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Der letzte Mohikaner

Last of the Mohicans
The Last Tomahawk

West Germany/Italy/Spain 1965
produced by
Heinz Willeg (executive) for International Germania Film, Procusa, Balcázar Producciones Cinematográficas, Cinematografica Associati
directed by Harald Reinl
starring Joachim Fuchsberger, Karin Dor, Daniel Martín, Anthony Steffen, Carl Lange, Marie-France, Stanley Kent (= Stelio Candelli), Ricardo Rodríguez, Kurt Grosskurth, Ángel Ter, Mike Brendel, Mariano Alcón, Frank Brana, Carlos Desghamps, Cris Huerta, Jean-Claude Mathieu, Rafael Hernández, Victor Bayo, Ricardo G.Lilló, Antonio Montoya, Leandro San José
screenplay by J.Joachim Bartsch, based on the novel by James Fenimore Cooper, music by Peter Thomas

Last of the Mohicans, Hawkeye, Deerslayer

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

That 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!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD