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The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 8 November 1940 (USA)
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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Writers:

(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:
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Turnkey
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Rodrigo
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Maria
John Bleifer ...
Pedro
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Propietor
Eugene Borden ...
Officer of the Day
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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  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Linda Darnell was only 17 when she made this film. See more »

Goofs

The wanted posters are printed in English. While it's common in Hollywood movies to have English substitute for a foreign language, movie logic usually dictates that the written word be in the language the characters were really speaking - Spanish, in this case. Oddly enough, the posters are allegedly for the benefit of 18th-century Californian peasants, most of whom would never have learned to read anyway. See more »

Quotes

Inez Quintero: [after Lolita expresses an interest in love] You have the blood of the Hidalgos in your veins! Keep it cool, my girl, or I'll whisk you off into a convent!
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 Zorro (2009) 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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