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Last of the Mohicans, The

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • Director's Definitive Cut
Release: Oct 29, 2010 - Author: Mike Lowrey - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB
Michael Mann's epos, located in the colonial war, about the last representive of the Mohicans, who get involved in the war, had some trouble during its production. Director Mann is a perfectionist, that's why some scenes had to be shot up to 20 times. The budget was completely overdrawn and the start in theaters had to be postponed, because Mann cut a version with a running time of almost 3 hrs. So FOX forced Mann to recut it and reach a running time of almost 2 hrs. As a matter of fact, Mann never agreed with this version, that's why he got permission to release "his" DC on DVD.

In october 2010, the film was released on Blu-ray for the first time ever. Mann did also conduct some almost unnoticeable changes to Heat for its Blu-release but that’s no comparison to his work on The Last Mohican. Here, he made way more changes with more impact on the film.
After all these years, Mann sat down in the editing room once more and did the third cut of his film. This Director’s Definitive Cut (to which I will refer as DDC from now on) is clearly more rooted in the theatrical cut (TC) and can be described as a mixture between the TC and the old DC. Here are many differences that do also exist between the TC and the old Director’s Cut. The DDC mostly restores changes back to the way they were in the TC or keeps the extensions Mann made for the normal DC. This leads up to a runtime which is only approximately 2 minutes shorter than the old DC. The DDC-exclusive changes aren’t of much importance and do not have a major impact on the film since they mostly include inserted shots or other minor bits and pieces. In order to clarify the changes and differences which come along with the new DDC, a red marking was used.

Due to the fact that some changes brought to us by the old DC are removed again, it is considerably difficult to judge if fans of the film do actually need the new version. If you want to view the whole spectrum of Mann’s changes, it surely wouldn’t be wrong to view the TC and the old Director’s Cut. The DDC is a mixture which is both praised and criticized by fans of the film since some popular scenes are back in and others are (still) missing. As an example, one could name the extensions in the battle scenes or the prolonged speech at the end. Once again, Michael Mann took them out just like in the TC. This is one of the reasons that there will be controversial discussions whether the DDC does embody the perfect balance between the two previous versions of The Last of the Mohicans. Still, it’ll be inevitable that the new DDC will find its owners since it is the only version the Blu-ray includes.

52 differences, divided into
12 extended scenes
11 scenes with alternate footage
8 additional scenes
7 extended Scenes with alternate footage
7 extended scenes in the TC
2 additional scenes in the TC
2 deleted dialogues in the DDC
2 changes of position

The Director’s Definitive Cut runs 211,28 sec. respectively approx. 3 minutes 32 seconds longer than the Theatrical Cut.


Comparison between the Theatrical Cut (R-Rated) on the German DVD, released by Warner Bros., and the Director’s Definitive Cut on the Blu-ray, released by 20th Century Fox.

The time index of the German DVD (TC) is in PAL, the index of the US (DDC) in NTSC.
Alternate footage
0:06:01: While Jack says that he tries to find people that are willing to join the militia, the DDC shows him in a frontal shot while the TC remains in the side shot.
No time difference

Extended scene
0:06:49: The following scene in which the soldiers tell the people to join the fight, the DDC shows the major sitting on a horse. The shot of the woman carrying the bread is longer in the TC instead, leaving almost no time difference.
The DDC runs 0,2 sec. longer



Extended scene in the TC
KF: 0:06:48: When the mohawk’s chief talks, the TC shows Jack from a sidewise shot which misses in the DDC.
+ 2,6 sec.



Extended scene with alternate footage
0:09:47: Both cuts have a different beginning of the scene. Obviously, two takes were used.

The TC shows how Duncan tells a soldier to help his men unload the baggage. The camera pans to Jack, who threatens that his men will not join the battle if they’re not allowed to defend their villages against the enemies. The shot of the other soldier is sidewise, too, before the General starts talking.

The DDC begins with a different shot that is focused on Jack while he’s talking. Duncan enters in the background and tells the soldier what to do. Then, there’s the extension that can also be found in the old DC. Still, some words seem to be added at the end of some of the lines.

Settler: "Any of the boys worth havin' can disappear in the forest.."
Officer: "They will be found."
Settler: "And where does that leave you then?"
Officer: "Those men will be found, arrested--"

The following comment of the General is a different take in both versions but does not differ in content.
The DDC runs 3,6 sec. longer

TCDDC



Extended scene
0:12:09: The General comes up with more gossip about the French in the DDC.

