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I think the Last of the Mohicans was the first "R" rated movie my parents let me watch with them. Years after I first saw it, I am still in awe of its beauty. It provides an excellent mixture of romance, wit, and action to cater to most movie fans. While the dialogue and plot enchants you, the cinematography has a magic all its own. I read the book when I was in the fifth grade because, thinking since I loved the movie so well, I would enjoy the book, too. Big disappointment. The book, which I realize was written over a century ago, lacks all of the movie's charm. Its truly boring. The movie takes the important aspects of the book, and melds them into an attractive, enthralling, exciting story. They also switched the names of the sisters around, too, but that doesn't paricularly matter. I would definitely recommend the movie to everyone, but the book...eh, not so much.
I never got to see this unforgettable picture when it was released back in September/92. I've owned the Laser Disc of it for over three years,but never got around to watching it until last summer(99). One of my fellow co-workers told me that it was his favorite films of all time,so I invited him over to watch it with me. I can't believe that this much time has gone by without me ever watching it. This movie is amazing! I just finished ordering the soundtrack for it from Amazon.($13.99) They wanted $36.99 for it here in Canada! This is another one of those film's where the music adds so much more impact to it. I sometimes will put on the part near the end when they are running up the side of the mountain.That scene along with the music leading up to the final cliffside battle with actor Wes Studi is one of the best climatic scene's ever filmed! There are no words to describe the power of that part.Wes Studi was excellent in his part as Magua. I now have the DVD of it, but was a little disappointed that there were no extras with it. Not even the stinkin trailer! But the movie itself & the sound & picture quality far out weight that minor error. I hope director Michael Mann will release a collector's edition of it someday.This movie is worth that much... Thank-You Chris,for telling me to watch this classic!
The best thing about this film is that it captures James Fenimore Cooper's
well-concealed message, that more than one lifestyle was being destroyed as
distant monarchs squabbled over the vast reaches of North America; those of
the Indian, and of the free frontiersman. Unfortunately, the most favourable
aspects of both existences have been laid on with a trowel at the expense of
other less noble but more human qualities. In particular, we never see
drunken Indians (a distressing result of the contact between the white and
red man). Also, Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis) hardly ever breaks into authentic
frontier jargon, nor does he ever refer even to his mortal foes among the
Indians as "varmints" or "mingoes". (I am sure Cooper meant the last to be
an insult in some Indian languages).
That said, every individual character is brilliantly depicted, even with some touches added which were not part of the original book; Major Heyward for example is much more complex than Cooper's original "Open Hand", but thereby adds a lot to the plot.
The film also introduces a sub-plot concerning the antipathy between british and american characters and this adds to the credibility.
The action sequences faithfully depict all the incidents in the book, and are all breathtaking cliffhangers. The film is worth seeing for these, and the scenery alone.
Finally, Wes Studi is the most authentic and most terrifying Magua ever depicted on screen, and he should perhaps have had an Oscar for this role.
Michael Mann is one of the most noteworthy filmmakers in Hollywood today.
usual (e.g., The Thief, Heat), Mann picks up great music and matches the
cinematography to suit the soundtrack. When Daniel Day Lewis and Russell
Means run, the camera appears to "run" with them in pace with the music.
Lewis' acting has been hailed but I thought Means and Studi contributed as
much or more as American Indians.
I saw the movie a second time and I found the music, editing and photography were outstanding. Mann as a director was better in Heat, but the music and photography is better in this work of Mann. The story is so good that people often miss out on enjoying the wonderful filmmaking.
I must admit that I'm always hungry for a frontier epic. I think the
of confronting the American (or Russian, as in "Dersu Uzala") wilderness
the first time can never be overtold.
And just how do I define a "frontier" movie? Any story of people in a land before its settlement. In the case of America, before 1860 or, better yet, before 1776.
"Northwest Passage," "The Black Robe," and now "Last of the Mohicans" . . .
