The Sign of Zorro (1958)
User ReviewsReview this title
Guy Williams (Don Diego de la Vega and Zorro) is my favorite actor of all time. Henry Calvin (Sgt. Garcia) is also an excellent actor, and he is very funny. Which makes him perfect for his role. Gene Sheldon (Bernardo) is an even better actor, and just as funny! He makes an excellent man servant.
Plot: After 3 years of study in Spain, Don Diego de la Vega returns to California because he father sent a message for him. When he arrives in Los Angeles, he finds that a dictator named Captain Monasatario, has taken over control. He is the most cruel man in all California, and arrests everyone that can not pay the taxes. Diego decides to do something about it, and makes the Zorro outfit. And with his man servant Bernardo and the horse Tornado, he fights for freedom and justice!
IN ADDITION TO the already mentioned DISNEYLAND there was the daily afternoon MICKEY MOUSE CLUB. Whiole chatting with the assembled band of youthful performers, Mousketeer Cubby O'Brien (or was it "Moochie"-Kevin Corchran?) constantly questioned 'Uncle' Walt, "But what about Zorro?"
EVENTUALLY WE DID find out about Zorro and his connection with he Disney Organization. A masked & costumed Guy Williams appeared and gave us a teaser of a rundown about the new series, slotted for Thursdays at 7:30 PM Central Time.
IT WAS HIGHLY successful, garnering a great following. Everywhere we looked there was a chalk or marker impression of "Z" on buildings, school signs, billboards, book covers, wherever kids could write.
SO WAS THE next logical step for Disney's ZORRO to be a full length feature film for showing at the movie houses? The answer was a resounding "Yes!" The following year Disney's own Buena Vista Distributors released THE SIGN OF ZORRO! The young crowd was ecstatic; as we marched like the rodents of Hamlin's Pied Piper to plunk down our two bits at the local theatres.
WELL, ALTHOUGH WE did enjoy seeing Don Diego and company on the big screen, we did feel as if we'd been had. Even a ten year old knew that this was a sort of bogus movie; being made up from three ZORRO TV episodes, edited into a single screen story.
ALTHOUGH WE HAVE always held this Disney series in high regard, the use of this episode splicing into a 'feature film' casts certain aspersions on Guy Williams as a Movie Zorro. In our view, it disqualifies his being compared to Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Power or even our personal favourite, Reed Hadley in the ZORRO'S FIGHTING LREGION Serial (Republic, 1939).