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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>
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 »
When the padre leaves the cell he has a pistol in his right hand. When he starts hitting the soldiers, he has a tree limb in his right hand. When the Alcade resigns, the padre escorts him the pistol is back in his right hand. See more »
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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