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Absolutely thrilling. One of my most fav...
Hamish Joy21 July 2004
The Last Of The Mohicans

This is turning out to be one of my most favourite romantic epics of all time. I know most people do not see this as romantic as it is a classic battle movie. As a matter of fact, seeing the trailer and the posters left me with the impression that this is indeed a war movie, what with the battle scenes and all; something along the lines of `Braveheart'. But upon seeing the movie, I was awed by the unexpected change in genre. The movie is a masterpiece, and all the actors and actresses certainly do amazing jobs. Daniel Day Lewis is simply amazing as Hawkeye. Though I usually try to read some of the more interesting books based on which movies are made, I haven't read the book in this case. But I sincerely doubt whether the book can be as good. Plus, I am told that the movie and the book have little in common.

Madeline Stowe is stunning as Cora Munro, and Jodhi May was certainly impressive as the frail dependent younger sister. Nathaniel, or ‘Hawkeye', is the adopted son of Chingachgook, played by Russell Means, whose real and lone son Uncas contributes to the team's claim of being the last of the Mohican clan. The British recruitment of Militia from its colonies during a time of war against France brings about a certain unrest. And it is further deepened by the character of Magua, who is a Huron warrior bent on a personal vendetta against British Colonel Munro, and his family. Magua is bent on the utter destruction of Colonel Munro and his two daughters, hence ‘wiping his seed from the earth'. Chingachgook and his two sons become entwined in between all this. To top that, Nathaniel falls in love with Cora and their love story takes the show from there. It is sensually and emotionally stimulating, and we as the audience feels engulfed in the mastery.

The love story I liked better was the one played in the background, an story that is absent, yet strongly felt throughout the movie. I am referring to the love story between Eric Schweig's character, Uncas and Alice Munro, played by Jodhi May. It is the subtleness and the overtone-nature of the love that builds in us a sense of involvement. To the best of my memory, they never spoke a word to each other, but the passion is strongly felt. And the climax really takes us to another level of appreciation.

Wes Studi is probably the fiercest villain I have seen on screen. His mere presence builds an acute level of intimidation. The character portrayal is flawless, and the casting done is excellent. I do not believe that anybody…, anybody at all, could have replaced Wes in this movie. The fierceness, the anger, the viciousness, the… the everything required to build up the character… He has done all that. Probably his best performance yet.

The music is sort of unconventional. Usually, the pace of the music is in sync with the pace of the action on screen. But in this case, the same slow music floods the scenes whether the pace on-screen is fast or slow. If I had heard somebody else say that, I certainly would have thought that it would not be effective. But amazingly, this unconventional approach works. And how! The music is probably the most addictive feature about the movie. After the first time I saw it, the music lingered in my mind for a month. All my waking moments, my mind was echoing that brilliant piece of work. I am a very very huge fan of Hans Zimmer, but I doubt if even he could have done a better job.

I have seen the movie eight times to date. And I will definitely see it again. The climactic scene is so moving that I have lost count how many times I've seen that.
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Restoration of Dignity to Native Americans, Long Overdue
gradyharp18 October 2005
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 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
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Fierce, bold, and beautiful - "The Last of the Mohicans"
dee.reid19 November 2004
"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 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.

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Action, Romance, and Intrigue
Volay6 February 1999
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 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.
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Pure cinematic excitement...
Nazi_Fighter_David14 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
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 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...
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"The whole world's on fire, isn't it?"
shhimundercoverdamnit11 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
My all time favorite film. Still gives me chills. It's easily one of the most amazing films I've ever seen and it also features perhaps one of the greatest soundtracks ever. They way, the music hits the scenes is just absolutely astonishing.

In essence, The Last of the Mohicans is an epic adventure/romance set against the panorama of a frontier wilderness ravaged by the French and Indian War.

Director Michael Mann brilliantly captures the essence of the era ( 1750's)-the hand-to hand battles, the scalping's, the harsh life in the wilderness, etc. But, I especially love the way that the film depicts the perspectives of each of the groups and the people involved. Whether they are competing for military superiority, referring to the French General Montcalm ( Patrice Chéreau ) and the British Colonel Munro (Maurice Roëves) or the simple existence of peoples in their homeland, the viewer is given a true sense of their mindset in the midst of a great conflict.

