Military History

Blogging about the Battlefield since 2005

The “Worst” of the Mohicans

Posted by Daniel Sauerwein on June 16, 2007

Let this serve as my first review of a DVD pertaining (somewhat) to military history.  One of my all time favorite movies is The Last of the Mohicans.  I enjoy both the 1990s version starring Daniel Day-Lewis and the original version from the late 1930s starring Randolph Scott.  The newer version is by far my favorite.  A few months ago, I entered a contest on the Mohican Press forum, an online community dedicated to discussing all things relating to LOTM (the common abbreviation used for the title), including the book, both versions of the movie, television adaptations, and the actual French and Indian War itself.  The contest involved answering who played Hawkeye in the original version of the movie (Randolph Scott) and I was one of ten persons to win the 1970s TV series on the story done by the BBC, which had just been released on DVD.  I was pleased, as I always like free things, which is why I review books for publications (try it, it is fun).  My dad and I finally sat down to watch it together, as I have been in ND for the past six months busy with grad. school, to see how good it was.  IT WASN’T!  First, the filming style changed from movie style for far away scenes involving many actors, to cheap “Cosby Show” (no offense to that show, but it was the first example that came to mind when thinking about how to describe the filming style) style for close in scenes.  The film style for close scenes is typical of television shows of the 1970-’80s, but it did a great disservice to the quality of the program.  Second, the dialogue was way overblown.  You had lengthy ramblings from various characters, which took away from the flow of the show.  Third, was the innaccuracy of the uniforms.  The tri-corner hats looked like cheap props used in a junior high school production.  The uniforms of the French were way off in terms of color, as they were dark blue with red trim (similar in almost every way to American uniforms from the Revolutionary War), as opposed to the proper white and/or light blue actually worn by the  French.  Finally, the order of the scenes did not fit with either the novel or the two other movies.  We only watched a couple of the episodes before coming to the conclusion that this program is not worth our time, and is not worth the time of my readers.  I therefore give the BBC version of The Last of the Mohicans two resounding thumbs down.  It is blatantly innaccurate in terms of history of the French and Indian War as well as not following the book, or both movies.  In closing, save your money and do not purchase this DVD.

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