Re: American Heros

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Posted by Elaine on July 14, 1998 at 10:50:50:

In Reply to: Re: American Heros posted by Gayle on July 14, 1998 at 10:20:00:

: : And Mann did a terrific, wonderful, stellar job on LOTM, but .... he didn't improve upon the story, he made it more palatable for contemporary audiences and he was working with an entirely different medium; film is vastly different from literature. AND ... to pick up on the discussions on Hawkeye/Uncas/Cora/Alice .... Mann created a romantic hero with his Hawkeye, Cooper's was anything but. So, the romantic, leading man must have his love. This, more than anything else, I think may have been why Mann switched the couples. Cora was the elder, as was Hawkeye, so she was the logical choice. And that left Alice for Uncas (kicking poor Duncan out of the picture. That guy NEVER gets a break!)

: : But, I still don't see why Mann wrote out the mulatto blood of Cora ......... I don't see any problem with Hawkeye accepting such
: : a heritage. It may have been easier for him than the true blue English.... ????????

At last I find something on which I disagree with you, Lainey! Wow! Cool! .......I do think Mann improved on the whole plot by making Hawkeye more human - a real man, actually. The Cooper Hawkeye was so completely incapable of responding to other people on any level at all, that there were rocks in the story that were more fun than he was. Even Cooper's Cora, truly wonderful heroine though she was, was nothing but a guide assignment in the eyes of La Longue Carabine. So Mann made a functional hero out of Hawkeye and matched him with a good heroine ( although she would have been more believable had she been a little more woodsy and a little less elite). Now he has the ingredients of an adventure hero who can really catch on. The Hawkeye/Chingachgook/Cora combo could make a great sequel no matter who is cast in the roles, right? Not right?

: Gayle
Gayle, you knew it was as Nathaniel said ... "One day you and I were bound to have a serious disagreement" !!!!!!! Goodie!

Yes, he improved the man Hawkeye. Made him more sociable, likeable, aggreable, and interesting. But ..... though that served the needs of the romantic woodsman hero, I still don't agree that the change in his character actually improved the story. Mann's version necessitated a complete write out of the Cora/Uncas romance ... and very beautifully depicted (if not worded) death and burial scenes. By creating the new man Hawkeye, Mann also somewhat lessened the "Uncas factor". Not better, by my mind .... just different.

And though Cora was, as you say, nothing more than a guide assignment in the eyes of Le Longue Carabine, she was much, much more in the eyes of Uncas. And though Cooper's Cora was certainly presented as well bred, she was more woodsy and less elite. She showed this side of her very early on in Cooper's version.

And, Gayle! How the heck is a woman-bound Hawkeye (a la Mann) going to carry on the roaming life and exploits of the ultimate natural loner man (a la Cooper)?????? We either have to have our romanticized Hawkeye stop his wild living and settle down and start a family .... OR we will have our loner continue on, free to be in all those places necessary for the Leatherstocking Tales!

But .... to your question of the Ching/Hawkeye/Cora combo being great material for a sequel .... Yes, I think so.


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