Last of the Mohicans (1992)

 

 

Director:   Michael Mann.

Starring:  Daniel Day-Lewis (Hawkeye),  Madeleine Stowe (Cora Munro),  Russell Means (Chingachgook),  Eric Schweig (Uncas),  Jodhi May (Alice Munro),  Steven Waddington (Maj. Duncan Heyward),  Wes Studi (Magua),  Maurice Roves (Col. Edmund Munro),  Patrice Chreau (Gen Montcalm),  Edward Blatchford (Jack Winthrop),  Terry Kinney (John Cameron),  Tracey Ellis (Alexandra Cameron),  Justin M. Rice (James Cameron ),  Dennis Banks (Ongewasgone),  Pete Postlethwaite (Capt. Beams). 

 

Stunning retelling of the James Fenimore Cooper classic.  Day-Lewis fabulous as the character Hawkeye. 

This is a good action flick set against the French victory over the British at Fort William Henry, Lake George, New York.  Of course, they have to bring in a love story to keep the viewers interest.  And Madeleine Stowe is not hard on the eyes.  But the love plays second fiddle to the action.  Another star of the movie is the beautiful mountains of North Carolina where the movie was shot.   

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 

 


Historical Background:

The southernmost French outpost was at Fort Carillon (located between lakes Champlain and George). Not far away, the closest British position was Fort Edward on the banks of the upper Hudson River.

1757 the French attacked a British force under William Johnson on the south shore of Lake George, but were repulsed. The British then constructed the wood-walled Fort William Henry in this area.

1757 the French commander at Fort Carillon, the Marquis de Montcalm, attacked Fort William Henry. The French army consisted of more than 7,000 men (including many Huron Indians).

British General Daniel Webb had visited Fort William Henry, but withdrew to Fort Edward when he got the news that the French were on the move.

Lieutenant Colonel George Munro (Monro) at Fort William Henry only had 2,200 men.

1757 (August) Montcalm began an artillery assault on the fort. The siege too so long that the French contemplated retreating. But they intercepted a message from Webb to Munro saying there would be no reinforcements and that he should surrender.

When the note was shown to the British, terms of surrender were negotiated. The French said that the British would be free to leave to go to Fort Edward.

Before the British forces could depart they were set upon by the Indian forces of the French. A massacre was the result. (In the movie, it is implied that Montcalm gave his approval for this move, but there is little evidence for this. The French even tried to stop it.)

There is controversy about the number killed, estimates varying from 70 and 180 to 1,500.

French soldiers accompanied the British survivors to Fort Edward and then returned to burn Fort William Henry to the ground.


Source:

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1175.html

 

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