General: "Their Latinate voluptuousness combines with their Gallic laziness and the result is [they'd rather eat and make love with their faces than fight.]" The text in brakes also appears in the TC.
8.68 sec



Extended scene with alternate footage
0:13:05: When Duncan and Cora sit at the table, the DDC shows two more distanced shots while the TC has one shot behind Cora looking at Duncan.
The DDC runs 3 sec. longer



Additional scene
0:15:54: The squad marches in the woods.
9.6 sec



Additional scene in the TC
TC: 0:17:54: As the Indians run out of the woods, the DDC misses a short shot of the British troops aiming their muskets at them.
+ 1,08 sec.



Extended scene
0:19:07: The shot of the fight starts a bit earlier in the DDC. Here, we see another British soldier die.
1,08 sec.



Deleted dialogue in the DDC
0:20:12: In the TC, Uncas says to Duncan: "Find yourself a musket.". We do not hear that in the DDC, but the scene is the same.
No time difference

Extended scene in the TC
TC: 0:20:15: Now, this is very pedantic. The TC shows Hawkeye looking angrily at Duncan and then starting to look more mild and almost mockingly. The DDC shortens that shot so that he’s seen grinning only.
+ 3 sec.



Alternate footage
0:21:56: When Hawkeye suggests to Duncan and the women to resume their trip, the TC shows only Duncan looking at the women (being offscreen), the DDC shows Duncan and the women both being in the picture.
No time difference

TCDDC



Deleted dialogue
0:24:58: When Hawkeye makes clear that he's not a scout and that he doesn't belong to the militia, a voice-over of his is deleted in the DC. He asks "Clear it up any?".
No time difference



Alternate footage
0:32:40: When Hawkeye tells Cora about his mother, the camera stays in one position in the TC, while the DDC shows Cora looking at Hawkeye.
No time difference

TCDDC



Extended scene
0:35:27: The camera pans along the battlefield a bit earlier in the DDC. Here, we don’t get to see the soldiers with the stretcher like in the old DC, though.
The DDC runs 6,2 sec. longer



Additional scene
0:36:01: A shot strikes close to a soldier, so that he's blown away because of the vehemence of the impact.
1.76 sec



Additional scene
0:36:07: Sidewise shot of a gun being positioned. This is shorter than in the old DC.
2,24 sec.




Extended scene with alternate footage
0:36:25: In this scene, the DC and DDC are almost the same but the DDC is shorter nonetheless.
In the TC, a group (including Hawkeye) tries to sneak past the battle in a canoe. That scene appears later in the DC, but not in one take. Details later. Furthermore the shot of the English fortress is different.

Instead, the DC shows the French-Indian enemy in the trench.
The DC is 25.08 sec longer

TCDDC



Additional scene
0:37:44: Unimportant shot of the English fortress from the outside. An Indian gets in position.
3.4 sec

Extended scene
0:37:51: A further shot in the DDC.
1.08 sec



0:37:55: The first part of the scene with the canoe, already shown in the TC, appears here in the DDC. Then a cut to some soldiers, which is in both versions btw, and finally the second part of the canoe scene.

Alternate footage
Hawkeye is seen in a different perspective when one guy tells him that he didn’t expect them to show up in the fortress.
No time difference

Extended scene in the Theatrical Cut
0:37:01: Deleted sentence of Hawkeye in the DDC which appears in the TC.

Hawkeye: "We just dropped in to see how you boys were doing."
4.16 sec



Alternate footage
0:42:29: While Hawkeye reports about the attacked village, the DDC shows Col. Munro while the TC remains on Hawkeye.
No time difference

Additional scene
0:43:36: The DDC shows the children’s choir in a front shot as well.
5,32 sec.



Extended scene with alternate footage
0:43:49: This difference is almost identical to the change in the old DC, except that Montcalm says one more line here.

DDC: Montcalm and an Indian stand in the tent. Montcalm says more in the DDC and the following shot is different.

Montcalm: "For my children are the children of the true faith. My friendship and esteem is boundless."

After that, Montcalm says in the TC: "I will give you three oxen for a feast.". This is missing in the DDC.
The DDC runs 12,28 sec. longer

TCDDC



Alternatives Bildmaterial
0:44:03: Montcalm nods to the Indian and he goes off. This is seen in other perspectives in both versions. As the children’s choir leaves the tent as well as when Montcalm asks Magua about the situation with the British, there are different perspectives. Furthermore, the DDC features the extended dialogue oft he DC:

Montcalm: "We're at one. Join us. Hear what he has to tell us."
The DDC runs 1,16 sec. longer



Extended scene
0:45:27: A completely new line that doesn’t exist in the other versions.

Montcalm adds: "My engineers are advancing the trench through the night. You may have your opportunity soon."
9,64 sec.



