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In the 1840s, the foppish Don Diego de la Vega returns from Spain to his family in California to find that his father has been replaced as ruler of the region by the cruel Don Luis Quintero. Despite being a skilled swordsman, Diego downplays his skills in front of the evil Captain Esteban and shows himself to be rather a clown in front of his family. However, Diego secretly picks up the sword of justice as the masked hero Zorro and fights to return justice to the region and his people. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Worthy TV adaptation of this dashing swashbuckler!
Frank Langella makes you forget both Tyrone & Fairbanks - his Zorro is quieter, more serious, more sensual, whereas the other two played the role for laughs at times. And Langella's take on Don Diego the fop is not as effeminate or funny, more like lazy and yawning. And his eyes are very expressive and always moving.
Ricardo Montalban does pretty well as the villain, but can't compete against Basil Rathbone (1940). But the winsome, young Anne Archer is a big improvement over stiff Linda Darnell. Nice to see the still-fit, silent star Gilbert Roland as Zorro's dad.
The dialogue and script of this is very similar to the 1940 version, and it uses the same stirring theme and soundtrack composed by Alfred Newman.
You can catch this version on TV sometimes -- it's worth videotaping.
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