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UAL Research Online

A Very American Fable: The Making of a Mohican's Adaptation

Sabin, Roger and Barker, Martin (2006) A Very American Fable: The Making of a Mohican's Adaptation. In: Nineteenth-Century American Fiction on Screen. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 9-35. ISBN 9780521842211

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Sabin, Roger and Barker, Martin

This is a chapter in a 14-essay anthology about the translation of ‘classic’ works of literature to the screen.

The starting point of each essay is the literary text itself, moving on to describe specific aspects of the adaptation process, including details of production and reception. My chapter concerns Fenimore Cooper’s 'The Last of the Mohicans' (1826) and the 1936 movie version, which made a star of Randolph Scott. The chapter is co-written with Martin Barker, Professor of Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University.

It is an extension of the work first begun by Barker and myself in our jointly-authored book 'The Lasting of the Mohicans' (University of Mississippi Press, 1995), which analysed the ways in which Cooper’s story had been adapted in a variety of mediums. The reason for returning to the 1936 film was that we had the opportunity to research hitherto unexplored archives in the USA.

The 1936 film is important because it was released at a time when the political situation in Europe was deteriorating. The original tale is partly about the conflicts between settlers (identified as ‘Americans’ in the film version) and the British army. In the film, the story is altered to offer an upbeat rapprochement between the two sides. The point of our research, therefore, was to uncover the political motivations for the film – specifically, how far Hollywood may have been responding to a request by F D Roosevelt to make films which would challenge the dominant isolationism of the US.

Official Website: http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521842211
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Roger Sabin

Research Interests

Cultural history, cultural studies, subcultural studies, film and television studies. Specialisms: comics, graphic novels, manga; punk and counterculture; 19th century entertainment; television crime drama. Cultural theory, especially postmodernism in history.
Current Research

Currently completing one book and co-authoring two others. The sole-authored book is about 19th century ‘funny papers’/comics, and in particular the character 'Ally Sloper', the first comics superstar. The other two concern TV crime drama: one is about The Wire, and one about the history of the genre. Also, various smaller-scale projects involving comics, graphic novels, manga and other areas listed above.

Previous books include: As Author: Comics, Comics and Graphic Novels (Phaidon); Adult Comics: An Introduction (Routledge); The Lasting of the Mohicans (University Press of Mississippi – co-authored with Martin Barker). As Editor: Punk Rock: So What? (Routledge); Below Critical Radar: Fanzines and Alternative Comics 1976-Now (Codex - with Teal Triggs); The Movie Book (Phaidon – with Michael Newton).

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Cambridge University Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2006
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 14:09
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2012 09:48
Item ID: 1171
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1171

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