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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
In Old California, despots who mistreat the people tremble at the thought of the mysterious, masked avenger who leaves upon the flesh of the guilty the sign of their shame & punishment - THE MARK OF ZORRO.
In 1920 Douglas Fairbanks, one of the partners in the newly formed United Artists Studio, found what he instinctively knew would be the perfect film project. The Curse of Capistrano, a novel by Johnston McCulley, was full of adventure and romance, with an exciting hero in its main character, Zorro. Doug, Hollywood's greatest athlete, needed a showcase for his physical talents & charming personality.
The search now at an end, THE MARK OF ZORRO would be the first in a series of swashbucklers with which Doug would dominate the 1920's. Giving the audience their money's worth, Fairbanks would insure that his films were full of elaborate historical ambiance, rapid-fire action & spectacular stunts.
Fairbanks would always be the center of attention, of course, and this first foray would set the pattern. Sword fights, breathless escapes and constant leaping about gives Doug plenty to do, but he also enjoys the quieter, light-hearted moments - in this case playing little slight-of-hand tricks with his handkerchief. It is enormous fun to see Fairbanks set the mold on the persona which would ensure his screen legend.
Although Fairbanks dominates the proceedings, there are other players to note: beefy Noah Beery as a bullying Spanish sergeant; innocent Marguerite De La Motte as Zorro's conflicted, confused sweetheart; Robert McKim as a villainous Spanish captain; and diminutive comic Snitz Edwards as a frightened innkeeper.
The success of this film engendered a 1925 sequel, DON Q SON OF ZORRO, in which Doug would get to play father & son.
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