Wonderful production values here - spectacular scenery, authentic props, convincing warfare - and, contrary to the impression given by other reviewers, the romance element doesn't overwhelm the other plot elements. Nor does one come away from this film not knowing that the French and Indian wars were NOT between the French and the Indians. (How's that for a triple negative?)
This movie is quite possibly the greatest movie of all time. It has everything you could ever want in a cinematic experience - fantastic plot, characters, acting, cinematography, soundtrack, action, history. It even has a love story that made me (he-man that I am) shed a tear. An absolute must-see.
wow!wow!wow!The movie starts with the elk hunt with the superb Main title as the background music.The movie basically starts by showing a British army squad escorting Cora(madeleine stowe)and her sister;who are going to meet their father.Their party is attacked by hurons led by Magua(wes studi) and then they are saved by the wandering Mohicans led by Hawkeye(daniel day lewis).The movie boasts of glorious scenery;great music;and memorable performances by all the actors.Just go and watch the movie for yourself if you don't believe me.Highly Recommended. IT'S MY FAVOURITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
During The French Indian War Major Duncan Heyward is given the task of
escorting Cora and Alice the two daughters of Colonal Munro to Fort
William Henry . During there journey they are betrayed Magua but are
saved from certain death by Hawkeye , an adopted Mohican warrior . Upon
arriving at the fort they find it under siege by the French . Worse
than that Hawkeye due to Major Heyward's jealousy finds himself guilty
of sedition and faces a sentence of death
When this movie was released in 1992 it seemed to stay at the top of the US box office for eternity and was my tip to absolutely dominate the Oscars the following year . As it turned it only picked up one nomination for sound which was an absolute travesty since both picture , costume design , original score and cinematography should have been automatic choices with Day Lewis and Studi being probables for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actors along with Michael Mann as director. Even today when watching it you're surprised that a beautiful and involving movie was ignored when the back slapping award ceremonies were dishing out awards . It remains a movie that shows Hollywood movie making at its best
That said it does suffer slightly from Hollywood at its worst . Much of the blame might lie in the original source novel by James Fenimore Cooper but you can guarantee Hollywood will put the boot in to someone given half the chance and that is the slight vein of Anglophobia throughout the film . The British are foppish fools , untrustworthy and easily defeated by both Native Americans armed with nothing more than a tomahawk and the French . If Fenimore's novel was adapted by a French film company the British might have been portrayed more fairly . Looking on the bright side at least it's a million miles better than THE PATRIOT and umpteen other similar films I could name and LAST OF THE MOHICANS still remains a very impressive American film helped in no small part by a largely British cast
The Last of the Mohicans is directed by Michael Mann who also co-adapts
the screenplay with Christopher Crowe from James Fenimore Cooper's
novel of the same name. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe,
Russell Means, Eric Schweig, Jodhi May, Steven Waddington and Wes
Studi. Music is scored by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman and
cinematography by Dante Spinotti.
1757 during the French and Indian War, Hawkeye (Lewis), a white man who was adopted by the Mohicans, finds himself on a perilous journey to escort a couple of British sisters to their father's fort. This journey brings him, and his companions, into conflict with Magua (Studi), a sadistic Huron warrior seeking revenge on the girls' father.
Inspired by the Randolph Scott film of the same name made in 1936, Michael Mann gives his all to create a stirring classical epic fit to sit in the company of the historical greats of old. Visually it's a treat of some magnitude, where aided by Spinotti, Mann frames his characters in the glorious vistas provided by the North Carolinas. For those with a bent for historical narratives, Mann's film also is not found wanting, in fact it's a cerebral delight. There's romantic strands that sit right in the colourful quilt, action expertly staged and handled by the talented director and the cast, led by a superbly athletic and serious Day-Lewis, are impressive and doing justice to the requisite characters written on the page, and the musical score enhances mood with swirling beauty coupling with primitive potency that wraps itself snugly around the story.
