Friday, August 12, 2011

Fiction, to Film, to Fantastic Music Friday: Last of the Mohicans

Because I really love both fiction and film, I have been batting around the idea of starting my own weekly topic called "Fiction, to Film, to Fantastic Music Friday".  The premise is just to share my favorite books made into film, with amazing soundtracks to boot.  There might even be times where it's just a great film and soundtrack.  Either way, join in if you would like!

 To kick things off, I wanted to share one of my favorites in this category, The Last of the Mohicans.  I recently watched this movie again and wanted to go dig out the music (or pull it up on my iTunes list--much easier).

Admittedly, I've never read James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same name, but from what I understand, the two daughters had almost the opposite story lines from the movie, as did Uncas and Hawkeye.  Honestly, there is so much that can be said about what the film version was trying to accomplish by playing out the strong, romantic storyline between Cora and Hawkeye, but I'll leave that for another day!  What we're really left with is this seemingly panoramic view of colonial America.  Somehow through its gruesome fight scenes, we see a romanticized ideal of man and woman surviving in the beautiful, uncolonized America.

Okay, so beyond all the intellectual things this film is fraught with, I really do love it. Besides, I will admit that I have a weakness for Daniel Day Lewis (ie. The Age of Innocence, The Crucible, The Boxer, and There Will Be Blood, among many others), who just never seems to tire of running in this movie! Yes, the violence in the film is pretty intense and I find myself flinching or looking away during many scenes; however, this fight for existence is everything the film is about.

The thing that adds even more to the movie is the amazing score tied to it.  If you've ever heard this soundtrack, it has probably stuck with you.  Everything from the Main Theme, to Clannad's "I Will Find You", to the amazing "Promontory" are every bit as moving on their own as in the film.  This is definitely one of my all-time favorite soundtracks.  If you haven't heard it, check it out.

Here is a clip of "Promontory":


  1. I read this book many, many years ago but haven't seen the movie despite the fact that I like Daniel Day-Lewis. This music is terrific but actually as I listened, I felt like it was heralding the advance of Scottish Highland troops on the enemy's forces.

  2. Yes, I actually think it's more Irish? I know there is an Irish dance group that has used some of these tunes. Also, the group Clannad (who is featured on the soundtrack) are Irish. It's funny though, because there is a lot of French/Indian conflict in the film, with the British. We know there were a lot of settlers from Ireland though, so it's a really nice touch to the background music. If you want, you'll have to tell me what you think! :)

  3. The girls did have entirely opposite story lines for the most part, but the Uncas and Hawkeye roles were pretty well true to the book. Except for the part in the book where Uncas, the actual last of the Mohicans, was a much more important character. In the movies, DDL is clearly the star of the show. Still it is beautifully filmed and the music is fantastic.

  4. Have you seen the silent film made of this novel from the 1920s? I'm pretty sure it's on YouTube. It's actually pretty entertaining!

  5. Becky, You're right. I listened to it again and it is very Irish. Those kinds of sounds were probably very common here at the time because of the great number of Irish settlers. Good point.

    Sorry I didn't reply sooner. This weekend was such a lazy one I didn't even turn on the computer.