Even the story's main antagonist, Magua (wonderfully portrayed by Wes Studi) draws us in.

The always amazing Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Hawkeye, rugged frontiersman and adopted son of the Mohicans. Day-Lewis, with flowing mane and heaving pecs, makes a virile but sensitive hero for the screen and Madeline Stowe is Cora Munro, aristocratic daughter of the proud British Colonel Munro. Stowe manages to find in Cora a fiery balance between sensitivity and strength. One can't help but feel fascinated and/ or captivated by her dark eyes and flowing dark hair.

Generally, the film tells the story of Hawkeye and Cora Munro, two people who meet across cultural and class barriers, and are presented serious new challenges.

But the film has so more. For example, the contrasts between the two brothers ( Hawkeye and Uncas) and the two sisters ( Cora and Alice). Hawkeye being the more daring and outspoken from the start. He dares to approach the dark haired Cora when he was drawn to her, where as Uncas (Eric Schweig) never openly reveals his attraction to Alice ( Jodhi May). Besides, those short simple looks and glances.

But then again, do we really need lines? No. Both Schweig and May have very few lines, but it is their eyes, that are saying everything... Case in point, that sequence in the cave, where Uncas pulls Alice back from the falls and holds her.

All in all, I have to honestly say that the last 40 or 50 minutes or so of this movie, are just completely off the hook. I'd wager it might start along the lines of hearing that huge Huron war party cry as the British Army retreats from Ft. William Henry. This leads to Hawkeye vow to rescue Cora no matter what in the scene that takes place behind the waterfall. This is a scene that has been copied and mimicked by many others ( notably Tom Cruise in M1-2) but the way Day-Lewis delivers the line "You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you" simply makes you believe him.

Another amazing sequence would be when our heroes are running up the hill to save Cora, Alice, and the British Maj. Duncan Heyward (Steven Waddington) after they've been captured. For whatever, reason the Directors Expanded DVD emits the haunting Clannad song, "I Will Find You". Why this isn't heard during the scene is beyond me.

I've watched this film way too many times now, but easily it is the last 15 minutes that are the most powerful and emotionally devastating. For instance, just watch the way the sequence of music starts with Duncan shouting "take her and get out", you know that something serious is going to happen and Duncan is doomed......

Or the scene of Uncas's and then Alice's shocking deaths. I've always viewed the later scene as the first time Alice takes control of her own destiny and chooses not to be a victim. She finally snaps out of her shock-induced haze and takes action. Her choice of suicide is made from a place of strength.

But it is also the more quiet of moments that simply resonate. For instance, when Chingachgook ( Russell Means) speaks about being the Last of his tribe.

A film that truly resonates. No matter the age or the mood.
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One Of The Greatest Adventure Films Ever
ccthemovieman-17 January 2006
This was one of those movies I didn't expect that much when I first saw it so I was pleasantly surprised. Since then, it has skyrocketed to nearly the top on my list of all-time favorite films. I can't think of too many other adventure films that are better. Just a great, great movie.

It boasts an interesting story filled with intense characters, beautiful scenery, a fantastic score, good action and a nice romance. So....there is a lot to like about this Michael Mann-directed film.

The action scenes are quite realistic, and border on being almost too prevalent, to be fair. However, even if it may be a little too intense or frequent, the action is always interesting and varied, from all-out assaults to individual battles.

The story takes place in Eastern New York State but, in reality, was filmed in beautiful Smokey Mountain areas in Asheville, N.C. This movie looks spectacular and with an epic, sweeping soundtrack is quite a feast for the eyes and ears.

The eye candy includes a handsome leading couple: Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeline Stowe. Wes Studi is mesmerizing as the "bad guy." If you liked him in "Geronimo: An American Legend," you'll like his work here.

