The Mark of Zorro (1920)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Western  |  5 December 1920 (USA)
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Reviews: 30 user | 15 critic

A seemingly idiotic fop is really the courageous vigilante Zorro, who seeks to protect the oppressed.



(based on the story by: "The Curse of Capistrano" published in "All-Story Weekly")
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Complete credited cast:
Robert McKim ...
Capitán Juan Ramon
Charles Hill Mailes ...
Don Carlos Pulido
Doña Catalina Pulido
Snitz Edwards ...
Short Innkeeper
Sidney De Gray ...
Don Alejandro (as Sydney De Gray)
George Periolat ...
Governor Alvarado
Walt Whitman ...
Tote Du Crow ...


In old Spanish California, the oppressive colonial government is opposed by Zorro, masked champion of the people, who appears out of nowhere with flashing sword and an athletic sense of humor, scarring the faces of evildoers with his Mark. Meanwhile, beautiful Lolita is courted by villainous Captain Ramon, rich but effete Don Diego... and dashing Zorro, who is never seen at the same time as Don Diego. As Zorro continues to evade pursuit, Ramon puts the damsel in distress... Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Western


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Release Date:

5 December 1920 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La marca del Zorro  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(1970 alternate) | (DVD) | (Academy archive print)

Sound Mix:


(color toned)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Douglas Fairbanks was looking to try something new from his normal boy-meets-girl romance movies he had been making for the past few years. This is when the actor came across the story of Zorro - originally published in the magazine, "All-Story Weekly". Previous to Fairbank's portrayal, practically nobody had ever heard of the adventure story Robin Hood like hero Zorro. See more »


When Fray Felipe is receiving his lashes, there are horizontal lacerations along the left side of his back. The camera angle then widens to reveal two vertical lacerations - one in the center of his back and one to the right - while the laceration on the left side of the back is gone. See more »


Lolita Pulido: Why do wear a mask?
Zorro: Perhaps to hide the features of a De Bergerac.
See more »


Referenced in Zebraman (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Masterful job by the man who embodied the word "swashbuckler"
11 December 2003 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I consider Douglas Fairbanks Sr to be kind of the "Patron Saint" of the modern-day blockbuster spectaculars and I can picture him looking down and smiling every summer when the latest crop of these action epics are released. THE MARK OF ZORRO, THE THREE MUSKETEERS, ROBIN HOOD, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, THE BLACK PIRATE and THE GAUCHO always strike me as the cinematic forerunners of the feel-good, two-fisted, special-effects-laden works that today's studios unleash for summer and Christmas. With DON Q,SON OF ZORRO and THE IRON MASK he could even be considered the "Patron Saint" of blockbuster sequels. To be sure those who have followed in his footsteps lack his mastery of the medium and debatably only RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK has the true "Fairbanks Aura" around it.

THE MARK OF ZORRO is a masterpiece for any filmmaking era and is a perfect film to use to introduce people to silent films. Always a shrewd showman Fairbanks pounced on the rights to Johnston McCulley's story THE CURSE OF CAPISTRANO, the tale that introduced "The Robin Hood of Old California" to the world. No matter what heights he'd go on to scale in his later films this one may represent Fairbanks' artistry in it's purest form. So much praise is heaped on the action scenes in this classic that viewers often overlook Doug's terrific job portraying both the foppish Don Diego and his athletic alter ego El Zorro. (When I first saw RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK the contrast between Harrison Ford's bookish, awkward mannerisms for Dr. Jones in the classroom and his agile, confident body language as the whip-wielding Indy reminded me of Fairbanks in THE MARK OF ZORRO.)

Younger viewers who might otherwise sneer at silent movies like this might be persuaded to give it a chance by pointing out to them that no less an action star than Jackie Chan often praises Douglas Fairbanks in the same breath with Buster Keaton as one of his influences.

THE MARK OF ZORRO all by itself earned Douglas Fairbanks his title as cinema's Swashbuckler-In-Chief.

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