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A man returning home after having fought in the Civil War discovers that corrupt politicians have taken over the county and are terrorizing and shaking down the citizens. He dons the costume of his ancestor, the famous Zorro, and sets out to bring them to justice. Written by
Growing up in the 40's, especially before TV, meant the week's best entertainment was the Saturday matinee at the downtown theatre: a western feature with Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy or some other cowboy hero; 5 cartoons; a comedy short featuring the 3 Stooges, Edgar Kennedy or some other slapstick comedian; and, of course, another thrilling chapter of a serial--all of this for only 15 cents. "Son of Zorro" was my first introduction to this great fictional character of the old west, even before Disney's popular characterization by Guy Williams. Though this is not the original Zorro, the hero of this piece, Jeff Stewart (George Turner) is a decendent and the story line is similar. Stewart is returning home after serving his country in the Civil War about 1869, only to find while he and the other able-bodied males were away, crooked politicians got themselves illegally elected and are abusing Box County citizens with their unfair taxes, high tolls, and acts of terrorism against any who dare resist. Though initially trying to settle matters peacefully, Stewart is forced to assume the role of his ancestor to battle the evil that has disrupted his hometown. The only people who know Jeff Stewart is Zorro is Pancho (Stanley Price), his faithful ranch foreman and pretty Kate Wells (Peggy Stewart) Box County's postmistress. Kate becomes the perfect "Damsel in Distress", week after week getting knocked unconscious or tied up, only to be rescued by Zorro. Don't let anyone kid you, Peggy Stewart is an excellent horsewoman and did all of her stunt riding herself. She still rides today, even at 77, though she is retired from acting. The Box County bandits' top heavy, Boyd (Roy Barcroft) was constantly in Zorro's hair. Was Barcroft the movies' all-time best bad guy or what. The other crooks who ran the town were Sheriff Moody (Edward Cassidy) and Judge Hyde (Ernie Adams). But, who was the real brains behind the gang? Well, you'll have to see chapter 13 to find out, though I'll tell you it's one you might least expect. Over 40 years after seeing "Son of Zorro" in the theatre, I have to admit I still loved it and found it just as exciting as it was when I was a kid. Zorro became a favorite with Republic's cliffhanger serials, producing no less than 5 episodic adventures featuring the masked avenger. I was a real fan of the serials during that time period and this is still my favorite. If you are nostalgic about this part of Americana, give it a look. It will bring back memories.
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