If you are fairly young and only know Michael Mann through his crime movies like "Heat" or "Collateral," please check this earlier film out. It could be Mann's best, which is saying a lot.
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The ultimate early Western romance.
ajchappell16 November 2004
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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A must see!
MVelez1 May 2003
This film is a must see, and despite what some people say about the directing style being 'offensive', I couldn't disagree more. First of all, I truly appreciated the more balanced portrayal of the native American tribes. Previous films often displayed the tribes as bumbling savages with no moral sense and the 'white man' always taking the moral high ground. Michael Mann showed the equal amount of savagery that men from all walks of life are capable of and the universal lack of compassion often abundant in times of war.

The directing style is rich and Mann knows how to affect the audience's mood with his use of perspectives. The acting and music was superb. My only issue with the whole film was the limited shots of Uncas, whom I thought was just as interesting a character as Hawkeye!

9 of 10
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the_yellow_brick_road21 January 2007
I cannot believe I have waited so long to watch this move... granted it was made two years after I was born, but regardless I wish I had seen it long ago! I don't think there are enough adjectives to describe this movie or the effect it has had on me. Incredible. Soul-stirring. Heart-rendering. Amazingly hopeful. Gloriously Sad. It has two of the greatest love stories ever seen on screen- both yearning, smoldering and heart wrenching, and yet so different and subtle- I won't say more. The battle scenes are violent and brutal, but not gratuitously; realism is no issue here- you are transported to another world, and the actors have clearly thrown themselves into it as well. The period is meticulously and perfectly recreated in incredible detail. The scenery is almost as engaging as the action itself; and the score is so perfectly descriptive of the stunning visuals that your spirit actually soars with it. Sorry to be so corny but nothing else justifies it. The final 25 minutes are, in my opinion, the greatest 25 minutes ever filmed. Without spoiling it, let me just forewarn- get the tissues. I have watched this movie 6 times in the past 48 hours. Don't wait, get hooked now!
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Will make you forget that wimpy TV Hawkeye.
jckruize24 November 2003
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 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.
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Overlooked masterpiece bucked trends of the time
pete-24611 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
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 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

" 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.
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cheated at the oscars
cooldarkraven28 August 2003
This movie won the Oscar for best sound. I have little respect for the Oscars. Best score ever, some of the best photography ever. Day-Lewis gives a powerful performance whose only fault is that he has done better. Copper's sprawling story comes to life with powerful action scenes and emotional close-ups. The final chase is stunning to watch. 10/10
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A timeless classic 10/10 WARNING(This review contains spoilers)
dakana_vaia11 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I thorougly enjoyed this film and it is most certainly my favorite. It is extremely well directed by Michael Mann and there is not one actress or actor in the film that, in my opinion, did not perform extremely well. The location of the settings were well chosen and extremely beautiful and the soundtrack was a haunting melody better than any other I have ever heard in a film. I enjoyed this even more than Braveheart (And I am not biased against Braveheart because I see it is a story, and not as anti-english propaganda like some). This film is a timeless classic filled with gut-wrenching action, a wonderful romance and on-the-edge battle scenes.

I particularly admired the performance of Jodhi May (who was only 16 at the time of filming) as Alice Munro. Her perfomance was quite amazing, especially towards the end in the way that she said nothing, but the facial expressions were so real that one could just about believe that it was real and not just a story! This scene was the best of one of the best films I have ever seen and I have remembered it ever since. The music was an amazing haunting, celtic type during this scene and it fits perfectly when the beautiful Alice Munro falls to her death next to her lover. This has left me thinking about the character and her motives for doing this for some time and this entire film sticks in one's mind as a very good film should do. The perfomance of Daniel Day-Lewis and Cora was also gripping and excellent and Madeliene Stowe as Cora is one of the most beautiful actresses. My only gripe for Cora was that her English accent was a little now-you-see-it now-you-don't.

