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VINE VOICEon 18 March 2005
The director's cut version of "The Last of the Mohicans" available on DVD is one of the most disappointing expanded editions of a movie I have ever seen. This is true not only because there the DVD edition is devoid of any extras, but mainly because the scenes that were added did not add anything significant and (even worse) a couple of well remembered scenes have had the music and editing changed, essentially wrecking them. Fortunately, I still have my original laser disc edition of this 1992 film and the rest of your can soldier on with this videotape version. Besides seeing the "original," the other requirement is that you want to see this film letterboxed: when I saw the scene where the British troops and settlers leaving the fort after the surrender and attacked on both sides by the Hurons, I knew right then and there that seeing this movie in pan-and-scan was going to seriously dilute the experience.
Director Michael Mann was inspired as much by 1936 Randolph Scott version of "The Last of the Mohicans," with a screenplay by Philip Dunne, as he was by James Fenimore Cooper's original novel. This is just as good, because after seeing Mann's movie I tried to read Cooper's novel and I could not even get halfway through that ponderous book. This version is also skewed by the television series "M*A*S*H," where the character of Benjamin Franklin Pierce was called "Hawkeye" because his father loved Cooper's novel. Ironically, this meant the name was so identified with Alan Alda's character that it would no longer work in its original context. But then the name of Cooper's hero was Natty Bumppo, and that was not going to work either, so in this incarnation our hero is called "Nathaniel."
Nathaniel is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, and his character spends a lot of time in this movie running through scenes with an intensity that becomes palatably ferocious at times. Although filmed in North Carolina, the movie is set in upstate New York during the French & Indian War. Nathaniel is hunting deer in the forest with his adopted family, Chingachgook (Russell Means) and Uncas (Eric Schweig) and planning on wintering down south in Ken-tuck-ee. The French are invading and the local settlers are in danger, but this is not Nathaniel's concern. But then he comes across signs of a Huron war party and comes to rescue of a party of British troops, led by the haughty Major Duncan Heyward (Steven Waddington), and escorting Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe) and her younger sister Alice (Jodhi May) to Fort William Henry, commanded by their father, Colonel Edmund Munro (Maurice Roëves).
The British party was betrayed by its scout, Magua (Wes Studi), who has been insulted by Colonel Munro and wants to see him dead and to wipe his seed from the earth. Major Hayward, already angered by Cora's refusal of his proposal of marriage, is enraged by not only her interest in Nathaniel, but in the Nathaniel agrees to see to their safety and escrots them to the besieged fort. The scene in which they enter, lit at night by only by the light of torches, while the musical score carries the scenes, is by favorite in a film filled with gorgeous photography and heroic music. Mann has always thought in terms of that particular combination, going to back to not only his "MTV Cops" on "Miami Vice," but his use of Iron Butterfly's 'In-a-gadda-da-vida" at the end of "Manhunter" (the original film version of "The Red Dragon" by Thomas Harris). But in "The Last of the Mohicans" he creates a sublime fusion between images and sound again and again throughout the film.
The musical score by Randy Edelman and Trevor Jones is one of my all-time favorites and if I had to guess which non-musical soundtrack I have listened to the most in my life, this would be the winner (John Williams for the original "Star Wars" places and Randy Newman for "The Natural" shows). Given the number of times this music has been used (to wit, ripped off) in movie trailers since then, I must not be alone in my thinking (I had a bias against "Legends of the Fall," the first movie to employ "The Last of the Mohicans" score in its trailer because of its heresy in doing so). The opening deer hunt, the entrance into the fort, the stolen moments between Nathaniel and Cora, the canoe chase on the river, and the entire final chase up the mountain for the final battle, all rely on the music and the images, with a minimal of dialogue.
I think that "The Last of the Mohicans" is a prefect date movie with a great balance between the romance and the action. The romance is communicated with looks more than words. The most romantic thing either one of them says is when Cora catches Nathaniel staring at her. "What are you looking at, sir?" she demands. "I'm looking at you, miss" he replied without averting his gaze. When he has to abandon Cora to be able to save her and her sister, the closest he comes to telling Cora that he loves her is when Nathaniel tells her to stay alive, no matter what, promising "I will find you." Then they look at each other, trapped in a cave beneath a waterfall, drinking in the sight of each other for what could be the final time.
