The Last of the Mohicans, directed by George B. Seitz and starring Randolph Scott, is a film, based on James Fenimore CooperÆs novel of the same name. The film revolves around William PittÆs efforts to persuade George II to expel the French from North America. Major Duncan Heyward asks the Americans for assistance as the British march toward Fort Henry. In the meantime, a love interest develops between Alice Munro, daughter of Colonel Munro, and Major Heyward. The Americans agree as long as they protect their property from Indian attack, but Hawkeye (Scott) refuses and warns Munro and an Indian scout. Hawkeye, Chingachgook and Uncas shoot the Hurons and capture Heyward, Alice and her sister.
Against the shadow of French forces they secretly enter Fort Henry where fighting ensues for ten days. Munro eventually surrenders to General Montcalm of the Hurons. Magua incites the Hurons to attack and Colonel Munro is shot. Cora jumps to her death and Hawkeye and Alice are captured. Chingachgook kills Magua and Alice and Heyward are allowed to leave after a shooting match. Eventually Hawkeye is acquitted and becomes a scout. Alice promises she will wait for him. The story is primarily revealed through the experiences of Chingachgook, his son Uncas (the last Mohican), and Hawkeye, the frontiersman also known as Natty Bumppo.
Historically The Last of the Mohicans is filled with the action, adventure, romance and hope that represented frontier life. However, despite its noble attempts at portraying the successful defense of Fort Henry, the film falls short as a historical record of the era in many other ways. Despite such shortcomings, the film is an excellent attempt to portray the complex and difficult race relations in America during the era depicted. This is true with respect to the relationship among the French, British, Americans and Native Americans.
The novel on which the film is based was published during the...