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Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939)

Passed | | Western | 16 December 1939 (USA)
The masked hero leads a fighting force to fight a villian who plots the conquest of The Republic of Mexico.

Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sheila Darcy ...
Volita
William Corson ...
Ramon
Leander De Cordova ...
...
John Merton ...
Commandante Manuel [Ch. 1-9]
C. Montague Shaw ...
Budd Buster ...
Juan
...
Guy D'Ennery ...
Don Francisco [Ch. 1]
...
Kala [Ch. 10-12] (as Paul Marian)
Joe Molina ...
Tarmac -Yaqui Chief
James Pierce ...
Henchnam Moreno (as Jim Pierce)
Helen Mitchel ...
Doña Maria
Curley Dresden ...
Henchman Tomás
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Storyline

It'a 1824 and Don Del Oro, a man completely hidden in a suit of armor, plans to become emperor of Mexico. Don Diego arrives and as the masked Zorro takes up the fight. He organizes the Legionnaires to fight Del Oro's henchmen and the Yaqui Indians. CHAP. 1, GOLDEN GOD: An explosion sends a landslide down on Zorro. CHAP. 2, FLAMING Z: Zorro is trapped in a building as it explodes. CHAP. 3, DESCENDING DOOM: Zorro is trapped in an elevator shaft with the car plummeting down at him. CHAP. 4, BRIDGE OF PERIL: Zorro is on a narrow suspension bridge when the suport ropes are cut. CHAP. 5, DECOY: Zorro is on a wagon that explodes. CHAP. 6, ZORRO TO THE RESCUE: Zorro is locked in a dungeon cell with a moving wall that is about to crush him. CHAP. 7, FUGITIVE: Zorro falls beneath a runaway stagecoach. CHAP. 8, FLOWING DEATH: Zorro is in a mine shaft when an avalanche of water is released. CHAP 9, GOLDEN ARROW: A man at close range shoots an arrow at the unsuspecting Don Diego. CHAP. 10, MYSTERY... Written by Maurice VanAuken <vanauken@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WHIPS CRACK! SWORDS FLASH! BULLETS FLY! (original print ad-all caps)

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La legión del Zorro  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the only serial in which Zorro's character has been presented authentically; often said to be a prequel to Zorro Rides Again (1937) because the main character of that serial was the original Zorro's descendant, it is, in fact, a completely original story featuring the actual Zorro character. See more »

Quotes

Don Diego Vega: What Diego can't do, Zorro can!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Robot Chicken: Werewolf vs. Unicorn (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

We Ride!
Music by William Lava
Lyrics by Eddie Cherkose
Sung by Zorro's Legionaires over the credits and throughtout the serial.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Republic" serial -- I like the sound of that word

Sitting on the front porch of his Burbank home, Ted Mapes told me that he and Reed Hadley wore the exact same size in every item of clothing except hat.

Ted, one of the greatest of the stunt men, said that every time Zorro put on his mask, he was the one on the screen.

That was a little bit of an exaggeration: There were times that Zorro was obviously Reed Hadley, but in the stunts we can be satisfied it was Ted at work.

And what stunts! "Zorro's Fighting Legion" is, as witness the comments here, one of the greatest of serials. It is exciting and generally very well made.

Reed Hadley was a fine actor, and, as someone else commented, he made a very good fop.

But, admittedly, it is the action that makes this movie so great.

And what else could we expect, with direction by that excellent team, Witney and English, with great music from the amazingly prolific William Lava (the listing here says he was uncredited, but that is incorrect; those other composers listed here were indeed uncredited, and I don't know if they did write any of the music -- it sounds like Lava), and with villainy from, among others, the great Charles King, and with dozens of bit parts?

Also noteworthy was a villain played by the radio Tarzan, Jim Pierce, who was Edgar Rice Burroughs' son-in-law. (I urge you to read his mini-bio.)

There is one chapter that slows things down depressingly, but, heck, it's only a few minutes long (maybe 20) and when you wade through it, well, you're back to the excitement.

Turner Classic Movies deserves a great big THANK YOU for presenting this excellent serial, and we should ask TCM to bring us more.

And we should thank everyone involved that we get to see it as a chapter-play, or serial, and not as a re-cut feature.


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