As Alice and Cora Munro attempt to find their father, a British officer in the French and Indian War, they are set upon by French soldiers and their cohorts, Huron tribesmen led by the evil Magua. Fighting to rescue the women are Chingachgook and his son Uncas, the last of the Mohican tribe, and their white ally, the frontiersman Natty Bumppo, known as Hawkeye. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film is well photographed, as are most of the films I've seen that are directed by Maurice Tourneur. The framing and composition of shots are apt, except occasionally when it is theatrical. Much of the action happens outside, which helps--freeing the camera and providing scenery. There are some nice lighting effects: use of low-key lighting, nighttime photography, the flickering light against a wall to represent candlelight and such. There are some silhouette shots, which seem to be a trademark in Tourneur's films. The tinting, too, adds to the film's beauty.
Some moments show a resemblance to D.W. Griffith and Billy Bitzer's work, such as "The Battle at Elderbush Gulch" and "The Birth of a Nation". There are the iris shots and actor's approaching the camera, both of which were likely invented by Griffith and Bitzer. The battle scene at the fort is rather Griffith-like. Impressively innovative is the pan of the faces of Magua and Uncas and then them rushing towards the camera, as they begin fighting. The main pictorial schema for this film, and I think it's a good one, if not entirely original, is switching from distanced views to intimate shots, thus taking in the breadth of the scenic environment and concentrating on the story's action. This can be seen in the battle scenes, the cliff scene and pretty much every other important scene outside.
I've referred to this as Tourneur's film, but that's doubtful. Clarence Brown, Tourneur's longtime assistant, directed most of the shooting, due to Tourneur being ill. In the early days without detailed shooting scripts, it's questionable as to how much of the film was the conception and design of Tourneur, but Brown having worked under him, the issue is probably moot. Perhaps, the poor use of the same set for fictionally different locations, made obvious by the successive cuts, in addition to other minor amateurish mistakes, can be blamed on inexperience.
Of worse error are Caucasians playing Indians and the film's occasional condescension and racism, although the film can be commended for its generally respectful treatment. As well, intertitles do replace some action and acting in this film, as fellow commenter Sorsimus criticized. And, the story contrives three moments where dark hair faces the choice of replacing herself for yellow hair as Magua's captive. The film appears rather unpolished at times, as a result. These are rather minor, or commonplace, problems, though.
This is a promising early film for Brown, at the peak of Tourneur's career. Tourneur, a pioneer of the medium, dealt with a variety of stories, so from there one can't characterize his body of work easily; it's in cinematography that a characteristic style of innovation and the use of the best of film grammar known can be seen. For Brown, his films would surpass the visual brilliance of his master, with films such as, say, "The Flesh and the Devil". Here, it seems he wisely worked from the style of Tourneur to create some very interesting photography.
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