Don Juan Ortega is still pretending to be the Commandante of the pueblo, and when he sees Rosarito Cortez, he attempts to kill her before she can identify him as an impostor. Zorro must intervene and...
In nineteenth century Spanish California, heroic masked swordsman Zorro, who's actually a local nobleman, must protect his friends and small town (or pueblo) of Los Angeles from its corrupt magistrate (or alcalde) and other menaces.
In this film, edited from eight episodes of Disney's hit TV series, Don Diego returns home to find his town under the heel of a cruel dictator, Capitan Monastario. Diego dons the mask of ... See full summary »
Dr. Marsh Tracy was a veterinarian running an animal study center in Africa. Helping him were his daughter Paula, American Jack Dane and Mike, a local. Also living with the Tracys--and ... See full summary »
Judy the Chimpanzee
The only son of Don Alejandro returns to 1820s California to fight the corrupt local military. He plays the foppish dandy by day and the masked swordsman Zorro who slashes "Z"s everywhere by night. His horses (black and white) are Tornado and Phantom. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Sincere, well-made B/W adventure; The Scarlet Pimpernel" of Spanish California
"Zorro" was a character created in the image of others of the 19th century who had worn a disguise, played a dual role, championed justice for people against those who would deprive them of it or rob them through excessive taxes and deny them justice under courts. Johnston McCulley's character returned home in 1820, after attending a university in Spain, to find the land being ruled by a tyrannical commandante. Instead of committing suicide through a premature rebellion, Don Diego instead masquerades as a foppish coward by day--like the Scarlet Pimpernel--and by night becomes El Zorro, the black-clad fox. He is no altruist; his purpose is to steal back what the tyrant's soldiers have stolen, to save those condemned falsely and to instill a spirit of revolution against their oppressor in his people. McCulley apparently liked the television version much better than the film that had starred Tyrone Power; I too prefer it to that film as author and actor, and to the later versions. Producer Norman Foster and Walt Disney labored to make the production, albeit an adventure series, a quality offering, much as the British "Robin Hood" of Hannah Weinstein became a classic for the same reasons. As Diego de la Vega, Guy Williams, actually Hispanic, was a charismatic, attractive and capable "B" leading man in the role of a lifetime; he had the capability of playing comedy as well as drama and was made to seem a superb fencer. Henry Calvin played the slow-witted but practical Sergeant Garcia, Gene Sheldon was his mute servant and helper Bernardo, who also played the banjo. George J. Lewis, also Hispanic, was attractive as Don Alejandro, Diego's father; the part of Captain Monastario was played with some power by Britt Lomond; many other semi-regulars populated the series including Don Diamond, Jan Arvan, Jolene Brand, Nestor Paiva, Romney Brent, John Litel, Vinton Hayworth, Eduard Franz and Eugenia Paul. Others often seen in the series included regular guests Suzanne Lloyd Charles Korvin, Carlos Romero, Jay Novello and Michael Pate. Directors for the series included Charles Lamont, Harmon Jones, William Witney, John Meredyth Lucas, Norman Foster, Lewis R. Foster, Hollingsworth Morse, Charles Barton and Robert Stevenson. Among sixteen writers who contributed to the series' several; formats were Gene L. Coon, Roy Edward Disney, Anthony Ellis, Jackson Gillis, Lewis R. Foster, Norman Foster and N. B. Stone, Jr. George Avil supplied good B/W cinematography; Production Designer was Marvin Aubrey Davis aided by Set Decoratos Hal Gausman and Emile Kuri; Chuck Keehne supplied the attractive period costumes. Fred Cavens performed the vital job of fencing master. The theme song became as famous as the series did. This same show might have been done as drama; but as an adventure with sincerity, emotional honesty and good production values, it would be hard to better. The series appeared only from 1957 to 1959.
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