Posted by Gayle on July 24, 2000 at 17:31:58:
In Reply to: Re: Why didn't they jump? posted by MMMMarcia on July 24, 2000 at 13:41:47:
: Bill writes:
: : Why didn't they? Seriously? Not many folks could swim back then. Certainly not English ladies likely. And even if they could, who knew what rocks etc were at the bottom of the falls, and a drop of a hundred feet into water is not a soft landing, especially if hitting the water wrong, let alone rocks! So, all things considered, it was sure death for Hawkeye to remain in the cave, but less sure they would die in that fall, rocks and rapids. However, for the wounded and the girls, it was probably MORE sure they would die if they jumped, than if they remained.
: : Of course, tell THAT to the wounded Soldier #2!!!!
: : Bill R
: I agree with you, Bill, that the fall would likely have killed the girls, both. I suspect it was "iffy," even for our heroes. I mean, LOOK at those falls in the long shot when they were entering the cave. That's quite a drop. I'm sure Hawkeye wasn't prepared to see Cora leap to her doom, and he had reason to believe the women would be kept as captives, rather than killed outright, giving him a chance to rescue her later.
: Makes sense to me.
All these ideas hold water with me, but to hand it to Michael Mann (or his writers), the whole scenario was beautifully consistent with the Cooper novel. In the book, Cora, Alice, Duncan and David Gamut stayed in the cave, while Hawkeye, Chingachgook and Uncas went into the river, supposedly to swim for help from the nearby garrison. However, the mighty three actually swam down the river aways and then trailed the Indians and their captives, leading to an interim rescue that the movie did not have. All that happened before the massacre at the Fort, but the movie neatly incorporated it all together to get the biggest bang for the buck. Nice job!
And I agree, it is unlikely Cora and Alice could swim, with or without the cumbersome clothes. Can you actually picture Alice jumpiing into the river and swimming to save herself?
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