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« Berlinale 2019: Three queer selections, a doc from the Sudan, and one walkout | Main | 11 days til Oscar - Is Bette Davis a 10 or an 11? »
Wednesday
Feb132019

Great Moments in Kissing: "The Last of the Mohicans"

For Valentine's Week we asked Team Experience to share favourite screen kisses. Here's new contributor Ginny.

Hello everyone! Ginny here from Los Angeles ready to share one of the hottest things 1992 ever gave us and one of the most romantic scren kisses of all time. A big thank you goes out to Daniel Day-Lewis (then at his all time hottest) and Madeleine Stowe (a gorgeous smitten kitten) whose on-screen chemistry in The Last of the Mohicans made 15-year old me sweat and blush in all the right ways. You could cut the sexual tension between these two with a blunt tomahawk.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw this movie. It was in my AP History class in tenth grade...

We had just finished learning about the French and Indian War and what better way to celebrate our midterms being over than with this Michael Mann directed adventure.

Day-Lewis, an orphaned settler named Hawkeye who was adopted by the last member of the dying Mohicans, is assigned to protect Stowe and her little sister in the midst of the French and Indian War. What complicates things is that Stowe’s character, Cora, is the daughter of a British Colonel. She's been kinda-sorta-maybe promised to a cocky British soldier as a wife. After a long and harrowing journey through the Adirondacks to make it to her father's fort, Cora realizes that she has fallen in love with Hawkeye and vice versa. The moment of realization happens when Hawkeye simply stares at Cora longingly while she is sweaty and disheveled (but still gorgeous). She catches him and asks...

To which he replies “I’m looking at you, Miss”.

Oh yeah, it’s about to go down.

Later (during an incredibly romantic score fraught with violins by Randy Edelman and Trevor Jones) the two secretly meet in a closed-off area of the fort with the intention of doing the do. It’s dark and the only light you can see is the buttery glow from their faces and clothes; the rest of the world is completely oblivious. They could be the only people in the entire world. It starts slow, with them standing close to each other and Hawkeye rubbing his hands up and down Cora’s arms. Cora looks both scared and ready to just do the damn thing. Hawkeye makes the first move and captures her lips in a slow but searing kiss. All you can hear is their breathing and the violins. He then grabs her face gently and she does the same to him and they continue kissing with the most intimate close-ups. He then picks her up in his arms and they continue kissing (the sex is merely implied). Cora’s face says it all: She loves this man, she wants this man, she will have this man.

Director Michael Mann, who has always hired strong sound teams, drowns out the war and all other evils outside of this moment and the score. And at this point in my AP History class every girl swooned -- we couldn’t even blink as the scene unfolded. The love and passion in this scene, mixed with the danger of the bloody war and them possibly getting caught is delicious. And it didn’t need to be a full-blown sex scene with clothes coming off, because the passion and love on their faces say it all.

Kudos, Cora. Now stay alive, no matter what! He will find you!

Ginny is an actress in Los Angeles. You can follow her on Instagram here

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Reader Comments (13)

American cinema definitely had a wilderness phase in the early 90s. Mohicans, Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It, White Fang, Legends of the Fall, Far and Away (the Oklahoma scenes), The River Wild. I dug it.

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Come back to us Madeleine Stowe!!!! We miss you!

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

I just saw the film again last month. Great fucking film.

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Romantic lead DDL (The Last of the Mohicans, The Age of Innocence, Phantom Thread, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Boxer) is easily my favorite DDL.

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

David and Suzanne - YES to both!

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPam

This movie is very romantic

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

This has been my favorite romance in the last, what, 25 years? Has it been longer? The definition of screen chemistry.

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Hollywood

Growing up with my family, I saw Last of the Mohicans at least 20 or 30 times before I was 16.

Wes Studi kicks so much ass

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBen

the score is gorgeous

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

It will always be bewildering that Oscar turned their noses up at this movie.

February 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Gosh, Stowe was so fucking great in this one. We did not deserve her in early 90s.
And the movie aged very well. I'm still shocked Oscars snubbed the cinematography and score.

February 14, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterpawel

Nat, right? And then the complete snub of one of the modern classics 3 years later - Heat. It's not surprising that the Academy didn't warm to Michael Mann until he started doing biopics.

February 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Love this film and the chemistry between DDL and Madeleine Stowe is just that special kinetic lightning in a bottle type that is impossible to plan. The movie is excellent on its own terms with every single performance pitch perfect and on point but it is the power of connection between the two of them which raises it to a higher level.

The score is gorgeous and the cinematography amazing, just the overall attention to detail (while not dwelling on those details to the point of distraction) is so potent. A classic version of a classic tale.

February 17, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

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