Unless Mr. Mann's hands were tied in 1992, "definitive" is a misnomer. These are simply alternate cuts made by the director reflecting an altered point of view. In my case, I prefer his 1992 vision.
Agreed. Mann's hands were definitely not tied, and as memory serves he had tinkered with the movie for quite a while in post-production. I remember some of the analysts were expecting MOHICANS to flop -- it was delayed out of its original July release date to the fall, and the word of mouth wasn't good because of that. A lot of Trevor Jones' original score was also replaced by Randy Edelman tracks during that time as well.
The one problem I have with Mann is that these "re cuts" have become commonplace on the majority of his films, leaving the theatrical versions to often disappear completely (or at least be more unavailable by comparison). He must waffle in the editing room about a line of dialogue and fixate on that, because of all the major directors out there in this generation, I don't think there's one that has gone back in and reworked their movies after the fact more than he has.
This is the third different edit of MOHICANS, and it's not like this was CLOSE ENCOUNTERS where Spielberg rushed to get the movie out the first time, was able to re-edit (but with the caveat of adding that unneeded "mothership interior" scene) it for the Special Edition, but then wanted to further tweak it and axe the "mothership interior" ending for the final video release. There were reasons why that happened on that picture, but MOHICANS just seems to be a case of Mann not making up his mind as to what he really wants.
As long as the original version is on there, I'm still interested in seeing what this version is like, though.