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.”
Review: Rotton Tomatoes / Tomatometer = 97% / Audience = 84%
Review: Turner Classic Movies
“The lanky Day-Lewis underwent a rigorous schedule of fitness training to build muscle and a six month study of wilderness skills, from tracking animals and building canoes to fighting with tomahawks and loading and firing a flintlock on the run, to prepare for the role.”
Challenging and stirring entertainment in a decade that seemed to be out of touch with adventure classics, The Last of the Mohicans was inbued with a newfound sensibility and daring by the gifted Michael Mann. An epic tale remarkably condensed into just under two hours of rock-solid storytelling, Mohicans operates on its own agenda and breaks a few conventions of the genre, but provides ample rewards.
“Mann’s adaptation of the novel falls into that elite category of truly excellent film adaptations of novels, and is in fact an improvement on the original version.”
MICHAEL MANN / DIRECTOR
(2011) Luck (TV series) – Pilot / 2009 Public Enemies / 2006 Miami Vice / 2004 Collateral / 2001 Ali / 1999 The Insider / 1995 Heat / 1992 The Last of the Mohicans / 1989 L.A. Takedown (TV movie) / 1987 Crime Story (TV series) /1986 Manhunter / 1983The Keep / 1981 Thief / 1979 The Jericho Mile (TV movie) / 1977 Police Woman (TV series) / 1972 / 17 Days Down the Line (documentary short) / 1971 / Jaunpuri (short) / 1968 / Insurrection (documentary)
Daniel Day Lewis
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.”
The Appalachian Armoury
IMFBD – Internet Movie Firearms Database
DVD and Subsequent Releases:
|The Last of the Mohicans: Director’s Definitive Cut||Blu-ray||10/14/10||Recommended|
|The Last of the Mohicans||DVD Video||2/13/07||Recommended|
|Last Of The Mohicans (DTS)||DVD Video||1/11/01||Highly Recommended|
|The Last Of The Mohicans: Director’s Cut||DVD Video||3/20/00||Highly Recommended|
|Last of the Mohicans||DVD Video||1/4/00||Highly Recommended|
There now exists 5 separate DVD releases of this film. Please note that at least one has not be well recieved by fans (The Last of the Mohicans: Definitive Director’s Cut)
Review: Director’s Expanded Edition of the Last of the Mohicans 1992
“We were quite surprised that this edition was able to surpass that which had so inspired us!”
Watch The Last of the Mohicans (1936) movie online for free
There have been several versions of The Last of the Mohicans, a silent version, a 1936 version with Randolph Scott and a telemovie from the 1970s with Steve Forrest.
Daniel Day-Lewis was a big box-office star at the time - having won the best actor Oscar only two years earlier for “My left Foot”.
Daniel Day-Lewis is well known for going to extremes in preparation for his roles. For this film he lived in the wilderness where his character might have lived, hunting and fishing and living off the land for several months prior to shooting.
Hawkeye’s real name in the Last of the Mohican’s novel is Natty Bumppo, but was changed to Nathaniel Poe for the film to avoid titters from the audience.
Jodhi May has said that much of her role disappeared on the cutting room floor.
The film was originally scheduled for a Summer 1992 release, as the teaser posters said, but when Michael Mann’s first version clocked in at three hours, he was told by Fox to cut the film down and the release was postponed to September. Mann was never happy with the resulting two hour version, feeling he had not had enough time to properly trim it, and so Fox allowed him to re-edit it entirely for the 1999 DVD release. Although only a few minutes longer, the new version features minor changes throughout the film. It is Mann’s preferred version and the only one available on DVD in the US.
The actual historical attack by the Hurons after the surrender of Ft. William Henry was directed at the colonial militia and its Indian allies – not the British. Munro and the British regulars were at the head of the column under the protection of French soldiers and did not know that the column had been attacked until they arrived at Ft. Edward. The British then used the attack to stir up the colonials to join in the fight against the French. In all versions of the movie except this one, Munro survives and is saved by Hawkeye. Munroe survived in real life as well.
By most accounts, there were on average at least 20 takes for each set-up. Such lengthy shootings (and the ensuing costs) would account for 20th Century Fox sending a Rep to do nothing except stand behind Mann and say, “That’s enough Michael, move on”.
Many long nights were spent filming the siege scenes. Loudspeakers were installed around the battlefield and fort so directions could be easily given to the hundreds of cast and crew. One night after many long hours, Mann was heard to shout over the speakers, “What’s that orange light? Turn out that orange light!” After a pause another voice (an A.D.?) came over the speakers stating, “That’s the SUN, Michael.”
Alasdair Fraser, renowned Scotish fiddler, is the fiddler on the soundtrack though he is not credited.
Hawkeye’s rifle is a beautiful example of the classic Pennsylvania long rifle – which is all too frequently misnamed the “Kentucky” rifle. Considered by many to be among the most beautiful firearms ever crafted, Pennsylvania long rifles often feature a small lock, long, slim, graceful lines, and beautifully carved “tiger” maple stocks.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Sound (Chris Jenkins, Doug Hempshill, Mark Smith, Simon Kaye)
Notable Links / Sites
On the Trail of the Last of the Mohicans
“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.” – Magua
“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.”