The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 during the French and Indian War. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same name, although it owes more to George B. Seitz's 1936 film adaptation than the source novel. The main cast includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Wes Studi, Eric Schweig, Steven Waddington and Jodhi May. The soundtrack features music by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman, and the song "I Will Find You" by Clannad. The film won an Academy Award for Sound. The main theme of the movie is taken from the tune "The Gael" by Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean.
In 1757, the British and French are battling for control of North America in the French and Indian War. Though the colonists are bound by law to join the militia to aid the British, many of them are reluctant to leave their homes and families defenseless. Chingachgook (Russell Means), his son Uncas (Eric Schweig), and Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis), his adopted "white" son, visit the Cameron household. Jack Winthrop (Edward Blatchford) tells Hawkeye that he is gathering volunteers for the British army. The next morning, Jack and a group of others go to Albany, New York, to obtain terms from General Webb, who agrees to grant them leave if their homes are attacked. Satisfied, they join the British forces at Fort William Henry, sixty miles north of Albany. Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe) and her sister Alice (Jodhi May) have received word from their father, Colonel Edmund Munro (Maurice Roëves), the commander of the British garrison at the fort, to meet him there. A native guide named Magua (Wes Studi) and a detachment of British soldiers commanded by Major Duncan Heyward (Steven Waddington) escort the women on the trail. However, they are ambushed by Hurons (Wyandot) led by Magua himself. Heyward, Cora and Alice are rescued by Hawkeye and his companions, who have been tracking the war band. During the melee, Magua tries to shoot Cora, but Hawkeye forces him to flee. The rescuers reluctantly agree to escort the survivors to Fort William Henry. Along the way, they discover that the Cameron homestead has been razed and everyone killed, though nothing has been stolen, a sure sign of a war party. They find Fort William Henry under siege by the French, but manage to sneak inside. When Munro scolds his daughters for joining him, they realize that Magua has deceived them for some unknown reason. Munro tells Heyward that the fort can only hold out for three more days. Their only hope is to get a messenger through to General Webb at nearby Fort Edward for reinforcements. When Hawkeye tells the colonials about the attack on the Camerons, they demand to be released to go defend their homes, as General Webb had agreed. Munro refuses, so Hawkeye helps Jack and his friends desert. Hawkeye, who stays behind to be with Cora, is arrested for sedition and sentenced to hang. As the fort is on the verge of falling, the French commander, General Montcalm (Patrice Chéreau) offers Munro generous surrender terms. The garrison and their families are offered safe passage to Albany, on condition they return to England and no longer fight in the war. Munro reluctantly accepts, after Montcalm shows him an intercepted message from Webb in which he refuses to send aid. As the British march away, they are ambushed by a much larger force of Hurons led by Magua. To avenge his family, Magua personally cuts out Munro's heart, but not before telling Munro that he will kill his daughters so that his family line will be extinguished. Earlier, Magua had revealed to General Montcalm that his village had been destroyed years ago by Munro's soldiers, resulting in the death of his children and his wife marrying another man when she thought Magua was dead. Magua himself was taken as a slave by the Mohawk and although in time he adopted their customs and rose in their ranks, in his heart he always remained a Huron. Hawkeye, Cora, Alice, Uncas, Chingachgook, Heyward and two other soldiers escape to a cave behind a waterfall. With their gunpowder wet, Hawkeye and his two companions jump into the water, knowing their presence would precipitate a hopeless fight. Before escaping, Hawkeye promises Cora that he will find her no matter what happens. Heyward and the two women are captured. The prisoners are taken to a Huron village, with Hawkeye, Uncas and Chingachgook in pursuit. Magua is bargaining with the sachem when they are interrupted by the arrival of an unarmed Hawkeye running the gauntlet of hostile warriors. With Heyward translating, Hawkeye convinces the chief that Magua is acting for himself, rather than in the Hurons' interests. The chief renders his judgment: Cora is to be burned alive to atone for Magua's dead children; Magua is given Alice to be his wife so that both bloodlines can continue, although as Magua stated earlier, he means to kill the bloodline of Munro. Heyward is to be returned to the British in the hope of avoiding reprisals; and Hawkeye is given safe passage in recognition of his bravery. Desperate, Hawkeye pleads to take Cora's place. Heyward deliberately mistranslates, offering himself instead. When the chief accepts, Magua curses him and leaves with Alice and his men. Uncas immediately follows the war band, while Chingachgook waits for Hawkeye. From a safe distance, Hawkeye mercifully shoots Heyward as he is being burned at the stake. They then set off in pursuit of Magua. Uncas catches up with Magua's band alone. He kills several men before engaging Magua in single combat. Magua kills Uncas and drops his body off a cliff, after which Alice jumps to her death. Hawkeye, Chingachgook and Cora witness the deaths of their loved ones from a distance. Catching up, the two men slay several enemy warriors. As Hawkeye holds the rest at bay, Chingachgook duels Magua and avenges his son. After a ceremony for Uncas, Chingachgook names himself "the last of the Mohicans."