Silent Saturday: The Last of the Mohicans

1920 action movie

Rating: 12/20

Plot: During the French and Indian War, a dastardly Redskin abducts the daughters of an English army man. The titular Indian and America's first white rapper--Natty Bumppo--try to save them.

I wouldn't have wanted this movie to be any longer, but at a little under 80 minutes, there wasn't really enough room for this story to develop. Plot details were sketchy, and the characters never become anything real. They're cardboard cut-outs wandering around forests. Barbara Bedford might as well have been made of cardboard actually. I can't remember the last time I saw a performance that this was this flat. She spends the movie just kind of staring without any expression on her countenance.

Or maybe that was Lillian Hall. I don't know which sister was Cora and which one was Alice actually, and I'm too lazy to look it up.

That's not as lazy as the people in charge of researching Native Americans for this movie, of course. There is some effort to make at least one native seem heroic, but for the most part, they're just a bunch of savages and redskins running around trying to scalp poor white guys. No, I didn't expect to pop in a silent movie with Native American characters and see a realistic portrayal of them, but it was still annoying.

There were some nice landscapes and some solid stunt work in this, but it wasn't enough to sustain my interest.

I'm not sure why I watched this. I've had nothing but bad experiences with The Last of the Mohicans. I was bored by the most recent film adaptation when I saw it at a dollar theater, and then I was forced to see it a week later when my girlfriend's dad (now my father-in-law) wanted to see it. A year later, I had to read the novel for an American Literature class at Indiana State University, and the chapter or two that I did manage to read was a real struggle. I don't know why I thought this silent version would be a positive experience.

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