Has been for 18 years, don't see it being usurped anytime soon. The Last of the Mohicans had my heart at hello! Last night, I watched it for the first time in a couple years. It was wonderful.
I remember 1992 sitting in the rec room of my home seeing the previews for it on TV (still give me chills!). I thought "I HAVE to see THIS movie". I did, twice. Not sure how I convince my fellow 14 yr old best friend to see it twice... probably because it was one of the few thing we could do without parents!
I was blown away by it at the movies. I don't recall any one thing that stood out (beside the awesome scenery), I just fell in love with the whole thing. I got it on VHS when it came out... and for just about a decade I watched that thing to death. Towards the end it was so "watched" that it was starting to skip in places... it was probably threadbare, ha ha! My dad (hi dad!) used to joke with me asking if that tape was actually still working! I finally upgraded to a DVD, woo-hoo! Unfortunately by then, Greg was in the picture. He's not as much of a fan, so we rarely watch it. Especially now. We don't have time to rewatch movies, we barely have time to watch new ones!!
Oh and not to forget the score! I do have that cd, it's so scratched and one song doesn't even play... probably time to just buy online for the ipod! Don't for get the big song in the movie... even though they took it out when the director's dvd was released.
I've tried to read the original novel by James Fenimore Cooper... and it's a really hard read. Thought perhaps I just didn't have the IQ for it... but I have read reviews that state it's "formal prose style" makes it hard for modern readers. So I guess it's not my IQ, I'm just not cultured enough! But I do own a lovely early 1900's edition of it though!
Imagine my delight in discovering a series based upon the son of Hawkeye & Cora. I about flipped! It's a 7 book series, my library only has 1 & 4 (booooo!). I keep looking on ebay for the whole set to just buy, but it must not be very popular or maybe because the 7th book just came out, but they're all full price. I'll get my mitts on it eventually!
Lately I've been researching Greg's ancestry (since I received the family tree from his Grandma) and they have a ton of ancestors that were the early founders of Albany and the US. One was a famous Puritan settler, one the very first mayor of Albany, a few Revolutionary War generals, and one a signer of the Declaration of Independence! So I've been very immersed in Albany (where TLoTM begins) and that general era.
It was like a visit from an old best friend last night! I washed & dried dishes for the first part of it, then I got a nice comfy blanket and laid on the couch to watch the rest! I was so content.
Why do I love this movie so much? Last night I was pondering that exact question as I reveled in my delight. There's a lot of deep stuff in this movie, even violent at times, but very poignant.
There's the beautiful elegant (sometimes savage) native american culture. Makes me wish I knew more about my own Native American roots (hey Aunt J and Dad, don't we have a native american ancestor?).
There's the contrast of the formal & proper Cora that awakens to the discovery a passion and respect for this raw land and it's people. You can see the change in her throughout the whole movie from the way she talks, looks, and most importantly handles the adversity and sometimes despair.
There's a father's (Chingachgook) love & respect (and later revenge) for his sons, adopted and biological.
The conflict of the fact that yes we came and took the land away from those that were there first. However, majority of the people that came to the New World were escaping persecution and looking for the basic human need/want for a better life.
For me, it makes me sad that the Frontier was considered "west of the Hudson"... and now... well... thank goodness there's at least some parks & conservation sites.
Not to mention dozens of other feelings and situations dealing with frontier life, loyalty, sedition, war, love, pride, discovery, fear, bravery, courage, loss, death, survival, kidnapping, mercy killings, and suicide. I think it meant even more to me last night than it ever has before. Obviously could go on and on (the quotes, more on the scenery, the actors/characters!)... but the boys and I need to run to Hobby Lobby!