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The Last of the Mohicans

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The next on air presentation of The Last of the Mohicans is  Friday, June 15 @ 8P | 7C.

The juxtaposition of this film’s violent battles among savage Indians with vibrant cinematography — dense forests, towering waterfalls and breathtaking landscapes — brings to life this portrayal of 18th century Colonial America during the French and Indian War.

The Synopsis: In director Michael Mann’s powerful epic adventure, an orphaned settler (Daniel Day-Lewis) — adopted by the last members of a dying tribe — reluctantly becomes the protector of two daughters of a British colonel, who has been targeted by another warring tribe. Mann brings careful attention to historical detail in costumes, sets and weaponry, and Day-Lewis encompasses Hawkeye with vitality and depth. However, it is the action — hand-to-hand combat, racing through the trees and jumping off cliffs — that make this movie memorable.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About The Last of the Mohicans:

1. Mann had never read the original book Last of the Mohicans before or during filming.

2. Day-Lewis, well known for going to extremes in preparation for his roles, lived in the wilderness where his character might have been. He hunted, fished and lived off the land for several months prior to shooting.

3. Hawkeye’s real name in the novel is Natty Bumppo, but it was changed to Nathaniel Poe for the film to avoid snickers from the audience.

4. During the siege scenes, large mortars are seen to fire huge cannon balls at the fort. In an attempt to capture the projectiles arcing through the air, basketballs spray-painted black were actually fired. Unfortunately, most of them burned up or briefly flamed in the air.

5. Composer Trevor Jones, originally hired as the sole musical talent, wrote most of the score for the finished film but left the project before it was recorded due to creative differences with Mann. Randy Edelman finished the scoring and recorded Jones’ portion. He made sure his half and Jones’ half were separated on the soundtrack.

6. The cougar used in the film now lives in Hollywild Animal Park in South Carolina.

7. On average, each set-up had at least 20 takes. Such lengthy shootings — and the mounting costs — caused 20th Century Fox to send a rep to stand behind Mann and say, "That’s enough, Michael, move on."

8. Mann shot the film in North Carolina instead of New York because the woods there looked more like the old-growth forests of the Adirondacks, which still show evidence of logging during the late 1800s on.

9. Many other scenes were filmed at Biltmore, George Vanderbilt’s North Carolina estate. To date, it is the nation’s largest private residence, and the forests used in shooting had been carefully planned and planted 100 years ago.

10. Mann’s first version of the movie clocked in at three hours, and Fox forced him to cut. Mann wasn’t happy with the resulting two-hour version and felt he had not had enough time to properly trim it. Fox allowed him to re-edit it entirely for the 1999 DVD release. Although only a few minutes longer, the new version features minor changes throughout the film. It is the only one available on DVD in America.

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