The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

One of the best endings, great score and visuals, great cast

Runs a little long in the middle

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Last of the Mohicans

Studio:  Morgan Creek Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Drama/Romance

Release Date(s):  August 26, 1992 (France)/September 25, 1992 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


Let’s kick some ass!

It is 1757, and war is raging between the English and the French and Indians.  Caught in the middle of the battle are the settlers of America who are divided on their loyalties.  When Major Duncan Heyward (Steven Waddington) is ordered to lead the daughters of Colonel Edmund Munro (Maurice Roëves) to Fort William Henry, he’s assigned messenger Huron chief Magua (Wes Studi) to lead them through the dark forests of upper New York…but Heyward doesn’t know that Magua is working for the French.  Cora (Madeleine Stowe) and Alice Munro (Jodhi May) are saved from an ambush by Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis), Chingachgook (Russell Means), and Chingachgook’s son Uncas (Eric Schweig) who find loyalty to America rather than the English…and the conflict is increasing as Magua plots his revenge.


Yeah, that’s right, I eat hearts…great protein

Directed by Michael Mann, The Last of the Mohicans is an adaptation of the 1826 novel by James Fenimore Cooper.  The movie was released to strong reviews and box office return and the soundtrack to the film also was a big seller.  The movie won an Oscar for Best Sound.

I love The Last of the Mohicans.  Despite having been in much better movies with much better acting, it is probably my favorite Daniel Day Lewis film (yes, I recognize There Will Be Blood, Gangs of New York, and My Left Foot are better).  The movie’s epic nature was something lacking at the time and the visuals left you wanting to go back in time.


These guys do it so much better than Kate and Leo…

Despite being an adaptation of The Last of the Mohicans, the movie actually is closer to the 1936 film.  James Fenimore Cooper is one of America’s earliest writers, but many critics recognize that his fame comes from this instead of the quality of his writing.  The movie leaves out the idea that Cora is mixed race and smartly focuses on the romance and storytelling (also changing Natty Bumppo’s name to simply Nathaniel or Hawkeye).  The drama is slow building along with the romance and culminates in one of the best endings in film.

Daniel Day Lewis is always a pro.  Here, he takes on the rough and tumbled look of Nathaniel and it really feels that he could have lived in that period.  Stowe doesn’t get as much time to develop, but she and the supporting cast do a great job setting the scene.  The scene stealer is Wes Studi as Magua who owns all of his scenes.  You can see the hatred in his eyes and the script justifies it.  He is one of cinema’s all-time great villains (plus he shows some compassion near the end when trying to convince Alice back from the ledge).


How this movie didn’t get a nomination for Cinematography, I do not know…

The visuals and sound of the movie really suck the viewer in.  It makes you wish you could go back and see a relatively untouched America.  It does a great job presenting a world where roads are paths more than roads and you might cross a field into a deep, dark woods.  The movie’s visuals are tied to the music which sweeps and soars…it adapts “The Gael” by Dougie MacLean and therefore made it ineligible for an Oscar nomination.

The Last of the Mohicans is a great film, but also a dirty pleasure in that a lot of the movie is just melodrama, but it is melodrama done right.  I always feel that The Last of the Mohicans is what Titanic should have been because it not only is sweeping and epic but a powerful romance.  The last twenty minutes of the film might be one of the best sequences of all time and I sometimes find myself watching it by itself.  Check out The Last of the Mohicans…it is a classic that has staying power.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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