As I indicated earlier, I had not read the novel "The Last of the Mohicans," or even the Classics Illustrated comic book version. For that matter I had not seen the 1936 version. As a result, I did not know what was going to happen next in this film, and I was so caught up with what was happening that I actually sat in the theater wondering what was going to happen next when we were literally up to the final scene. This movie is so captivating than even now, when I know the plot of Cooper's original story (Uncas and Cora are the doomed lovers), I dismiss the literary source in terms of Mann's cinematic result.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 28 October 2014
'Last of the Mohicans' is certainly one of my all-time-favourite movies, it has everything from love and
revenge to some brilliant action sequences.
The story is set in the middle of the 18th century at a time when 'Britain' and 'France' were in conflict
over the Northern Territories.
The British demanding that many from the Territories left their family to join a 'Militia' to fight the French,
while the French had help from the Indian tribes such as the 'Huron'
'Chingachgook' (Russell Means) along with his son 'Uncas' (Eric Schweig) and adopted son 'Hawkeye'
(Nathaniel Poe) played by 'Daniel Day Lewis' make a living in the forests close to Hudson-Bay hunting
as 'Chingachgook's' forefathers had done for centuries past.
The three are challenged to join the Militia' but refuse to do so.........
The Daughters 'Cora' (Madeleine Stowe) and 'Alice' (Jodhi May) of the commander at 'Fort William Henry'
'Colonel Edmund Munro' (Maurice Roeves) are on route to join him.
A column of soldiers accompany them commanded by 'Major Duncan Heyward' (Steven Waddington) who
has romantic notions toward 'Cora Munro'....they are joined on the journey by supposed friend of the British
'Magua' (Wes Studi) who acts as a guide.
However on route the column are attacked by followers of 'Magua' ...in the close-by forest 'Hawkeye' along
with his adopted family hear the disturbance and go to investigate.
'Alice' and 'Cora' along with the Major are saved by the three, the remainder perish at the hands of 'Magua's'
When arriving close to the fort they find it to be under siege by the French. however 'Cora' and 'Alice' are smuggled
in by a little ingenuity from 'Hawkeye' 'Chingachgook' and 'Uncas' to join their father.
The fort is heavily outnumbered and outgunned by the French, with no help coming 'Colonel Munro' is forced to
accept the terms of surrender offered by the French Commander, they are offered safe passage on the understanding
that they just keep travelling until they reach the shores of Britain,though the French Commander knows that he is
only releasing the soldiers to fight another day.
'Magua' who has vowed to avenge his children that 'Col Munro's' forces had killed sometime before, he intends to kill
'Cora' and 'Alice' then rip out the Heart of the Colonel.
'Magua' and his warriors ambush the retreating column, only the few survive, 'Hawkeye' who has now fallen for 'Cora'
saves the sisters again with his adoped brother and father-figure escaping in a canoe, as have 'Major Heyward' and
a small number of soldiers.
The story continues with 'Magua' and a now small band of warriors giving chase one that will lead to tragedy for some,
with a finally as 'Magua' squares up to both 'Uncas' and then 'Chingachgook' one to one.
As mentioned earlier this remains a favourite of mine, it has a good story-line coupled with plenty of action sequences.
This was 'Daniel Day Lewis's' depute, what a superb opening role for him.
The Blu-ray upgrade is superb.
Special Features -
* The Directors Definitive Cut
* Commentary by Michael Mann
* Making of The Last of The Mohicans featurette.
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on 24 February 2016
The Original cut hasn't been released in the United States since it was released on the big screen and on VHS. All we Americans get are director's cuts. (Both Expanded version and Definitive Cut). I bought this along with the region 1 DVD to compare what has been deleted and added. It's a great movie anyway. Seeing Daniel with that hair makes me want to grab scissors and chop them off. In the United States, it felt like a PG-13 to me because the violence is historically accurate. In the UK, to me it felt like it's classified PG.
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on 7 September 2012
I saw Last of the Mohicans when it came out, and like practically everyone, loved it. Had it on VHS, then went to DVD...and was horribly disappointed that the Director's Cut in the US left out small bits of dialogue, added a speech at the end, left out the Clannad song, etc.

