In the wilderness of early Colonial days, trapper Tom Hutter lives with his two daughters in an isolated floating fort. Tom's one-man vendetta against Indians has brought the wrath of the Hurons down on him...thereby garnering the reluctant aid of wilderness wanderer Deerslayer and his Mohican blood-brother, Chingachgook. Among adventures, violence and escapes, a batch of dirty secrets emerges... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Then you're not sure then that the Hurons will give him up.
Well, that depends upon what they want most: Old Tom or the scalps of their dead.
What makes you think they want them scalps at all?
Well, all Indians are superstitious, Hurons more than most. They believe that the spirit of the scalped warrior can never rest until the scalp is reclaimed.
And then you can't go to the Happy Hunting Grounds without your hair on, huh?
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I've always shared Mark Twain's views on James Fenimore Cooper's writing & would much rather see a decent movie version of any Natty Bumpo story than having to wade through the ponderous verse, & tuned into American Movie Classics tonight to see one of the many movie versions out there about The Deerslayer. Made in 1957, this cut-rate production starring Lex Barker (who played Tarzan a few times before this), Rita Moreno (whom I have never seen this young) & Forrest Tucker (whom I like much better on "F Troop") comes across as something only marginally as good as something you might have seen produced by "The Wonderful World Of Disney." Or maybe by Sid & Marty Krofft, to be seen as the live-action segments on "The Banana Splits."
Deerslayer & his faithful Indian companion Chingachgook stumble onto an old trader (Tucker) who asks for their help in protecting a crazy old man & his two daughters from a Huron assault. Well-groomed & stoic throughout, Deerslayer agrees (for some reason) & meets the old man on his floating fort in the middle of the river. The crazy codger hates Indians, & he seems to pamper & flatter his oldest daughter while telling his youngest (played by Moreno) that she's feeble-minded. Deerslayer has suspicions about the whole set-up, but you don't have to be an avid mystery-novel reader to figure out the reasons behind the Huron charge. Barker, constantly posing with his gun & giving those humored looks at the women that George Reeves as Superman always did, plays an android Deerslayer, & the fight scenes are about as exciting as the cliched "Yi yi yi" the Huron holler out when attacking is threatening.
I guess this was made for the Saturday-morning-movie crowd, but there's a part of me that can't believe that even children of the 1950s would be taken in by what now seems obvious: the ridiculously stereotyped Indians, the bad, off-the-screen violence poorly done, even the wooden performance by Barker must've been seen as more comic than heroic. Daniel Day-Lewis frantically saying, "Don't worry, I'll find you!" never looked better.
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