Monday, September 26, 2011

Movie of the Week – The Last of the Mohicans

This week’s movie is The Last of the Mohicans (1992).

The drama is about Nathaniel Poe, a white-man raised by the Mohican tribe. He and the last two remaining members of their people get caught up in the French and Indian War after they come across a British Major and two women who are being attached by a French-aligned Indian war party. The film is directed by Michael Mann, serving as his first epic (though not his first film) and the beginning of his string of great movies to present (I include Miami Vice in the list, many do not). It is based on the novel by James Fenimore Cooper. Mann has a fantastic group with him including composers Randy Edelman and Trevor Jones (whose score is iconic, here is an example), brilliant cinematographer Dante Spinotti (who also shot Heat, The Insider and Public Enemies for Mann) and production designer Wolf Kroeger. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis, and features supporting work from Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig, Jodhi May, Steven Waddington, and Wes Studi. The film has aspects of a war drama, but seems to really be a romance at its core. Though, many of the best scenes feature intense battles. Mann also does a wonderful job of fleshing out his characters, including many of the supporting parts. The film has a powerful dramatic impact as the result of the great character work. The Last of the Mohicans certainly is not Mann’s best work (that is probably Heat), but it is his first great film. It is a must-see for fans of epic dramas and war dramas. Check out the trailer.

Available on DVD and Streaming

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