The Last of the Mohicans (1992 film): Wikis

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The Last of the Mohicans

theatrical poster
Directed by Michael Mann
Produced by Michael Mann
Hunt Lowry
James G. Robinson
Written by Michael Mann
Christopher Crowe
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis
Madeleine Stowe
Wes Studi
Russell Means
Eric Schweig
Jodhi May
Music by Randy Edelman
Trevor Jones
Daniel Lanois
Cinematography Dante Spinotti
Editing by Dov Hoenig
Arthur Schmidt
Studio Morgan Creek Productions
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) September 25, 1992
Running time 117 min
Language English
Mohawk
French
Budget $40,000,000 USD
Gross revenue $75,505,856 (domestic)[1]

The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 during the French and Indian War. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's classic novel, although it owes more to George B. Seitz's 1936 film adaptation than the source novel. The main cast includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Wes Studi, Eric Schweig and Jodhi May.

The soundtrack features music by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman, and the song "I Will Find You" by Clannad. The film won an Academy Award for Sound. The main theme of the movie is taken from the tune "The Gael" by Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean.

Contents

Plot

In 1757, the British and French are battling for control of North America in the French and Indian War. Though the colonists are bound by law to join the militia to aid the British, many of them are reluctant to leave their homes and families defenseless.

Chingachgook (Russell Means), his son Uncas (Eric Schweig), and Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis), his adopted "white" son, visit the Cameron household. Jack Winthrop (Edward Blatchford) tells Hawkeye that he is gathering volunteers for the British army. The next morning, Jack and a group of others go to Albany, New York, to obtain terms from General Webb, who agrees to grant them leave if their homes are attacked. Satisfied, they join the British forces at Fort William Henry, sixty miles north of Albany.

Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe) and her sister Alice (Jodhi May) have received word from their father, Colonel Edmund Munro (Maurice Roëves), the commander of the British garrison at the fort, to meet him there. A native guide named Magua (Wes Studi) and a detachment of British soldiers commanded by Major Duncan Heyward (Steven Waddington) escort the women on the trail. However, they are ambushed by Hurons (Wyandot) led by Magua himself. Heyward, Cora and Alice are rescued by Hawkeye and his companions, who have been tracking the war band. During the melee, Magua tries to shoot Cora, but Hawkeye forces him to flee. The rescuers reluctantly agree to escort the survivors to Fort William Henry. Along the way, they discover that the Cameron homestead has been razed and everyone killed, though nothing has been stolen, a sure sign of a war party.

They find Fort William Henry under siege by the French, but manage to sneak inside. When Munro scolds his daughters for joining him, they realize that Magua has deceived them for some unknown reason. Munro tells Heyward that the fort can only hold out for three more days. Their only hope is to get a messenger through to General Webb at nearby Fort Edward for reinforcements.

When Hawkeye tells the colonials about the attack on the Camerons, they demand to be released to go defend their homes, as General Webb had agreed. Munro refuses, so Hawkeye helps Jack and his friends desert. Hawkeye, who stays behind to be with Cora, is arrested for sedition and sentenced to hang.

As the fort is on the verge of falling, the French commander, General Montcalm (Patrice Chéreau) offers Munro generous surrender terms. The garrison and their families are offered safe passage to Albany, on condition they return to England and no longer fight in the war. Munro reluctantly accepts, after Montcalm shows him an intercepted message from Webb in which he refuses to send aid.

As the British march away, they are ambushed by a much larger force of Hurons led by Magua. To avenge his family, Magua personally cuts out Munro's heart, but not before telling Munro that he will kill his daughters so that his family line will be extinguished. Earlier, Magua had revealed to General Montcalm that his village had been destroyed years ago by Munro's soldiers, resulting in the death of his children and his wife marrying another man when she thought Magua was dead. Magua himself was enslaved.

Hawkeye, Cora, Alice, Uncas, Chingachgook, Heyward and two other soldiers escape to a cave behind a waterfall. With their gunpowder wet, Hawkeye and his two companions jump into the water, knowing their presence would precipitate a hopeless fight. Before escaping, Hawkeye promises Cora that he will find her no matter what happens. Heyward and the two women are captured.

