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The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Romance  |  8 November 1940 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 7,215 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 50 critic

A young aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California.

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(screenplay), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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In the 1840s, the foppish Don Diego de la Vega returns from Spain to his family in California to find that his father has been replaced as ruler of the region by the cruel Don Luis Quintero... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Diego
...
...
...
...
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Montagu Love ...
Janet Beecher ...
George Regas ...
Chris-Pin Martin ...
Turnkey (as Chris - Pin Martin in opening credits)
Robert Lowery ...
Rodrigo
Belle Mitchell ...
Maria
John Bleifer ...
Pedro
Frank Puglia ...
Propietor
Eugene Borden ...
Officer of the Day
Edit

Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Jagged Mark of His Sword Struck Terror to Every Heart - But One! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Californian  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (censored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous duel was staged by Hollywood fencing master Fred Cavens. Cavens specialized in staging duels that relied more on actual swordplay rather than the jumping on furniture and leaping from balconies that many film "duels" consisted of up until that point. Cavens' son, Albert Cavens, doubled for Tyrone Power in the fancier parts of the duel (mostly with his back to camera), such as the extended exchange with Esteban ending with Don Diego's sword smashing into the bookcase. Basil Rathbone, a champion fencer in real life, did not care for the saber (the weapon of choice in this film), but nevertheless did all of his own fencing. Fast fencing shots were undercranked to 18 or 20 frames per second (as opposed to the standard 24fps) and all the sound effects were post-synchronized. See more »

Goofs

When Diego dines with the Quinteros, Inez asks him to show them "the new dance steps." He and Lolita then dance together, but somehow the sheltered young Lolita knows the dance perfectly. This doesn't make sense if it contains "new dance steps" that even society-mad Inez doesn't know. See more »

Quotes

Don Diego Vega: [as Esteban repeatedly stabs a piece of fruit with a knife at the dinner table] Captain, you seem to regard that fruit as an enemy.
Captain Esteban Pasquale: A rival!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: MADRID - when the Spanish Empire encompassed the globe, and young blades were taught the fine and fashionable art of killing ... See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: MoneyBart (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Best Zorro of the Cinema History
14 January 2010 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In Madrid, the talented aristocratic military swordsman and rider Diego Vega (Tyrone Power) returns to the Mexican California to reunite with his father, the Alcalde Don Alejandro Vega (Montagu Love), and his mother. When he arrives in Los Angeles, he finds that his father has been replaced by the tyrannous Alcalde Don Luis Quintero (J. Edward Bromberg) that oppresses the people with soaring taxes and violent punishment for those that can not afford and supported by the corrupt Captain Esteban Pasquale (Basil Rathbone) and his soldiers. Don Diego does not disclose his abilities with the sword and disguises pretending that he is a sophisticated fashionable gay, for the heartache of his father. However, when he secretly wears a mask and rides a black horse, he becomes the avenger Zorro that carves his mark for the fearfulness of his enemies.

"The Mark of Zorro" is the best Zorro of the cinema history in a time when the studios were concerned with the screenplay and acting and not CGI and sex scenes. The witty delightful story presents Tyrone Power as a fantastic the weak and fragile Don Diego Vega and the powerful Zorro, with totally different personalities. His ability as swordsman and rider is impressive in a perfect choreography of fights, recalling Errol Flynn in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" of two years before. Linda Darnell is so sweet and beautiful that seems to be the inspiration for the title of the novel of Vladimir Nabokov. J. Edward Bromberg and Basil Rathbone are the perfect villains, the first one coward and sleazy and the second arrogant and corrupt. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "A Marca do Zorro" ("The Mark of Zorro")


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