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
Some of the cast and crew spent a month in the North Carolina wilderness together before shooting began. See more »
With regard to the scene where Hawkeye and the other militiamen attempt to aid their courier in his attempt to leave Fort William and Henry for Fort Edward in pitch blackness: The nickname of the lead character is 'Hawkeye'. not 'Owl-eye'. It's difficult to believe that he can pick out a man at some two to three hundred yards range in the dark and shoot that same man dead. 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.
This film, for reasons that are not completely obvious to me, struck a chord. It was in part the amazing location shots, partly the characters, partly the music and the action sequences. As for the (relatively) under-developed romance between the hero and heroine - all I can say is that the line that Hawkeye delivers when Cora Munro challenges this rough colonial who has the temerity to gaze upon her (a colonel's daughter) and says (essentially): 'Who are you looking at?' Hawkeye answers: 'You, Ma'am. I'm looking at you.' Priceless.
Interestingly, archeologists have recently excavated the site of Fort William Henry and discovered many interesting things, none of which contradict the events described by Fenimore Cooper. The attack on the defeated column in the woods also appears to be historically accurate.
This film, though imperfect, ranks with me as one of the best action movies of all time.
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