The Last of the Mohicans (1920 American film)
|The Last of the Mohicans|
|Directed by||Maurice Tourneur
|Produced by||Maurice Tourneur|
|Written by||Robert A. Dillon
James Fenimore Cooper (novel)
|Music by||Arthur Kay|
|Cinematography||Philip R. Dubois
Charles Van Enger
|Distributed by||Associated Producers, Inc.|
|Release dates||November 21, 1920|
|Running time||73 minutes|
The Last of the Mohicans is a 1920 American film adapted from James Fenimore Cooper's novel with the same name. The movie was adapted by Robert Dillon and directed by Clarence Brown and Maurice Tourneur. The movie tells the story of two English sisters meeting danger on the frontier of the American colonies as they try to reach the fort commanded by their father. The adventure film stars Wallace Beery, Barbara Bedford, Lillian Hall and Alan Roscoe.
In 1757, the French and English are at war. Chingachgook ("Chief Great Serpent" in the intertitles) sends his son Uncas to warn the British at Fort Edward that the Hurons are on the warpath. There, he is admired by Cora Munro, much to the displeasure of her suitor Captain Randolph.
Magua delivers an urgent request for help from Colonel Munro (Cora's father) at Fort William Henry to General Webb, the commander of Fort Edward. Three French divisions and their Indian allies are advancing on Fort William Henry. Webb dispatches reinforcements, accompanied by Cora and her "capricious" younger sister Alice, under the protection of Major Heyward, who is captivated by Alice.
At a certain point, Magua, Heyward and the two women separate from their escort to take a shortcut Magua knows. In the forest, they encounter first David Gamut, then a little later Uncas, Chingachgook and their friend Hawkeye. When Heyward asks for directions to Fort William Henry, the trio become suspicious, finding it difficult to believe an Indian would get lost in the forest. When they seek to question Magua, they discover he has slipped away. Fearing treachery, they take the others to a cave known only to them. While hiding, the danger heightens Cora and Uncas's attraction to each other.
Magua and his men find them, and fierce fighting erupts. Running out of ammunition, Uncas, Chingachgook and Hawkeye try to lure their enemies away, but the attempt fails, and the others are captured. Magua offers to spare "Golden Hair" (Alice) if Cora will be his squaw. Fortunately, Uncas and his friends save them, leaving Magua for dead. He, however, is uninjured.
At Fort William Henry, the situation is very dire. The only thing keeping the besiegers at bay is the fear of the British guns on the left rampart. Unbeknownst to the French, the guns are useless. However, a cowardly Captain Randolph turns traitor and informs Montcalm, the French commander. During a parlay, Montcalm informs Webb he knows about the guns, leaving Webb no choice but to evacuate the fort, with the understanding that they will be allowed to leave unharmed, including the women and children. However, Magua incites the drunk Hurons to attack. (Boris Karloff plays a Huron who wrests a baby away from a mother and throws the infant into the air.)
Magua captures the sisters and takes them to a neutral Delaware village. Uncas and the others follow. Both plead their case before a Delaware council of three. Their judgment is that Cora be released to Uncas, but Magua may keep Alice. Cora offers to exchange places with her sister. According to Delaware law, Magua is protected from Uncas until sundown.
That night, Cora escapes and is pursued by Magua to the edge of a precipice. When she threatens to throw herself off it if he comes any closer, Magua sits down and waits patiently for her to fall asleep. When she does, he grabs her arm. She flings herself off the cliff, but Magua still has hold of her arms. When Uncas appears, however, the situation is reversed: Cora tries to save herself, but Magua uses his knife to pry her fingers loose, and she falls to her death. In the ensuing fight, Magua stabs Uncas, whose body rolls all the way down to rest near that of Cora. Magua flees when Chingachgook and Hawkeye arrive, but Hawkeye shoots him dead. With his last strength, Uncas reaches forth and takes Cora's hand in his before dying.
At the joint funeral, Chingachgook mourns the passing of his son, the last of the Mohicans.
- Wallace Beery as Magua
- Barbara Bedford as Cora Munro
- Lillian Hall as Alice Munro
- Alan Roscoe as Uncas
- Harry Lorraine as Hawkeye
- Henry Woodward as Major Heyward
- James Gordon as Colonel Munro
- George Hackathorne as Captain Randolph
- Nelson McDowell as David Gamut
- Theodore Lorch as Chingachgook
- Jack McDonald as Tamenund
- Sydney Deane as General Webb
- Boris Karloff as Indian (uncredited)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Last of the Mohicans (1920 American film).|
- The Last of the Mohicans at the Internet Movie Database
- The Last of the Mohicans at the TCM Movie Database
- The Last of the Mohicans at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Last of the Mohicans is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]