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The Last Of The Mohicans

The Historical Accuracy

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Matter Of Historical Accuracy

The Last of the Mohicans is acclaimed as being one of the most historically accurate films to ever hit the big screens.

Director Michael Mann is notorious for his close attention to detail, and in this movie he did an amazing job. Aside from the highly ranked generals that appear in the movie, all of the characters are mainly fictional. Even the generals that do appear aren't entirely fact based. This makes sense, as Cooper wrote the novel as historical fiction. The battles and war however, are almost completely accurate.

Mann brought in historians and many sources for the production to make sure hair styles, tattoos, clothing, and many other little details were accurate. Some things were left inaccurate, but Mann was aware of the mistake. He made "concious decisions to violate history" for the sake of preserving his vision for the picture. Many of these decisions were fairly minor.


Examples of things that were changed for historical accuracy:

- Calibre of the muskets various forces were using



- Writing in an 18th century style



- Elk hunt in opening of film changed from one man to several, suggesting that it would've been unrealistic for one man to hunt alone



- The way natives treat women



- How Hawkeye holds and fires Killdeer, muskets weighed apprx. 11 pounds at the time, and it was suggest Hawkeye threw around Killdeer too easily



- Cora's attire, she was originally scripted as wearing a white shirt in some scenes; this was corrected because it was considered unsuitable for women to be in public without wearing a bodice; Cora wears a bodice throughout the entire movie

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Historically approved weapons used in filming


- Magua was originally supposed to be seen taking a bite of Munro's heart because Pontiac historically did so; warriors felt biting the heart made them stronger