The Last of the Mohicans (1936) – reviewed by George

Well okay, now we can clear up some plot lines. The opening card reads: “1757 – The Seven Years’War shakes Europe. France and England fight on three continents. With North America at stake George III, “German George”, has called to his side the Great Commoner William Pitt.”
Note: The Seven Years’ War is called The French and Indian Wars in the USA. And the three continents referred to are Europe, Asia, and North America.
Note # 2: In this version the girls’ names are exchanged (?). Alice is the older brunette, the sensible one, and Cora is the younger blonde, flighty and sweet.
King George III (our old friend Olaf Hytten, here spelled Hytton) likes what he hears from Pitt (Ian McLaren) and gives him carte blanche. Pitt takes Major Hayward (Henry Wilcoxon) with him and leaves for North America immediately – destination Albany. Hayward is to be second in command under Colonel Munro (Hugh Buckler). In Albany Colonel Munro has been ordered to march his entire command, British soldiers and colonials, to Fort William Henry to fight the French under General Montcalm (William Stack), until reinforced by General Webb. The colonials consider the war of the Brits vs. the Indians none of their business, and are going to return to their homes, but Magua (Bruce Cabot), who is scouting for Colonel Munro, arrives to report that a Huron war party is canoeing down to Fort William Henry, and if the Fort falls the Hurons will spread out into the surrounding countryside, looting and murdering. Now the colonials will fight. Hawkeye (Randolph Scott), Chingachgook (Robert Barrat), and his son Uncas (Phillip Reed), scouts for Munro, talk about Magua, who says he is Mohawk, but he was born a Huron, became blood brother to the Mohawk, and they are betting he is still a Huron.
Hawkeye wants to see Colonel Munro to warn him about Magua, but sensible Alice (Binnie Barnes) cuts him off, being very haughty about a man in buckskins. “Why aren’t you in uniform?” “I’d be a fool, ma’am, to wear red in the woods.” Still she keeps the riffraff away from her father.
Magua wants to take a small group on a shortcut to Fort William Henry to get there fast, and Munro is happy to have the girls make a shorter trip. Alice and Cora (Heather Angel) will be accompanied also by Major Hayward, who is even more “Only we are civilized” than Alice. And then the action begins.
This is a good (and clear) version of the story, and a really good movie. Lessons will be learned, and lives will be changed. And men will be judged by what they do rather than what they wear or where they are from.
Screenplay by Philip Dunne, from an Adaptation by John L. Balderston, Paul Perez and Daniel Moore. Directed by George B. Seitz.

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