Images of America

A Social and Historical Look
at America Through the Movies

Study Guide - Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Director : Michael Mann

Stars :
Daniel Day-Lewis .... Hawkeye/Nathaniel
Madeleine Stowe .... Cora Munro
Russell Means .... Chingachgook
Eric Schweig .... Uncas
Jodhi May .... Alice Munro
Steven Waddington .... Maj. Duncan Heyward
Wes Studi .... Magua
Maurice Roëves .... Col. Edmund Munro
Patrice Chéreau .... Gen Montcalm

Preparation :
Read the movie reviews by Roger Ebert, the New York Times Review and The Short History of the French and Indian War.

Historical/Social Significance :
The Last of the Mohicans is set in 1757 during the 3rd year of the war between England and France (The French and Indian War / Seven Years War). The story takes place around Albany, NY. The French were allied with the Hurons while the British are allied with the Mohawks.

The movie shows the British attitude towards the colonists, which was one of the reasons for the American Revolution. The colonials view point can be seen through the eyes of Cora, who sees first hand how British policy is affecting the colonials.

The film depicts the siege of Fort William Henry, which fell August 9, 1757.

Synopsis :
Loosely based on the 1826 James Fenimore Cooper novel, it tells the story of Hawkeye, a colonial settler who was adapted son of the Mohican Chingachgook and adapted brother of Uncas. The three of them have a series of adventures during the French and Indian wars.

    Guided Questions for Viewing :
    Assessment questions will be based on the following :
  • If you were a Native American I think you could make a case for Magua being this movie's hero. Defend this position.
  • What does the movie do to make Magua appear unsympathetic?
  • Why would the Indians ally themselves with the British or French when it was really their lands that were being lost to these colonial powers?
  • Using Roger Ebert's review as a starting point compare and contrast this movie with Black Robe
  • What character made the greatest development as a person during this movie? Give examples of this development.
  • I think a case can be made for describing Uncas and Chingachgook as naive, and possibly, as traitors who were collaborating with the enemy. discuss this point of view with reference to the film.
  • During the movie, Cora came to realize that she is in a new world with new ideas that challenge British assumptions. Her attitude can be seen as representing the colonists' views in pre-Revolutionary America. Comment on this with specific references from the film.

1. Maslin , Janet. "The Last of the Mohicans." Sept. 25, 1992.
2. Ebert, Roger. "the Last of the Mohicans." Sept. 25, 1992.

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