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The Last of the Mohicans

(silent 1920 b 73')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from James Fenimore Cooper's novel, two sisters are captured by Indians after their father surrenders Fort William Henry to the French.

In the summer of 1757 a chief sends his son Uncas (Alan Roscoe) to warn the English at Fort Edward. Cora Munro (Barbara Bedford) plays the harp while Major Heyward (Henry Woodward) dances with Alice Munro (Lillian Hall). Uncas arrives and says the Hurons are on the warpath.

Col. Munro (James Gordon) defends nearby Fort William Henry from a French attack led by Montcalm. The Indian runner Magua (Wallace Beery) carries a message from Col. Munro to General Webb (Sydney Deane) asking for 3,000 men. Cora and Alice will go with Magua to their father. Captain Randolph (George Hackathorne) rides with his men.

Magua takes a secret path and is followed by Cora and Alice on horses. The preacher David Gamut (Nelson McDowell) joins them. In the rain they come to Uncas and Hawkeye (Harry Lorraine). They realize that Magua is gone. They go to Hawkeye's cave. Cora admires Uncas. They are attacked by Indians. They hide in the cave, but Magua captures them. Magua asks Cora to be his squaw in order to save Alice, but Uncas and Hawkeye rescue them.

Col. Munro greets his daughters and thanks Uncas. Randolph is angry at Cora. Uncas comes to her window and gives her a cloth. Col. Munro tells Randolph their cannons don't work, and their situation is desperate. Randolph turns traitor and tells Montcalm about the cannons. Montcalm meets with Munro and advises him to surrender. Munro agrees.

That night the Hurons get liquor. Magua incites them to attack the prisoners on the road, and a massacre ensues. Cora defends herself and takes Alice's place with Magua. In the fort a fire spreads. Magua takes Cora and Alice to the peaceful Delaware camp. The three chiefs give Cora to Uncas and Alice to Magua. Cora pleads to go in place of Alice, and she leaves with Magua. That night Cora climbs up on a cliff and warns Magua she will jump. He waits for her to sleep; then he grabs her. As Uncas approaches, Magua lets her fall. Uncas and Magua fight. Magua stabs Uncas and runs away, but Hawkeye shoots Magua.

Two different funerals respect the dead ­ one in a valley and the other on a rocky crag. Chingachgook (Theodore Lorch) says that Uncas was the last of the Mohicans.

In this historical drama the characters of Magua and Uncas are contrasted, showing that in all cultures people define themselves by their actions. This massacre caused many in New England to hate and fear Indians; yet Cora demonstrates courage and is open enough to befriend Uncas.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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