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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 <email@example.com>
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 »
Good Entertainment, & A Nice Showcase For Fairbanks
Besides being entertaining in itself, "The Mark of Zorro" also provides Douglas Fairbanks with a nice showcase, in a dual role that gives him plenty of good material to work with. While other versions of the Zorro legends are now more familiar to present-day audiences, this one is probably still better than any of the others except for the 1940 version with Tyrone Power.
The 1998 update had big names and a big budget, but it was of much lower quality, glossy and over-played at a number of points, and with too much material of comic-book quality at other times.
Fairbanks works nicely both as Don Diego and as Zorro, and he gets opportunities to display many different talents. He gets to display his swash-buckling yet easy-going persona, and then at other times is able to show a more refined, sometimes vulnerable side. Not only does he make both personalities work, but he melds them together into a believable whole, not so much by means of artifice as by the vigor and sincerity of his screen presence.
The story, likewise, presents an interesting situation that works Fairbanks in well with the other characters. Though they are less interesting in themselves, the secondary characters each play a useful role in the story and in the ideas that it suggests. This old version of the Zorro tale holds up well - at least for those who enjoy silent movies - and it presents a nicely paced and entertaining story.
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