Mann gets all the key ingredients right, but it's his ability to balance the human drama with the energised action that is most impressive. The film is also thankfully devoid of boorish filler, this is a troubled time in history, with much political activity and complex racial manoeuvres, but Mann doesn't need to fill the screen with political posturing and drawn out speeches. We know all we need to know about the period in question, but the story is kept intimate, the focus on a small group of people, of whose fate we most assuredly have interest in. While on the edges of the frame we know we are witnessing the death of an era, for better or worse on different sides of the coin. Also pays to note that Mann's well known penchant for the meticulous is evident as well, for he details the native characters with considerable care.
It's not flawless, accents fluctuate, the odd fake look slips into the production design and the director does what many American directors do, they come dangerously close to caricaturing their British officers, but this is still great heroic escapism tinged with romanticism. Something for everyone who loves classical cinema in fact. 9/10
For some reason, Hollywood has always taken more interest in the Old
West than in the Even Older East. The opening up of the eastern half of
the North American continent during the eighteenth and early nineteenth
century has inspired comparatively few films compared with the vast
number about "how the West was won". Even the War of Independence has
not been a particularly popular subject, despite its central role in
American history, and "The Last of the Mohicans" is one of the few
films about the French and Indian War. (Others include another version
of the same story from 1936, which I have not seen, and "North-West
Passage" from the 1950s).
Although it is an "Eastern" (ostensibly set in upstate New York but actually filmed in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina) the film has a similar epic grandeur to many Westerns; Kevin Costner's "Dances with Wolves" from two years earlier seems to have been an influence. (Both films have fine orchestral scores).It is set in 1757, with the British and the French, together with their respective colonists and Indian allies, battling for control of North America. The main characters are Colonel Munro, a British officer, his two daughters Cora and Alice, the frontiersman Hawkeye, another officer Major Duncan Heyward, the Mohican Indian Chingachgook and his son Uncas, and the Huron Indian Magua. Although Hawkeye is a white man by birth, he was raised as an Indian and regards Chingachgook as his adopted father. The plot is a complex one, revolving around the war itself, the rivalry between Hawkeye and Major Heyward for Cora's affections and Magua's obsessive hatred for Munro and the British.
The film makes a few changes to James Fenimore Cooper's novel. In the book Hawkeye's real name was Natty Bumppo; here he becomes, more plausibly, Nathaniel Poe. Magua remains the villain of the piece, but here his villainy is more motivated; in the novel he was simply a bad character, but here his obsession with revenge stems from the deaths of his children, killed by soldiers under Munro's command. In the original Heyward was in love with Alice rather than Cora, who (interestingly enough for a novel written in the first half of the nineteenth century) was of racially mixed origins, Munro's first wife having been a mulatto. Nothing is made of Cora's racial heritage in the film, and we can assume that she is supposed to be white. (Even in recent decades Hollywood can be squeamish about the subject of inter-racial marriage).
In the 1980s Daniel Day-Lewis made his name in more intellectual British and Irish films such as "A Room with a View" and "My Left Foot". "The Last of the Mohicans" showed that he could also star as an action hero in a major Hollywood production. (It was his first film since "My Left Foot" three years earlier, the first in a number of lengthy breaks in his cinema career). He brought to his role as Hawkeye his own idiosyncratic version of the Method and his normal obsessive preparation. He allegedly learned to hunt, shoot and fish like an eighteenth-century trapper, spent weeks camping out in the wilds and insisted on remaining in character off the set, even carrying his rifle with him at all times. Day-Lewis' methods have won him a reputation for eccentricity, yet I have to say that they work; I have never seen him give a bad performance, and only rarely one that is anything less than excellent.
Day-Lewis is not the only excellent thing about this movie. Some of the other actors are also very good, especially Wes Studi as the vindictive Magua. The orchestral score is stirring and the photography of the wooded mountain landscapes is strikingly beautiful. There is a particularly moving ending to the film. In all, this is one of the best historical adventures of the nineties. 8/10
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