The prisoners are taken to a Huron village, with Hawkeye, Uncas and Chingachgook in pursuit. Magua is bargaining with the sachem when they are interrupted by the arrival of an unarmed Hawkeye running the gauntlet of hostile warriors. With Heyward translating, Hawkeye convinces the chief that Magua is acting for himself, rather than in the Hurons' interests. The chief renders his judgment: Cora is to be burned alive to atone for Magua's dead children; Magua is given Alice to be his wife so that both bloodlines can continue. Heyward is to be returned to the British in the hope of avoiding reprisals; and Hawkeye is given safe passage in recognition of his bravery. Desperate, Hawkeye pleads to take Cora’s place. Heyward deliberately mistranslates, offering himself instead. When the chief accepts, Magua curses him and leaves with Alice and his men.

Uncas immediately follows the war band, while Chingachgook waits for Hawkeye. From a safe distance, Hawkeye mercifully shoots Heyward as he is being burned at the stake. They then set off in pursuit of Magua.

Uncas catches up with Magua's band alone. He kills several men before engaging Magua in single combat. Magua kills Uncas and drops his body off a cliff, after which Alice jumps to her death. Hawkeye, Chingachgook and Cora witness the deaths of their loved ones from a distance. Catching up, the two men slay several enemy warriors. As Hawkeye holds the rest at bay, Chingachgook duels Magua and avenges his son. After a ceremony for Uncas, Chingachgook names himself "the last of the Mahicans."

Cast

Historical accuracy

While the film, like the novel, is more of a historical romance, much care was taken with recreating accurate costumes and props. American Bladesmith Society Master Bladesmith Daniel Winkler made the tomahawks used in the film and knifemaker Randall King made the knives.[2]

Early in the film while dining at the Cameron's, Uncas states that he saw the fields of Chief Joseph Brant and they were 5 miles long. This would be inaccurate because, the story takes place in 1757. Joseph Brant was born in 1743, thus he would have been 14 years old during the timeframe of the film. He did not become a landowner until the death of his stepfather in 1765, and a war chief until the year 1771; 14 years after the story had taken place.

Locations

Despite the film taking place in upstate New York, according to the film credits, it was filmed mostly in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Locations used include Lake James, Chimney Rock Park and The Biltmore Estate. Some of the waterfalls that were used in the movie include Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and High Falls located in the DuPont State Forest. Another of these falls were Linville Falls, in the mountains of North Carolina.

Reception

The Last of the Mohicans opened to wide acclaim, with critics praising the film for its cinematography and music. Critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film "...quite an improvement on Cooper's all but unreadable book, and a worthy successor to the Randolph Scott version," going on to say that "The Last of the Mohicans is not as authentic and uncompromised as it claims to be — more of a matinee fantasy than it wants to admit — but it is probably more entertaining as a result."[3] However, some reviewers panned the film, such as The Washington Post's Desson Howe, who called the movie "glam-opera" and "the MTV version of gothic romance". Howe added that, while "Day-Lewis doesn't act so much as bare himself, fire flintlocks, and pose in picturesque positions," the film was "stirring".[4] Another reviewer, The Washington Post's Rita Kempley, recognized the heavy drama, writing that the film "sets new standards when it comes to pent-up passion", but commented positively on the "spectacular scenery".[5]

The Last of the Mohicans is certified "Fresh" at the film site Rotten Tomatoes, with a positive rating of 97% (28 reviews out of 29 counted fresh).[6]

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Box office

The film opened in the United States on September 25, 1992 in 1,856 theaters.It was the number 1 movie on its opening weekend. By the end of its first weekend The Last of the Mohicans had generated $10,976,661, and by the end of its domestic run the film had made $75,505,856.[7]

