Re: The Character of Duncan

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Posted by Gayle on July 30, 1999 at 21:04:03:

In Reply to: Re: The Character of Duncan posted by Jess on July 30, 1999 at 20:38:51:

Jess wrote:

: You're not the only one with a soft spot for Duncan. When I first saw LOTM, I detested Duncan, but the more I thought of it, the more I understood him and the more I liked him. Now I must admit that I, too have a soft spot for him. Something interesting- in the novel, Duncan is actually in love with Alice, and at some point, from what I interpreted, he asked Col. Munro for her hand in marriage. I do agree with everyone else when they said that he was noble and committed to do the right thing. I found that one of the most touching things in the film was when he agreed to burn instead of Cora, and rather than let Hawkeye burn for her. That was a very selfless gesture. I found Cooper's Duncan to be quite stubborn and frankly annoying. But Mann's Duncan was a work of art. He created a Duncan we could relate to and like. I think that Steven Waddington is a great actor. And, Marcia- you asked about more of his work, I have only seen him in one more film and that was "Carrington" with Emma Thompson. It was a good movie, with a good plot, but it is very slow. It is also quite raunchy. It was a strange way to see our Duncan. It's not for everyone, but check it out if you can. Also, I hear that he is starring in a film called "The Headless Horseman" that should be in theaters everywhere by Halloween. I'm planning on seeing it. Talk to you all later.
: Jess

Interesting connection to the book, Jess, and of course I HAVE to take it up! Cooper didn't like Duncan much, himself. If you remember, the first thing that put a sour light on Duncan was that contrary to Munro's expectations, and contrary to custom, he wanted to marry the younger daughter rather than the older one. The klinker, of course, was that Munro had Duncan pegged - Duncan passed up Cora because she was of mixed blood, which in Cooper's eyes, made him less than a hero and less than honorable. In the book, Duncan never displayed the strength of character that he did in the movie. He spent the whole book frantically and very ineptly trying to rescue Alice from the Hurons, and although he used a little sense and a touch of courage here and there, Hawkeye viewed him as a real loser. And Hawkeye was right. Cora was by far the finest character in the book and would have made a better wife for anybody than Alice. Mann did a fine job of capturing Cora of the book as well as Cora of his movie. She was a grand person in both.


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