Posted by Marie on June 27, 1999 at 00:55:58:
I have watched the french version of LOTM on the Swiss channel yesterday night...Oh boy...An inadequate translation can really spoil a movie!! They have managed to completely alter the meaning of some scenes, and as if that was not enough, the way some speeches were delivered was absolutely disastrous..Take Chingachgook's last goodbye to his son..Russ's voice conveyed marvellously the emotion and the feeling of loss he was supposed to be experiencing..The guy who made that speech in french was shouting out enthousiastically as if he were commenting a baseball match!!! A complete failure!!
They also changed a few scenes, and not for the best. In the original version. Cora's reaction after Alice had flown off the cliff is a very short, anguished cry, as she averts her eyes. It's a very powerful scene. In the french version, she stares ahead for a few very long seconds and then simply hides her face in her hands and cries (I suppose!) very discreetly. No impact at all. The colorful scenes of Chingachgook butchering Magua have also been modified: They center mostly around Magua's face, so we can't see too much of what is happening below that level.
At the end, they have added the scene of Hawkeye and Cora discussing their future...Since they were obviously using footage that had not been included in the original movie, they might have added a few bits to the waterfall cave scene ..like Uncas and Alice...but forget it! ( so where's that "director's cut" anyway??).
In a nutshell: I'm glad I had seen the original before this botched version. French audiences must have missed most of the emotional impact of the story: for them it was probably nothing more than a historical movie like so many (badly translated) others. But we know better!!:)
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