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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 7,131 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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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

In the film's end-title credits, Basil Rathbone's character's name is spelled "Captain Esteban Pasquale" (pronounced "pass-KWALL"), but "Pasquale" is the Italian form of the name ("pass-KWALL-ee). The correct Spanish spelling is Pascual. See more »

Quotes

Captain Esteban Pasquale: Conditions have changed since you left, Don Diego. Your father resigned. Age, you know! Since then, the peons have become um... more industrious. As to the caballeros. they're encouraged to think of their own affairs. WE take care of the government!
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

Version of The Mask of Zorro (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Zorro, the Fox
6 November 2003 | by (West Virginia) – See all my reviews

What fun! This film has not aged a day in 63 years.....it is still a great tale of old California and the masked caballero, Zorro. Tyrone Power plays it to the hilt, and is especially good in his alter ego of the effeminate fop, Don Diego. He may not be quite as acrobatic as Fairbanks was in the original silent version but it doesn't detract from the performance. And Power was a fencer, so his sword fighting scenes certainly rang true. Put him with that elegant gentleman, Basil Rathbone, also an excellent swordsman, and you get one of the best sword fights in film history. Rathbone is the other shining star of this film. He oozes evil and was the master of the condescending sneer. The supporting cast is impeccable.....Palette, Sondergaard, Bromberg, Love, and the young, extremely beautiful Linda Darnell. It is curious to note that both Gale Sondergaard and J. Edward Bromberg were caught up in the Red Scare in Hollywood in the late 40'3, early 50's and their careers were basically destroyed by it.

This is a rousing, fun film with great dialogue and should be on everyone's "must see" list. One curious thing.......how did those very revealing tight pants worn by Power and Rathbone get by the Hays Office? These were the days when you could not even show a married couple sharing the same bed and those pants didn't leave much to the imagination!


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