The Last of the Mohicans

Watch The Last of the Mohicans

"James Fenimore Cooper's Greatest Tale Of Rousing Adventure!"
  • Passed
  • 1936
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 6.6  (1,598)

The Last of the Mohicans, released in 1936, is a seminal film adaptation of the classic historical novel by James Fenimore Cooper, set during the brutal conflict of the French and Indian War in the mid-18th century. Directed by George B. Seitz, this version is one of the several adaptations of Cooper's tale, each bringing a different interpretation and cinematic style to the frontier epic.

This iteration stars Randolph Scott as Hawkeye, also known as Natty Bumppo, a white man who has been adopted by the Mohican tribe and lives among them. Scott's portrayal of Hawkeye is robust and stoic, which was in keeping with the idealized frontier hero of the time. The film follows Hawkeye and his Mohican companions, Chingachgook (played by Robert Barrat) and Uncas (played by Philip Reed), as they navigate the treacherous political landscape of colonial America.

The female lead, Binnie Barnes, plays Alice Munro, who, alongside her sister Cora, becomes entwined in the perils of the frontier warfare after setting off to join their father, Colonel Munro, at his fortress. Henry Wilcoxon portrays Major Duncan Heyward, a British officer who is also the romantic interest for Cora, but finds himself in a complex interplay of duty, desire, and cultural conflicts.

As the story unfolds, the small group winds its way through the scenic but perilous wilderness, moving between the British and French forces and the various Native American tribes allied to each side. They seek to protect the Munro sisters from the dangers of the wild terrain and the brutalities of war. The time period is vividly depicted, with attention given to the historical context of the struggle between European powers for control of the North American continent, as well as the impact on the indigenous populations.

The movie is marked by its action-packed sequences, including musket and tomahawk fights that convey the violent and unpredictable nature of frontier battles. The cinematography captures the imposing forests and mountainous terrains of the region, providing the film with a grand sense of scale and the unforgiving nature of the wilderness in which the characters find themselves.

The Last of the Mohicans from 1936 also delves into themes of loyalty, identity, and cultural clash. Hawkeye, as a character caught between two worlds—the European settlers and the Mohican tribe—embodies the struggles of existing across cultural divides. The narrative explores the idea of a melting pot of cultures and the complexities arising from colonization and conflict amongst different peoples.

As with any film of its era, The Last of the Mohicans also reflects the filmmaking techniques and perspectives of the time. The depiction of Native American characters and culture in the 1936 movie is very much a product of its time, with characterizations that lack the authenticity and sensitivity found in modern cinema. However, it remains an important piece of film history as it provides a lens into the perceptions and representations of native peoples during the early 20th century.

The musical score, composed by Roy Webb, underlines the epic nature of the story, employing grand orchestral arrangements to highlight moments of tension, romance, and danger. While not typically remembered for its score, the music of the film effectively supports the emotional arcs and the sweeping landscape that is crucial to the movie's atmosphere.

One of the standout aspects of this cinematic adaptation is the pacing of the story. The Last of the Mohicans moves quickly, keeping audiences engaged with a blend of romance, suspense, and adventure. There is a clear effort to blend historical drama with the sensibilities of a 1930s adventure film. It includes enough romance and heroic bravado to appeal to a broad range of moviegoers, while also paying homage to Cooper's beloved classic novel.

Despite its dated elements, The Last of the Mohicans from 1936 remains an influential piece in the canon of early American cinema and has laid the groundwork for subsequent adaptations. Its portrayal of early American history, although not without flaws through a contemporary lens, still manages to capture the imagination of viewers with its tale of love, survival, and heroism set against the backdrop of a young, tumultuous America. The film's legacy continues to resonate, serving as a reminder of the enduring appeal of exploring America’s frontier past through the silver screen.

The Last of the Mohicans is a 1936 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.

The Last of the Mohicans
Where to Watch The Last of the Mohicans
The Last of the Mohicans is available to watch free on Plex, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Last of the Mohicans for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (1,598)