AP US History
21 June 2012
The Last of the Mohicans
The movie Last of the Mohicans, a story about race and the difficulty of overcoming racial divides, is based on a novel by James Fenimore Cooper, and directed by Michael Mann, who released it September 25th, 1992, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe and Russell Means. The story revolves around a clan of Native Americans called the Mohicans, in which the main characters are Hawkeye, his adopted father Chingachgook, and his adopted brother Uncas. Chingachgook, and his son Uncas, are the last of the Mohican tribe or blood line. This movie is about two societies, France and Britain, going to war. But in the midst of the war there were three different societies. Cora and her younger sister, Alice, both recent arrivals to the colonies, are being escorted to their father, Colonel Munro, by a troop of British soldiers. Along the way they are ambushed by a Huron war party led by Magua, a sinister warrior with a blood vendetta against Munro. Munro's soldiers are wiped out and Cora herself is nearly killed by Magua but is saved at the last moment by Hawkeye, a white trapper raised by the Mohican tribe. Hawkeye promises to take Cora and her sister safely to their father, and along the way Cora and the intense Hawkeye fall in love. Together they must survive wilderness, war, and the relentless pursuit of Magua.
While the film, like the novel, is more of a historical romance, much care was taken with recreating accurate costumes and props. The film features a Fort William Henry reconstructed based on historical documents. The siege of the fort is a good representation of the siege warfare of the 18th century epitomized by General Montcalm's investment of Fort William Henry and the large scale military actions that marked the latter phase of the French and Indian War. One scene in the Director's Cut features Heyward and a group of British Grenadiers using the classic rank and file advance to decimate a group of...
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