I would give this film 11 out of 10 if it was possible. Read the book too- Although the film is quite different, James Fennimore Copper's classic is also a brilliant piece of work and I hope he would have been proud of this so excellent film. If films like Braveheart and Gladiator are you types of film, then watch this. 10/10
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Impressive, But Overlooked Masterpiece From 1992
tfrizzell15 September 2000
"The Last of the Mohicans" is a very good film that was basically ignored by everyone in 1992. Based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same name, the movie is impressive in every way imaginable. Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe are best in the ensemble cast. Michael Mann's direction has rarely been better. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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Great movie
sportster_163016 February 2005
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 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.
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Better than the book
JKwiat578728 January 2008
First I saw the movie and got excited by the beautiful backdrop scenery. Then I found out that the two main historical events depicted, the siege and fall of Fort William Henry and the subsequent massacre, actually happened. So I saw the movie again. Then I read the book. Then I read a good book about the French and Indian War.

This is an instance where the movie deviates from the book and is the better for it. Then I'm pleased with the fact that history wasn't tampered with, at least not too much. Historians aren't sure how the Fort William Henry massacre was triggered or how complete it was; it IS documented that the massacre actually happened. I find no historical record of Colonel Munro conducting any campaign of lodge-burning against the Huron; but then again it IS documented that Munro did not have any daughters. Those characters are in the book as well as the movie. Cooper invented them himself.

The idea of Huron war parties raiding on the frontier doesn't pop up in the book or the historical record, but it's perfectly plausible; the native Americans fought that way all through the Coloinal period. The savagery of Native American warfare is depicted fairly accurately; all accounts I have confirm that. The concept of taking captives is depicted accurately too, for the reasons described.

Being of the bent that I am, I find the dual love stories involving (1) the Cora Munro-Hawkeye-Major Heywood triangle and (2) the Uncas-Alice Munro relationship all well and good; they were done well enough. I was more fascinated by the historical backdrop and the very nice North Carolina scenery, which is supposed to mimic the Adirondacks, where the story is set.

For those with time on their hands and money to spend, both Fort William Henry and Fort Carillon (better known as Fort Ticonderog) exist; they have been fully restored and are now historical museums. I visited Fort Ticonderoga when I was 12 years old, and found it fascinating. Now that I've seen this movie I want to go out that way again, start at Fort William and Henry and work my way North to Crown Point, learning all I can on the way.

What I really recommend is to see the movie once, enjoying the scenery and the love stories, as well as the action. Then read "The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America" by Walter R. Borneman. Then see the movie again, from a different perspective.
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One of Best Films of All Time - A Masterpiece
Mason Geddy14 January 2016
I have seen many thousands of films, and there are only 7 that I have rated a 10. This film is at the top of my list - I consider it to be the best film of all that I've seen.

This film is a masterpiece. I have seen it about 30 times and will probably watch it another 50. It is so deeply moving and stirring, I can not describe it. It is above review, and words will only fail it.

It is an incredible, epic, passionate romantic love story. Not an "action adventure" as IMDb calls it.

It is very painful to watch this film, because of the deep sense of longing to be that man in the story who gets to be with this woman and survives this extreme experience of being so intensely alive.

This is a film that must be seen. Descriptions are pointless. Every aspect is a masterpiece. The acting, the casting, the music, everything. The fact that this is rated a 7.3 on IMDb as of when I write this is absolutely disturbing proof that most people are utterly oblivious and bereft of any sense of art or beauty.

One thing I must say is that while Daniel Day Lewis and Wes Studi were both incredible, it was Madeleine Stowe who made this film. I just can't describe her.

I came on here considering writing a review for "The Revenant" (2015), and just started thinking of how many orders of magnitude better the Last of the Mohicans was. So I came here to write this instead.

A "10" is not "excellent" to me (IMDB says 10 is "excellent"). To me, 10 means masterpiece. Only about 1 in 1,000 films is a masterpiece. This is one of them.
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Totally Absorbing
InfoBabe16 April 2003
This is one of only a very few films that I cannot stop watching once I start. As others have stated, the music, the scenery totally engage you from the beginning. The love story was not in the original Cooper story but in this case, certainly improves it.

Recently, my husband and myself and two other couples, all strangers to each other, at a dinner while on vacation in Hawaii started talking about films. I mentioned that the review we were seeing, South Pacific, that the story in the musical did not stand the test of time. However, the Godfather does and The Last of the Mohicans is one movie I cannot tear myself away from. All the others stated that they felt the same and all of us own the DVD and the CD.

