The Mark of Zorro

"Very Good"

The Mark of Zorro Review


Fun fact: The swashbuckling Zorro has been the subject of some 70 feature films. Holy rapier, hombre!

Cinema's best-known (and only, as near as I can tell) Hispanic hero came to the screen in this, one of his best-known incarnations, with Tyrone Power in the role. While the 1940 Mark of Zorro has a swooping score (nominated for an Oscar) and thrilling swordfights, it borrows much to heavily from the Robin Hood school of filmmaking. Don Diego's love affair with the beautiful Lolita (Linda Darnell) reeks of soap-level melodrama, and all too often it drags down an otherwise thrilling movie.

Zorro has some exquisite action sequences, extremely pioneering for its day, but these are just sprinkled around in an otherwise very straightforward drama. In missionary-era Los Angeles, Don Diego puts on the mask to become Zorro when the greed of the local Capitan (Basil Rathbone) gets out of control. Like Robin Hood, the Captain is brought to justice in the end thanks to a revolt of the local caballeros -- but not without a witch hunt into Zorro's identity. Think he'll make it out alive?

The Mark of Zorro breezes by in about an hour and a half, and it doesn't quite stick in the mind, swordfighting excepted. The dialogue is nothing special but Tyrone Power -- playing Diego as a dainty lad when not in the mask -- is awfully cute. Maybe the cutest Zorro to come along until The Gay Blade.

The Fox DVD adds one main extra, and that's a dry as dust commentary from critic Richard Schickel. Skip it. Power also has an A&E biography that's included on the disc.

Remade -- quite differently, and with an "S" instead of an "R" -- in 1998.



The Mark of Zorro

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 8th November 1940

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 9

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Rouben Mamoulian

Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck

Starring: as Don Diego Vega / Zorro, as Lolita Quintero, as Captain Esteban Pasquale, as Inez Quintero, as Fray Felipe, J. Edward Bromberg as Don Luis Quintero, as Don Alejandro Vega, Janet Beecher as Senora Isabella Vega, George Regas as Sergeant Gonzales, Gino Corrado as Caballero (uncredited)

Also starring:

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