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The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Romance  |  8 November 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 7,288 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.



(screenplay), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Montagu Love ...
Janet Beecher ...
George Regas ...
Chris-Pin Martin ...
Turnkey (as Chris - Pin Martin in opening credits)
Belle Mitchell ...
John Bleifer ...
Frank Puglia ...
Eugene Borden ...
Officer of the Day


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

8 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Californian  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (censored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Basil Rathbone, being a well known fencer in his own right, was asked how well Tyrone Power did in their scenes in which stunt doubles were not used. Rathbone responded, " Tyrone Power could fence Errol Flynn into a cocked hat!" See more »


When Diego dines with the Quinteros, Inez asks him to show them "the new dance steps." He and Lolita then dance together, but somehow the sheltered young Lolita knows the dance perfectly. This doesn't make sense if it contains "new dance steps" that even society-mad Inez doesn't know. See more »


Don Diego Vega: [speaking to his father] I went directly from the ship to our old home. I met Senor Quintero and his charming wife. I found them very pleasant and agreeable.
Fray Felipe: Pleasant scorpions! Agreeable rattlesnakes!
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 »


Referenced in Man with a Camera: The Last Portrait (1959) 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")

17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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