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Around 1820 the son of a California nobleman comes home from Spain to find his native land under a villainous dictatorship. On the one hand he plays the useless fop, while on the other he is the masked avenger Zorro. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
During filming, Tyrone Power was in the habit of taking an early morning swim in a pool that he insisted on being carefully pre-heated. Darryl F. Zanuck played a prank on him by arranging for the heating to be turned off. Power dived in and got such a shock that he later claimed he nearly had a heart attack. He got his revenge. Zanuck watched the dailies every day with a critical eye and one evening saw something unexpected; the cast and crew collaborated to film a spoof version of the hold-up scene where Zorro robs a coach carrying the Governor and his wife. When Zorro is supposed to slash his trademark "Z" into the coach's seat cushion, the reverse angle reveals an uncharacteristic "DZ" instead, to a shocked gasp of "Zanuck!" from J. Edward Bromberg as the evil Alacalde. Power declares snidely, "Let that be a lesson to you, damn it!" See more »
After Zorro breaks into the Alcalde's home, threatens him, and meets Lolita, he is shortly thereafter seen slashing down a "Wanted" poster offering 20,000 pesos for his capture. Later, in the scene where he holds up the tax collectors after they have gathered tax money from the peons, as he robs the tax collectors, in the background can be seen another "Wanted" poster offering 5,000 pesos reward for the capture of Zorro. In a subsequent scene moments later, they again show the poster offering 20,000 pesos reward for Zorro's capture. See more »
Young Don Diego De La Vega has been sent to Spain from the family estancia in Spanish California to learn fencing and get a little polish, bring some culture and couth to the frontier.
When he returns Diego finds all is not right. His father is out as alcalde of the village of Los Angeles and a new post captain and his willing accomplice, the new alcalde, are conducting wholesale robbery of the people quite legally. What to do?
When Diego De La Vega is played by Tyrone Power quickly give the impression you're a fatuous fop and don't let them see you're the best swordsman around. And by night take the guise of an 18th century bandit hero and call yourself Zorro.
I love this film very much because great romantic heroes like Tyrone Power just aren't found these days. Eventually Power proved he could do more than just look good in a period costume, but the movie going public loved him best in these kind of roles, me included.
He gets great support from lovely Linda Darnell whom he has to simultaneously repel as Don Diego and woo as Zorro to keep the fiction going. Basil Rathbone is a wonderful commandant who keeps the people in line and taxes to himself.
But I particularly liked J. Edward Bromberg and Gale Sondergaard as Senor and Senora Quintero the crooked alcalde and his scheming wife. Oddly enough as fate would have it, both of these people later on had blacklist problems with Bromberg meeting a tragic early death.
Dueling and romance from Tyrone Power, the California Cockerel so dubbed by his fellow students at the fencing academy who saves the day and wins the girl. And when the girl is Linda Darnell, does anyone have to ask what he's fighting for?
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