It is amazing to me that this film was deemed not Oscar worthy, but what other films made in 1992 can you remember?
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This film has it all! EXCELLENT!!!
artzau18 July 2001
Romance, action and hope. Emotion without sentiment. Love interest without explicit sex scenes. An excellent film and one of my absolute favorites. I had read all of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking series as a kid and had seen the '36 version with Randolph Scott. But, this film got me from the git-go. I suppose reading those books, seeing that old film (it was old when I saw it as a kid, having been made and released a year before I was born) and reading everything else about Red Indians-- now appropriately called Native Americans-- I could get my hands on contributed to my becoming an anthropologist. But, in spite of Mark Twain's scathing critiques of the Leatherstocking series (I don't think Twain liked JF Cooper's face), they were exciting to me as a kid. And, this film was exciting to me as an adult. The story here only conforms to the skeleton of the original but the presentation is convincing and authentic. The performances of the Native American actors, the delightful Wes Studi, Russell Means, Eric Sweig and Dennis Banks are wonderful. Small parts are also seen with character actors Pete Postelthwaite and Colm Meany and the rival Duncan Heyward is given a pompous twist by Brit Actor, Steven Waddington. The Munro girls with Madeleine Stowe and Jodhi May are likewise delightful, with Stowe inserting a bit of early feminism into her role. May's fawn-like big eyes suggesting a delicate vulnerability lends itself well. The romantic interest with the handsome young Uncas is not as well developed as it was in the '36 version, but that's not a failing. All in all, this film has become one of my all time favorites. I've seen it at least 6 times and plan to see it at least that many times more-- this year.
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A stunning war picture with amazing performances from all of the hundreds of actors involved, The Last of the Mohicans is a near flawless presentation of war-life in the 1700s.
Michael DeZubiria3 February 2001
Warning: Spoilers
The Last of the Mohicans is an epic portrayal of the conflicting interests of the French, the British, and the Native Americans in colonial America. The French and the Native Americans are allies, but the film throws in some completely unexpected and surprisingly effective plot twists toward the end, something that is relatively uncommon in period films. Mixed in with the adventurous atmosphere of war is a powerful romance that develops between Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe), who play two characters very unlikely to fall in love.

Hawkeye was adopted by the Mohicans as an infant, and was raised by them for his entire life since then. Cora is the daughter of a British Colonel, and their romance is strikingly effective, and made even better by the settings. I think that the romance is especially notable here because usually, and especially in action or adventure films, whenever there is a significant romantic subplot, it usually seems to have been thrown in relatively clumsily and with the obvious objective of making the film appeal to a larger audience. However, in The Last of the Mohicans, the romance is so well developed and so well acted that this is clearly not the case. Every part of the story in this film, including the romantic subplot, fit together flawlessly, resulting in a top-notch historical action drama.

Even better than the incredible performances and the fascinating story is the breathtaking cinematography and on-location settings. The film is literally packed full of amazing shots of the endless and stunningly beautiful colonial American countryside. This is one of the ways that the film is able to flawlessly bring the 1700s back to life with incredible reality. The film is beautifully shot by director Michael Mann, whose films seem to be getting better and better. Another thing that was done noticeably well in this film was the editing, particularly in the fast-paced and excellently executed battle scenes, which were brutal but rightfully so. I've always thought that the only excuse for excessive violence is if it's true, and this is the kind of thing that went on when this country was founded. The notable thing here is not how much violence there was, but how spectacular the presentation of history is, and in such a convincingly realistic way.

(spoilers) The Last of the Mohicans is a look at a certain point in history as one point in a huge timeline. This is the revelation that makes the ending to the film one of the best endings in any film in years. The closing line, `Once, we were here,' is an acquiescent observation that no matter how hard they fight, the Mohicans will be gone someday, as will be the frontier itself, and a different people will someday inhabit the land. Such is the way that the world goes, things change, nothing lasts forever, but there are some who are willing to accept that and be proud of whatever mark they have made. THIS is how great films are made.
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No matter how far, I will find you!
Kid_Revelator8 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
There is so may things about this film that will blow you away. The first thing you will notice is how wonderfully this film is shot, every single scene could be a painting, its so brilliant. The set pieces and costumes are mind-blowing in every detail. Several scenes could be considered classics but none compares to the love scene at the Fort Henry between Cora and Hawkeye. They are 2 very intense actors that made me forget i was watching a movie and they made me believe in the magic.

