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Outlaw Roger (Stelio Candelli) and his gang, helped by the Mingo tribe
led by Magua (Ricardo Rodríguez) attack a wagon train and manage to get
hold of most of the station wagons, including one containing explosives,
but the crown jewel of the wagon train, a gold shipment, makes it safely
to Fort Munroe, a little fort in the middle of nowhere that is hightly
fortified though and commandeered by Colonel Munroe (Carl Lange), a
brilliant strategist. The outlaws and Indians put the fort under siege,
but the colonel just won't budge.
However, the colonel's daughters Cora
(Karin Dor) and Alice (Marie-France) are on their way to the fort, so
Roger figures it would be a good idea to take them hostage and exchange
them against the gold. There is just one problem: Captain Hayward (Joachim
Fuchsberger), who leads their treck, is also a brilliant strategist. So
Magua actually joins the treck, claiming to be a scout sent by Colonel
Munroe, and then leads it into an ambush. When everything seems lost
though for Hayward, the Munroe girls and company, Hawkeye (Anthony
Steffen) and Unkas (Daniel Martín), last of the Mohicans, show up and
drive the baddies away. Unkas still has a bone to pick with Magua, too,
because he killed his daddy Chingachgook (Mike Brendel), but that has to
wait now, since the Munroe girls have to be delivered to Fort Munroe
safely, and then the fort has to be liberated. Also, Unkas soon falls in
love with Cora, and she with him as well ...
Of course, Hawkeye and
Unkas manage to get the others into the fort, but Roger's patience is
starting to wear thin, so he decides to drag the wagon full of explosives
up a hill behind the fort and blow up the hill to bury everything in a
landslide. He succeeds, too, but hasn't taken into account that his move
has been anticipated, and so the men and women of Fort Munroe have built a
tunnle to hide in, and when Roger and company enter the fort, they meet
unexpected resistance and are eventually defeated.
Only Magua won't
admit defeat, so he kidnaps Cora and takes her to the next Indian tribe.
There, Unkas catches up with him, and it is decided they should fight over
her in a duel to the death. Unkas defeats Magua but refuses to kill him -
upon which Magua, against all rules and regulations, kills Unkas and is
then executed by the braves of the tribe ...
A very free
retelling of James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, that
even transplants the story into another era (circa mid of the 19th instead
of mid of the 18th century), this was actually first and foremost an
attempt by small-frye film producer International Germania Film to
cash in on the enormous success the Winnetou-Westerns
had in the first half of the 1960's - and they even went so far to hire
the key director of the series, Harald Reinl, and recurring leading lady
Karin Dor, to remain in tune with the series.
However, the experimenmt
only works to a point: Reinl's work is almost as impressive as in the Winnetou-series
for sure, his eye for impressive landscapes and depth provide the film
with strong visuals - but one can't help but notice that the film was made
on a much tighter budget, and it seems a few too many corners have been
cut to make this impressive enough to work as a competitor to the Winnetou-series.
On top of that, the two central roles of Hawkey and Unkas remain pale in
comparison to Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, and Anthony Steffen and Daniel
Martín do little to fill up this void by great acting. And finally, the
story seems to be just a bit too simplified to create much excitement.
all said, The Last of the Mohicans is still decent entertainment
and should at least not disappoint Euro-Western fans out there. But a
masterpiece it is not!