Director's Expanded Edition

A "Director's Expanded Edition" was released in which Michael Mann trimmed or removed material and some additional footage was inserted, increasing overall run time by 3 minutes. The new material was often intercut within the original theatrical sequences. The violence is slightly occluded, although more detail is given to battle scenes. The ending is also slightly extended. The Clannad song was removed from the film altogether, but still listed in the song credits. A small amount of the added footage was included in a 1996 CBS network television airing.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=lastofthemohicans.htm
  2. ^ Haskew, Mike (2006-09-01). "Star-Spangled Hawks Take Wing". 33. Blade Magazine. pp. 30–37. 
  3. ^ Roger Ebert (September 25, 1992). "The Last of The Mohicans". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19920925/REVIEWS/209250302/1023. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  4. ^ Desson Howe (September 25, 1992). "The Last of The Mohicans". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/thelastofthemohicansrhowe_a0af0a.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  5. ^ Rita Kempley (September 25, 1992). "The Last of The Mohicans". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/thelastofthemohicansrkempley_a0a32a.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  6. ^ Rotten Tomatoes (March 18, 2007). "Freshness count". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1040678-last_of_the_mohicans/. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  7. ^ Box Office Mojo (March 18, 2007). "The Last of The Mohicans". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=lastofthemohicans.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 film about three trappers who protect a British Colonel's daughters in the midst of the French and Indian War.

Directed by Michael Mann. Written by Michael Mann and Christopher Crowe, based on the novel by James Fenimore Cooper.
The first American hero.

Contents

Hawkeye

  • [to Cora] No, you submit, do you hear? You be strong, you survive... 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.

Others

  • Colonel Munro: Death and honor are thought to be the same, but today I have learned that sometimes they are not.
  • Magua: When the Grey Hair is dead, Magua will eat his heart. Before he dies, Magua will put his children under the knife, so the Grey Hair will know his seed is wiped out forever.
  • Gen. Webb: Kindly inform Major Heyward that he has little to fear from this General Marquis de Montcalm in the first place; and scant need of a colonial militia in the second because the French haven't the nature for war. Their Gallic laziness combines with their Latinate voluptuousness with the result that they would rather eat and make love with their faces than fight.
  • Chingachgook: Great Spirit, Maker of All Life. A warrior goes to you swift and straight as an arrow shot into the sun. Welcome him and let him take his place at the council fire of my people. He is Uncas, my son. Tell them to be patient and ask death for speed; for they are all there but one - I, Chingachgook - Last of the Mohicans.

Dialogue

British Soldier: You call yourself a patriot, and loyal subject to the Crown?
Hawkeye: I do not call myself subject to much at all.

Maj. Heyward: There is a war on. How is it you are heading west?
Hawkeye: Well, we face to the north and, real sudden-like, turn left.

Maj. Heyward: And who empowered these colonials to pass judgment on England's policies, and to come and go without so much as a "by your leave"?
Cora Munro: They do not live their lives "by your leave"! They hack it out of the wilderness with their own two hands, bearing their children along the way!
Maj. Heyward: You are defending him because you've become infatuated with him!
Cora Munro: Duncan, you are a man with a few admirable qualities, but taken as a whole, I was wrong to have thought so highly of you.

Jack Winthrop: You're not coming with us?
Hawkeye: I've got a reason to stay.
Jack Winthrop: That reason wear a striped skirt and work in the surgery?
Hawkeye: It does. No offense, but it's a better looking reason than you, Jack Winthrop.

Cora Munro: They're going to hang you. Why didn't you leave when you had the chance?
Hawkeye: Because what I'm interested in is right here.

[From the Director's Expanded Edition]
Chingachgook: The frontier moves with the sun and pushes the Red Man of these wilderness forests in front of it until one day there will be nowhere left. Then our race will be no more, or be not us.
Hawkeye: That is my father's sadness talking.
Chingachgook: No, it is true. The frontier place is for people like my white son and his woman and their children. And one day there will be no more frontier. And men like you will go too, like the Mohicans. And new people will come, work, struggle. Some will make their life. But once, we were here.

Cast

External links


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