Additional scene
0:53:17: Tracking shot of the camp in the DC. A woman buzzes a song while she's stroking a man's head. That man is either heavily wounded or dead.
29.72 sec



Extended scene in the TC
TC: 0:50:18: The shot of Jack exiting the house is longer in the TC. Here, you see that the British soldiers patrol through the fort. In the DDC, he already leaves the house.
3,8 sec.

Additional scene
0:54:28: Hawkeye leaves the house, too.
5,56 sec.


Alternate footage
0:59:35: As Cora tells Duncan that she’s not very fond of him, the TC stays on her, while the DDC shows Duncan listening to her with a serious face.
No time difference

TCDDC



Extended scene
1:03:16: Col. Munro’s march is longer in the DDC.
4,92 sec.

Alternate footage
1:03:56: A different perspective as Montcalm bows down in front of Munro that also runs a little bit longer.
The DDC runs 2,52 sec. longer


Extended scene
1:05:25: Montcalm compliments Col. Munro for his resistance. Munro replies that he was soldier and that the Marquis didn't ask to meet for exchanging some compliments.

Montcalm: "Please accept my compliments for the strong and skillful defense of your fortress. Under the command of a lesser man, it would have fallen long ago, given the superior numbers and materials. Chance has allowed me to array against you."
Col. Munro: "Monsieur Le Marquis, I am a soldier, not a diplomat. You called this parlay for a better reason than an exchange of compliments."
31.64 sec



Extended scene with alternate footage
1:08:16: Col. Munro offers Montcalm to surrender, but only under the condition that he can bury the dead, send the survivors back and that the wounded get medical aid in the French hospital. The Marquis agrees and bows.

Col. Munro: "Monsieur Le Marquis, I am deeply touched by such unusual and unexpected generosity. My fort is yours under the condition that I be given till dawn to bury my dead, to prepare my men and women for the long journey ahead and to hand my wounded over to your surgeons."
Montcalm: "Granted, monsieur."
27.32 sec

TCDDC



Extended scene
1:09:57: The TC shows Magua turning his head before talking. This was shortened in the DDC.
+ 4,08 sec.


Extended scene in the TC
TC: 1:04:45: As Magua asks if the British keep their word, Montcalm says more in the TC.

Montcalm: "Col. Munro would. But General Webb will not honour their agreement and send their soldiers away."
+ 13,8 sec.



Extended scene with alternate footage
1:11:29: Montcalm also says to Magua that he can't do anything. Furthermore both versions have different angles in advance.

Montcalm: "But I cannot break the term of the surrender and sully the lilies of France."
The DC is 13.52 sec longer



Extended scene
1:13:49: Earlier beginning of the shot, that's why Col. Munro appears first.
4.36 sec



Extended scene in the TC
TC: 1:07:11: An irrelevant shot of the convoy from Hawkeye’s POV was deleted in the DDC.
+ 3,48 sec.

Extended scene
1:13:07: The Huron Indian is seen earlier in the DDC as he runs towards the British convoy.
1,68 sec.

Extended scene
1:14:21: And again a scene begins some frames earlier.
1,28 Sec.


Extended scene with alternate footage
1:21:27: In the TC, Hawkeye says "Got nothing better to do on the lake today, Major?". In the DC, they're just paddling.
The DC is 0.88 sec longer

TCDirector's Cut



Extended scene in the TC
1:20:08: The DDC features Cora’s first line that misses in the old DC but the second one was shortened but does miss here, too.

Cora: "[...] only one of us survives, something of the other does, too."
+ 4,88 sec.



Addtional scene
1:32:32: In the DC, it becomes evening and Magua's squad is still walking, and so is Hawkeye.
27.32 sec



Change of position
1:31:30: A more distanced shot of the villagers going to the center of the village is seen earlier in the DDC. It is identical in both versions, though.
No time difference

Alternate footage
1:31:44: As the Huron chief is guided to his seat, the DDC shows this shot completely while the TC changes to a perspective where the women guiding him are seen.
No time difference

Additional scene
1:32:24: At the position, where the TC features the scene with the villagers, the DDC has a later shot where only some people go slowly to the centre of the village.
1,96 sec.

Alternate footage
1:34:08: As Hawkeye talks to the chief, the DDC shows the chief, while the TC remains on Hawkeye.
No time difference

Alternate footage
1:34:26: Again, but the other way around this time. Hawkeye continues talking, the TC shows the chief, the DDC remains on Hawkeye.
No time difference

Change of position
1:34:39:
Again, this scene comes earlier in the DDC but is identical in content. The chief has a little speech:

"The white man came and night entered our future with him. Our council has asked the question since I was a boy: What are the Huron to do?"
No time difference


Additional scene in the TC
1:29:46: As the chief interrupts Magua, only the TC shows a short shot of him.
+ 0,88 sec.

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