I showed it to my husband, who had never seen the movie, and was really let down that he wasn't able to see the original.

Another reviewer on Amazon had posted that buying the DVD from Amazon UK was the way to get the theatrical release in all it's original glory (MANY THANKS TO THAT REVIEWER!), and I ordered immediately.

The DVD arrived VERY quickly, esp. given that it was coming from overseas, and the day it arrived, that night we sat down to watch it.

Even the smallest bits of dialogue make such a difference - for example, when Nathaniel and Duncan are talking at the waterfall about whether or not Nathaniel is a scout or not. For some reason, the Director's Cut leaves out one single line of Nathaniel's - but it is that one line that really explains the sour expression on Duncan's face immediately afterwards and sets the stage for the further rivalry between the two men later on.

I think that in the Director's Cut, in total, there are maybe five or six lines of dialogue that are left out...the speech added at the end...and the missing Clannad song...but those changes really make for a very different movie in a way that is hard to explain, but is obvious when the movies are watched back to back (as we did).

My husband saw the Director's Cut first, the theatrical release second, and he agrees: the theatrical release is by far the better version.

So if you are a U.S. resident who yearns for the original version, go ahead and buy this DVD; you will NOT be sorry.

Top stars to the seller I bought from: the shipping was amazingly fast, and the DVD version has great sound and is very clear and bright, far more so than my old VHS copy that I'd kept around all these years (always intending to eventually transfer it onto DVD somehow...tricky since we no longer have a VHS player, which is why it kept getting put off, and I didn't want to pay a professional service to transfer it only to wind up with the grainy VHS flaws).
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on 6 December 2012
Firstly, I think this film is great.

Now on to the UK Blu-ray. Like reviews for the American one's the picture on this is also dark, I wonder if this is deliberate to hide the little or no effort they have put into the transfer. If you look at older films, such as Zulu or Alien,you will see how amazing blu-rays can be. This film is a lot newer and it really was poor. It also comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio sound track and this was quite underwhelming as well.

So all in all a real missed opportunity for an awesome film...damn shame!
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on 29 June 2017
Some pros and cons to this product. Honestly has to be said.

First of all, to get it out of the way because it has to be mentioned and is necessary to be understood before buying the cons of the product:

-The dvd versions of the film and even not to mention the different VHS versions of this film as well to think, are all actually much better than the blu-ray version. The reason for this is because the picture quality, sound and everything else that goes is in fact, much better on the dvd and vhs versions of the film. Whether it is the directors cut on dvd, the expanded edition or any just normal edition of the film even on either dvd or vhs. Such is what you want so, my advice as a die-hard fan of this film, buy the dvd versions and all of those better that came before ever considering the blu-ray version. I myself was under the impression that the blu-ray version would be better and more updated than the previous. Its in fact not at all but a step back from it, a considerable step back from in every way, a step back and nothing but within that.

Second of all, last but not least, the pros:

- If you are really into any Last of the mohicans memorabilia and also happened to be into your blu-rays as well, then this is one title to definitely add to your collection. Enough said at that. Enough said at that and nothing else.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 November 2012
The Last of the Mohicans is directed by Michael Mann who also co-adapts the screenplay with Christopher Crowe from James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same name. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig, Jodhi May, Steven Waddington and Wes Studi. Music is scored by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman and cinematography by Dante Spinotti.

