The Last of the Mohicans

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The Last of the Mohicans

29.98

Not to be confused with the 1992 Michael Mann feature of the same name, nor with any of the many other adaptations on screens big and small, this version of The Last of the Mohicans, produced by the BBC and originally aired in the U.S. on Masterpiece Theater in the early 1970s, is widely considered the most faithful to James Fenimore Cooper's novel. That's a mixed blessing, to say the least. On the one hand, this Mohicans, with eight episodes (offered here on two discs) totaling some six hours, is undeniably thorough. Cooper's tale, taking place in 1757 and set in upstate New York during Britain's so-called French and Indian War, concerns the heroic adventures of Natty Bumppo, called Hawkeye (portrayed by Kenneth Ives), and his Indian companions Chingachgook (John Abineri) and Uncas (Richard Warwick), Chingachgook's son and the true last of the Mohican tribe. While the French and their Indian allies battle the British for control of Canada and northeastern America, Hawkeye and friends are preoccupied with Cora and Alice Munro (Patricia Maynard and Joanna David), the daughters of a Scottish colonel who commands Ft. William Henry and the prey of the evil Magua (Philip Madoc), a Huron who seeks Cora as his squaw and revenge against her father for past wrongs. The girls' quest to reach their father makes Homer's Odyssey look like a three-hour tour; there are constant captures and rescues, heroic and dastardly deeds by the bucketful, and a good deal of detail about a conflict that set both Euro against Euro and Indian against Indian. What's more, Cooper's sympathy toward the Native Americans, who even then could see that their way of life was being obliterated by the palefaces and their smooth-tongued treacheries, comes through loud and clear.

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