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[According to one reviewer, the 1992 film The Last of the Mohicans ‘sets new standards when it comes to pent-up passion.’ The vividness with which the power of Eros is depicted is indeed hard to top. Cora Munro has every ‘reason’ to accept Duncan Heyward’s proposal of marriage. He’s besotted with her, she respects him, and they come from the same social set, she being the daughter of the British commander at Fort William Henry and he being one of Colonel Edmund Munro’s officers. Unfortunately, she lacks the ‘unreason’ of which the aphorism speaks—‘I have every reason to love you. What I lack is the unreason.’ (This, and ‘They do not love that do not show their love’ are the two aphorisms to which this webpage is linked—see below.) The film eloquently conveys her indecision (13:00 minutes into the film and shown in the clip below) and she asks her impatient suitor for more time. While wondering whether to act against her better (emotional) judgment, fate intervenes in the form of Hawkeye (aka Nathaniel), a devilishly handsome and accomplished woodsman who, though white, was orphaned as a child and raised in a Mohican family. From the time Hawkeye and his companions rescue her, her sister, and Duncan after they’re ambushed by a Huron war party, Duncan’s cause is hopeless.

During the desperate march to the fort, commanded by her father and besieged by the French and their Indian allies, the passion between Cora and Hawkeye steadily builds as they endure hardship together and overcome their initial cultural antagonism. But it is only after gaining the relative security of the fort under cover of darkness that their mutual attraction finally has the opportunity to express itself. Cora’s body language when Hawkeye comes into the surgery (45:45 minutes into the film and shown in the clip below) and declares his interest by stopping to admire her, so different from her body language when Duncan had tried to court her, is wonderfully rendered by actress Madeleine Stowe. Not long after that (56:00 minutes into the film and shown in the clip below) the pair rendezvous, find a private spot, and the dam holding back their passion breaks. Would they have gone on to marry, have children, live happily ever after? In real life it would be very unlikely, and the film wisely stops before reaching that part of the story.]

Duncan proposes to Cora

Hawkeye declares his interest

Hawkeye and Cora Rendezvous

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