The waterfall scene is one of the finest scenes I have ever witnessed, Hawkeye is standing with Cora and haunting violins resonate as he tells Cora to stay alive, that no matter what those nasty Hurons do he will come back for her. A scene of Cora and Hawk locked together while the waterfall rages beyond them is so beautiful.

For villains you just want to see get ripped to pieces, actor Wes Studi brings to life the war Chief Magua, not many villains can hold a candle to this guys psychosis, he literally cuts a guys heart out and its as casual to him as ordering Chinese food.

For action genre fans, the final mountain-ledge showdown will bring a tear to your eye as Magua and his braves break out the tomahawks and have a chop-a-thon with Hawkeye and his guys.

Every actor in this film is a joy to watch but pay close attention to Jodi May who plays Cora's sister Alice. Her subtle performance as the woman who cannot cope and would rather make the ultimate sacrifice then be a slave to Magua, it is the performance of the movie.

Bottom line, this film might be the best film ever made, sad it does not get the recognition it should, Mann's best film by far.
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One of the best films - ever.
Lothar_gr20 June 2005
"Last of the Mohicans" Is one of the best films of the nineties - and probably one film that will remain in movie history as one of the best ever.

The characters are colorful and the actors have done a great job playing them. The script unfolds very good, and the viewer is never bored with long pauses in the action or scenes with no actual meaning in the story.

it does a great job mixing romance with action. Also it has a outstanding musical score ( by many people it is considered to be the best music that has been ever written for a movie ) and it has great cinematography.

10 stars out of 10. easily. If i could give 11 out of 10 i would give them
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Beautiful, entertaining, and wonderful
GOB-230 October 1999
This has been one of my favorite movies for longer than I can remember. The film is beautifully shot, the relationship between Nathaniel and Cora is deep and beleivable. Wes Studi is great as the vengeful Magua, and should have been nominated for an Oscar for his performance. Also, this movie has one of the most fast paced, heartbreaking, and just plain great endings in movie history. If you haven't seen this, you should go out right now and get it. You won't be disappointed.
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An astonishingly realised and beautifully crafted modern epic
salacious-loquacious23 November 2008
Michael Mann's The Last of the Mohicans is often overlooked when lists of great movies are compiled but this is a film of such astonishing beauty and raw energy that it deserves to be reassessed. From the opening frame to the closing shots this modern epic satisfies on every level, resonating with heart and scale, drama and action. It is a film of haunting beauty and profound feeling with a pace that is unequalled in the genre. It positively oozes charisma.

The cast disappear into their roles, and for a period film that is now over 15 years old there isn't the slightest hint of it dating. There is nothing superfluous here but nothing is left wanting either. This is a credit to the skill of the entire crew. Everything works - the locations, sets, costumes, editing, sound, music, tone, writing, direction, performances, everything. Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe generate chemistry with rich but scant material, while the other main players give such refined performances that the viewer is simply swept along. And this film is sweeping in every sense. Whatever the accuracy in comparison with the original text, this film becomes a text in its own right and is so delicately crafted and magnificently edited that the final scenes play with virtually no dialogue, and powerfully so. This has a lot to do with the stunning score - the last ten minutes demonstrating all aspects of cinema operating on the highest level - as it reinforces the primal beat and rhythm of the piece while still maintaining a colonial heart and hauntingly epic sweep.

The Last of the Mohicans is a thrilling, fierce adventure tempered with attention to historical detail, heightened yet not melodramatic emotion and a sympathetic yet seethingly tense depiction of the time. An adventure epic with a lot of soul and heart. It's time for Mann to return to the epic genre and demonstrate once again what he can do as evidenced by this overlooked classic. Highly recommended.
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