The Last of the Mohicans
(Unkas, the Mohican)
Based on a “Leatherstocking” story by James Fenimore Cooper
Director: Harald Reinl
Screenplay: Joachim Bartsch
Camera: Ernst Kalinke
Sets: Hans Albert
Music: Peter Thomas
Costumes: Irma Pauli
Editing: Hermann Haller
Asst. Director: Charlie Wakefield
Camera Assistant: Nicky Stenzel
Head of production: Franz Thierry
Producer: Dr. Alfons Carcasona
|Colonel Munroe||Carl Lange|
Shortly before dusk, Iroquois Indians and a gang of palefaces attack a Mohican camp and butcher everyone. Magua, the leader of the Iroquois, is triumphant and celebrates the victory with firewater contrary to the wishes of Roger the leader of the desperadoes. He demands fulfilment of the promise by the Indians to help his men in an attack on a money transfer headed for Fort Westerhill.
The chieftain of the Mohicans, Chingachcook, is badly wounded but manages to flee and somehow drag himself to his son Unkas, who together with Hawkeye, the famous scout is hunting in the forest. Unkas promises his dying father to get revenge on Magua so that the souls of those murdered may enter into the happy hunting-grounds.
Whilst it is crossing a ford in the river, the money transport is attacked by Roger’s gang and the Iroquois, but the soldiers manage to retreat to the nearby Munroe farm. Colonel Munroe, an old war-horse through and through, provides help in their defence. Despite all the blackmail attempts and threats, Roger and his gang have to withdraw without having achieved their aim.
Even so, Colonel Munroe is concerned: outside the barricaded farm his two daughters Cora and Alice are on the move. It is some consolation that they are under the protection of Captain Hayward, whose platoon of forty soldiers is busy repairing a bridge over a ravine.
Captain Hayward cannot know that Roger has intercepted his messenger nearby Munroe’s farm whose job it was to inform the father about the delayed return of his daughters. Roger uses the opportunity to send off Magua in order to capture the two girls.
For days, Hawkeye and Unkas follow Magua s trail at first without success.... Magua tells Captain Hayward that he is Munroe’s messenger, charged with leading the whole troop safely back to the farm. Hayward is suspicious; but because during the night the bridge they just completed repairing is set on fire by some unknown villains, he has no other choice than to entrust his men to the Indian.
On out-of-the-way mountain paths they make very slow progress. In the gorge known as “Black Vulture”, the Indians are laying in wait behind the rocks. Hayward recognises the danger too late. When the redskins attack, his men are at a hopeless disadvantage to the enemy. But then Hawkeye and Unkas finally appear on the scene. When Magua sums up the situation, he grabs Cora and forces her to flee with him. Unkas follows him. At the top of a rocky outlet they find themselves standing face to face. But in order to save Cora s life, Unkas has to let his deadly enemy escape.
Because the Iroquois have managed to grab all the horses, Hawkeye, Unkas and Hayward risk a ploy. This earns the Captain the honorary name “Harder than Steel”. The stolen horses are won back again. They find the Munroe farm to be under extreme duress: the resistance of the Colonel and his men threatens to collapse under the volleys of rifle bullets and burning arrows from the attackers. Hawkeye in a daring attack manages to draw away the attackers so that Hayward and his group have the chance to gain the safety of the stockade around the farm. Overjoyed, Munroe embraces his two daughters.
Roger is livid with rage when he discovers that he has been tricked and starts to draw up a new plan. He wants to blow up the rocks overlooking the farm. Unkas is the first to see through the fiendish intention. Upon his initiative, a safety tunnel is created in the rocks. Both attackers and defenders work feverishly. In the middle of this race against time, Hawkeye takes the initiative. Without giving away his intention, he jumps on his horse and rides away.
Next morning comes the explosion. An avalanche of rocks and stones thunders down upon the farm buildings and the stockade. Roger’s gang and the Iroquois charge forwards. But then there is the sound of the bugle signal. The soldiers from Fort Westerhill have come with Hawkeye to the rescue. After a bitter fight, the Iroquois and the desperadoes prepare to flee. Roger is hit in a hail of bullets. Again Magua manages to abduct Cora and escape. And again Unkas is close on his heels. In a ritual duel the two deadly enemies face one another. Fate will decide the outcome. Unkas saves the woman he loves, defeats Magua but still falls foul of the latter s cunning. But the deaths of his tribal brothers has been revenged. The way into the happy hunting-grounds for the Mohicans is free.