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The Mark of Zorro (1940)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,431 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 49 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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Title: The Mark of Zorro (1940)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Don Diego Vega / Zorro
...
...
...
...
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Montagu Love ...
Janet Beecher ...
George Regas ...
Sgt. Gonzales
Chris-Pin Martin ...
Turnkey
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:

Ride With Zorro . . . The Dashing Don Of California's Most Adventurous Era ! 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  »

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

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 »

Goofs

The soldiers at the beginning of the film wager 10 Pesos. This is in Spain where the currency would be the Peseta not the Mexican Peso. See more »

Quotes

Don Diego Vega: [Explaining why he's late to dinner] They heated the water from my bath too early. It was positively tepid! By the time more was carried and properly scented... Life can be trying, don't you think?
Don Luis B. Quintero: Yes.
[laughs]
Lolita Quintero: [Disappointed in Diego] Oh, Maria!
Maria de Lopez: Courage, courage!
Don Luis B. Quintero: Well, shall we dine? Come, Diego.
Captain Esteban Pasquale: [to Inez] His bath was tepid? Poor Lolita! I'm afraid her married life will be the same!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Night Across the Street (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
my favorite superhero movie
9 October 2004 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

I like to be an iconoclastic jerk sometimes, so whenever I'm asked to name the best superhero movie, I always say "The Mark of Zorro." Then I have to specify that I mean the Tyrone Power movie, not the Fairbanks one and certainly not the Banderas. Ah, elitism can be amusing sometimes...

Seriously, though, this is one heck of a motion picture. The best part is the pacing; it's deliciously slow, in the most effective way. Characters are developed fully, tensions heighten gradually, and just when you're on the verge of getting bored - BOOM! A fantastic chase scene or swordfight perfectly repays your patience. Well, my patience, anyway. Maybe you were bored the whole way through?

Tyrone Power is simply awesome in this flick. He's hilarious as the fey Don Diego, and he cuts an impressive figure as Zorro. It's easy to see that Batman was patterned on Zorro, as he also pretends to be a stupid playboy, but Bruce Wayne was *never* this cool.

Basil Rathbone makes a great villain, as always, and his close-quarters duel with Zorro is, as I'm sure you've heard, one of cinema's great action scenes (I think the confined setting actually enhances the suspense). Even J. Edward Bromberg, who plays a slightly dated and silly character, somehow manages to come across well - it's interesting to see his character come into his own as the main villain at the end of the movie.

Even the romance isn't a dud. Lots of amusing flirting goes on, and Linda Darnell certainly is easy on the eyes.

Why can't they make action flicks like this anymore? To paraphrase a certain famous political catchphrase, "it's the characters, stupid." Everybody in this movie is colorful and cool, and through them I get wrapped up in the plot. When the biggest complaint I have is a bit of rear-screen projection during a boat ride, you know the movie's almost perfect.


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