1757 during the French and Indian War, Hawkeye (Lewis), a white man who was adopted by the Mohicans, finds himself on a perilous journey to escort a couple of British sisters to their father's fort. This journey brings him, and his companions, into conflict with Magua (Studi), a sadistic Huron warrior seeking revenge on the girls' father.

Inspired by the Randolph Scott film of the same name made in 1936, Michael Mann gives his all to create a stirring classical epic fit to sit in the company of the historical greats of old. Visually it's a treat of some magnitude, where aided by Spinotti, Mann frames his characters in the glorious vistas provided by the North Carolinas. For those with a bent for historical narratives, Mann's film also is not found wanting, in fact it's a cerebral delight. There's romantic strands that sit right in the colourful quilt, action expertly staged and handled by the talented director and the cast, led by a superbly athletic and serious Day-Lewis, are impressive and doing justice to the requisite characters written on the page, and the musical score enhances mood with swirling beauty coupling with primitive potency that wraps itself snugly around the story.

Mann gets all the key ingredients right, but it's his ability to balance the human drama with the energised action that is most impressive. The film is also thankfully devoid of boorish filler, this is a troubled time in history, with much political activity and complex racial manoeuvres, but Mann doesn't need to fill the screen with political posturing and drawn out speeches. We know all we need to know about the period in question, but the story is kept intimate, the focus on a small group of people, of whose fate we most assuredly have interest in. While on the edges of the frame we know we are witnessing the death of an era, for better or worse on different sides of the coin. Also pays to note that Mann's well known penchant for the meticulous is evident as well, for he details the native characters with considerable care.

It's not flawless, accents fluctuate, the odd fake look slips into the production design and the director does what many American directors do, they come dangerously close to caricaturing their British officers, but this is still great heroic escapism tinged with romanticism. Something for everyone who loves classical cinema in fact. 9/10
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on 26 August 2010
I came across the pond to buy a copy of one of my favorite films, viz., the theatrical version of The Last of the Mohicans only to slip it into my all region Blu-ray player and discover it was not anamorphic. To blow it up on the display only degrades the picture quality. It is unforgivable in this day and age for any company to release a disk without making it anamorphic and worse yet that Amazon.uk did not note this condition. I would not have purchased it had I known. This is a great film with stunning visuals, a superb sound track and excellent story well acted and directed. Wait for the Blu-ray to come out. The Last Of The Mohicans [1992] [DVD]
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on 7 March 2018
I’ve adored this movie since the first time I saw it, so I’m super happy that I was finally able to get the dvd and can now watch it whener I want. And it arrived one day earlier, so I’m twice as happy.
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on 27 April 2011
This film is masterful because the key decisions were 'got right' in 1992. Daniel Day Lewis as Nathaniel, famously ran around in the woods for weeks, intensely preparing for the role and almost a decade on, it shows. He is, like his surrogate Mohican companions completely believable. Thus is doesn't matter that the style of the film is slightly dated in places; that some of the acting seems a little 'hammy' (some of the accents dodgy) 9 years on. Wes Studi as the embittered Magua brings a creation to the screen the like of which, almost had never been seen before, or has been seen since. The key actors in the movie having successfully been transmuted into the the 18th century protagonists (because, this is the calibre of acting were talking about), Michael Mann did what he does best and concentrated on capturing what the actors were doing, as well as the context that they were responding to, and what you get is a sweeping visual feast bringing 18th century frontier America to life. This, letting of masterful performers 'do their thing' while he concentrates on capturing them and their background is what takes Michael Mann's films often to great heights, but when the actors aren't up to the job, this method can leave his movies lacking substance. This film is an instance where the Michael Mann method works really well and even after 9 years, watching it is a heady authentic experience as the combination of immersive acting and direction ( one almost imagines Mann running around, camera in hand with a long Mohican hairstyle, running after Day-Lewis and his companions - the men of action one shot muskets in hand, whose actions are approved of by the wild woods of the American Frontier ) sweeps you up in a visual narrative of rare power. The score is an portent ingredient and is spot on.
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