Posted by Marcia Meara on August 25, 1997 at 08:15:52:
Well, after watching LOM last night on ABC, I have come to several conclusions. First, I am SO glad that I have the video & a wonderful sound system. On network tv, the sound was butchered so badly, it really had an impact on my enjoyment of the film. For those of you who don't have surround sound, let me assure you that it didn't win the Academy Award for best sound for nothing. You can normally hear every single "thwack" of a war club, and the musket & cannon shots are deafening! The sound during the battle scenes at the fort is so incredible, my husband will stop whatever he's doing when he finds me watching the movie (AGAIN!) and join me for those scenes, just to hear the mortar rounds (?) slicing through the air from one side of the room to the other. And the roar of the waterfall is overwhelming...things vibrate & cats duck for cover when that scene is on!
Along the same lines, the lack of realistic, deafening sounds allowed me to hear the dialog better than I ever have. This, to my mind, clears up several controversies/questions we have had running on this board lately. For one thing, I was able to hear for the first time, that Uncas DOES say "Get back!" to Alice under the falls. It was not muted by the roar of the water. I clearly heard Hawkeye yell to Cora just before his "run through the tall grass," something I never heard before at all. And there were others.
Next, as much as I hate the sound being dampened down, I loved the extra footage of the "Heyward Diversion!" How odd to see something going on in this film that was never there before. It made me feel as though I had moved to a different vantage point to watch the battle this time! I LOVED this!
BUT!!! I was thrown completely off balance during the massacre scene when they cut (no pun intended) out the image of Magua holding Munro's heart! I guess they thought it too graphic for tv, but it was such a powerful element in the film. I was sorry they left it out. Also, they shortened the scene of Duncan being lowered into the fire, and his terrible, agonized screams. Without that dramatization of his awful fate, it seemed almost shocking that Hawkeye shoots him!
Last, I love my letterbox version of the video, which enables me to see the whole panorama of this beautiful movie, but it was fun for a change to watch the "formatted to fit your tv" version, just for the glorious, larger than life closeups of Hawkeye, Cora & crew. And some of the details in certain scenes were clearer due to this magnification.
All in all, I was happy to watch & RECORD this particular version. And thanks to Rich & Elaine for alerting us to the showing.
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