by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Tecumseh : The Last Warrior (1995)

Jack   C-

IMDB    6.6

Tribe(s) : Shawnee

Language : English



   The movie opens in 1813, in Ontario, Canada. A voice over tells of how the armies had destroyed their homes seven times and had driven them farther and farther from their homeland. Tecumseh was a leader of the Shawnee people. He talks of meeting Harrison and his soldiers tomorrow. The movie flashes back to 1768 Ohio when Tecumseh was born. A shooting star told of the birth of a powerful leader.

As a small boy he listens to the elders talk after the village is burned again. A war party goes out to face the whites and Tecumseh's father is killed. The whites then offer another treaty. The elders debate, they don't believe the whites but they don't know if they can win. The British ask the Shawnees for help. They tell them that they will give them guns. The Shawnees join the British, but they have lied to them too. Half the tribe heads west to get away from the whites. As a teenager he goes out on a raiding party and he flees when the fighting begins. The next time out he does much better.

In 1794. thinking they had British support, the Shawnees fought the whites again, hoping to keep their Ohio lands, but the American army set a trap and quickly defeated them. The Shawnees tried to return to the British fort, but the English would not let them in. The Shawnees had again lost their lands and their ally.

The Shawnees get a new treaty. They lose their lands, but get some money. Tecumseh is not happy with the agreement. He and a small band roamed the land for the next eleven years. Then Tecumseh and his brother begins to unite the tribes. No more treaties should be signed. Tecumseh learns about an upcoming eclipse, and uses that knowledge to impress the tribes of his power. Future president William Henry Harrison, the governor, is leading the fight against Tecumseh. Tecumseh has united seven Northern tribes and is looking to get more. Harrison asks Tecumseh to stop in his attempt to unite the tribes. He tells him to enter in to one more treaty. Harrison says that the treaties were fair, and Tecumseh calls him a liar. Tecumseh begins to unite more and more of the Eastern tribes.

While Tecumseh is away recruiting, his brother attacked Harrison and Harrison attacked and wiped out many of the Shawnees. In the war of 1812 Tecumseh fought with the British. After the war he had to face Harrison again. harrison leads his troops on to the battlefield and then attacks. The Indians, for some reason, then go charging across the battle field, fighting like Europeans. Tecumseh is shot and killed and the Shawnee are defeated.

The movie is from the Indian's point of view, and it does use native actors, but it is also all in English. The dialogue is poorly written, having the Natives use simple, awkward words. Well meaning on a potentially really interesting subject, poorly executed.