Circle the wagons, sharpen some arrows, and prepare to defend your couch fort, because come 8 p.m. ET, we’re showing “The Last of the Mohicans” and nothing is safe. In Michael Mann’s movie, a frequently shirtless colonial guide Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis) rescues British sisters, including the incomparable Madeline Stowe, from the Huron to take them to their father, the commander of Fort William Henry. But Mann’s version of the movie isn’t ripped from the pages of the dry James Fenimore Cooper novel, but is instead based more on his memory of the 1936 film version (starring Randolph Scott) than on Cooper’s nove. In fact, Philip Dunne’s 1936 screenplay is cited as source material for this film. The effect is mesmerizing and lush and straight out of Mann’s stunning movie playbook.
Mann seems to move effortlessly between the silver and small screens. He directed “Police Woman,” produced “Crime Story,” “Robbery Homicide Division” and is closely affiliated with “Miami Vice” on both screens. He also recently worked on “Luck” with Dustin Hoffman. Basically, he’s really good at his job and we would watch anything he made. That said, we are not above playing favorites.
Here are five of our favorite Michael Mann movies:
4. “Public Enemies”
5. “The Insider”
“Last of the Mohicans” airs tonight at 8 and 10:30 p.m. ET