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The Mark of Zorro (1940)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,879 users  
Reviews: 72 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:
...
Diego
...
...
...
...
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Montagu Love ...
Janet Beecher ...
George Regas ...
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

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

Don Diego Vega: I must please ask you to change the subject. His Excellency objects to talk of throat-cutting.
Captain Esteban Pasquale: Quiet, you Popinjay! I have no reason to letting you live either.
Don Diego Vega: What a pleasant coincidence. I feel exactly the same way about you Capitan.
Captain Esteban Pasquale: You wouldn't care to translate that feeling into action would you?
Don Diego Vega: I might be tempted. If I had a weapon.
Captain Esteban Pasquale: Would you.
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

Referenced in The Desert Song (1953) 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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