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On the assumption that you are considering renting Zorro, I think
ratings and reviews should reflect the current day, not nostalgia or
memory. I've seen "Zorro: The Gay Blade recently" and was totally
floored. It's flat-out hilarious and hasn't aged a day.
The film is a parody of Zorro and makes fun of some of the over-seriousness of that long ago age when Zorro was invented. But at the same time, like a good parody should ("Austin Powers") it has its own theme, its own compelling characters and plot. Nothing blows up, but swordfighting doesn't need a $100m budget to be fascinating. Nor does a parody. It's wacky but accessible to people who don't like "cult films". Don't expect a romance.
If you liked Austin Powers, definitely get this film. It's an intelligent and hilarious parody of the Zorro concept that yet is serious enough that we care what happens to the character. In getting this balance right, it's much like the first Austin Powers film.
Who should see this movie:
-- Everyone who's heard of Zorro and won't mind a little dose
(not a large dose) of wacky.
-- Arty film types who won't find any compelling film drama here,
but you owe it to yourself to explore the Zorro mystique.
I'll give "Zorro, the Gay Blade" a surprisingly timeless 9 out of 10.
It is surprising to me that more people don't know about this picture,
since Zorro the Gay Blade is one of the great funny movies of all time.
It is certainly George Hamilton's most memorable movie, an over-the-top
spoof that never takes itself too seriously. This is NOT Jerry Lewis or
the Three Stooges, but an entertaining social commentary written and
performed as slapstick. Of course they do all of it firmly
It does seem that a few people just don't get it. Well, to each his own. But if you liked Hamilton's Love at First Bite or most of the work of Mel Brooks, then this movie is for you. Personally, it reminds me of Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day and the Austin Powers movies. The writing is witty and the one liners are things you will remember and repeat for years. If you haven't seen this one, then you don't know what you are missing.
You have to have a gift for the kind of cocksure buffoonery that's unleashed
in "Zorro, the Gay Blade." But you also have to have a special kind of gift
to enjoy how wild and cockeyed it can be. Hal Dresner and the rest of the
writing team let loose with every conceivable bit of absurdity surrounding
the Zorro legend, and succeeded in giving what looks to be George Hamilton's
most engaging work. It was Hamilton's talk show with his ex-wife Alana that
made me trust his essential good will. He may have been a cheating,
good-time charlie to Alana, but it's just this willingness to let her at him
over his own personal foibles that won me over. It's there in spades in
"Zorro the Gay Blade." Hamilton's not afraid to go all out, playing the
fool. He grins, and you can't help but grin back. His tan may be
legendary, but it's that blinding-pearl-white smile that equals it. It's
what carries his performance; I haven't seen a smirk this sardonic, since
John William Sublett flashed his in the number "Shine" from "The Cabin In
The Sky." And Hamilton's mugging and playfulness is as masterful as Cary
Grant's was in "Gunga Din." It isn't only talented actresses who get wasted
in Hollywood. Hamilton is an example of the actors who watched
opportunities dry up, their best years flit away, and obscurity meet them
head-on in their old age. It was nice seeing him on the Halloween edition
of "Talk Soup;" the face may be a little jowly, and his hair grayer, but
that tan is still there, and so is that trademark wantonness. I hope it
It would not have been very good for Hamilton to be playing at the height of his comic talents without a supporting cast meeting him jab for jab. There are some who think Ron Leibman's performance is too much, but I'm not among them. Leibman knew he would have to chew a lot of scenery to make the humor built into his role work; it takes a very astute actor to know when overacting, overdoing is the right pitch at which to carry a scene or a part. And I don't think Leibman ever misjudges the moment. I can remember myself enthralled over Nehemiah Persoff's El Presidente on one episode of "Gilligan's Island," and Leibman's performance matches it, accent for accent, outburst for outburst. It'll be a long time before I forget either.
I've always thought Brenda Vaccaro a very funny actress. It's hard to find actresses whose vibe puts you in a happy mood. She's always reminded me of a primmer Susan Tyrell with her button eyes, sharp profile (the prim part), and extra husky voice (the Tyrell part). As the Alcalde's wife, Vaccaro has some smart lines, and you wish director Peter Medak had let her go as far as Leibman had in his role. And she seems wrong for the part that requires her to be vain, self-absorbed, and sex-starved. With Vaccaro, you get the feeling that the woman she plays would be aware of how empty her existence was; how to resolve her sexual frustrations (She's accorded her husband's favor twelve times a year; not once every month, but twelve times in one night, and then nothing for the rest of the year.); how to pool her resources and become a foxy champion of the downtrodden herself.
The movie is full of little surprises from the gap in Lauren Hutton's front teeth (It's like an emblem of the absurdity this movie loves.) to Donovan Scott's shaggy-dog costume (or was he a bear?) to Hamilton's alter-ego, Don Diego's brother Ramon who throws off his Spanish heritage for a freer, more suitable, more "English" estate as Bunny Wiglesworth (A name with a built-in come-on, if ever there were one). The fact that Ramon is better at wielding a whip than a sword points to how knowing the writers are; it's things like this that make you beam at what Dresner and Bob Randall and others had cooked up. Their efforts returned the word "gay" to what it used to mean, and gave its new meaning, well, new meaning. It's undiluted joviality, and even that doesn't cover it.
Say what you will about "Zorro, the Gay Blade." It's a silly send-up to the old cinematic standard of Zorro, made before our politically correct times. Sissy jokes aside, it is enjoyable. Granted, a lot of performances are over the top, particularly Ron Liebman's top-volume Alcalde, but quite a bit of the dialogue can still get a smile. It's worth a look and a laugh or two!
Another great "Zorro" movie that has George Hamilton playing dual roles. The first role, being the suave Don Diego and the second role being the ummmmm.......not so straight Bunny (Diego's twin brother). After a leg injury to Diego it is up to Bunny to keep the peace. A hilarious parody/action-adventure/comedy that works because of quite possibly George Hamilton's greatest performance and a super supporting cast which includes the priceless Ron Leibman, Brenda Vaccaro and Lauren Hutton. Definitely unique to other "Zorro" films. 4 stars out of 5.
This was hysterical. I only just saw it for the first time the other day. I never heard of it until a friend of mine spoke about it. It's slapstick comedy at it's best. You can't find comedies like this anymore. I think the name says it all about it's humorous nature. Picture Zorro shouting one-liners and then picture him being gay. It's worth the $1.99 it costs to rent it at Blockbuster. It goes all out with stereotypes as well. The crowd listening to Esteban speaking to them, all wearing sombreros. Esteban saying he is a man of the "Peeples". It's great for a Sunday afternoon viewing.
i saw this when i was 11 yrs old and it was one of the first videos i had ever watched.it has remained one of the funniest comedies i have ever seen, every scene is funny on so many levels. George Hamilton is most definitely a genius in it, Brenda Vaccaro and Rob Leibman are the funniest comedy actors i have ever seen. if you get the opportunity, please watch it, for all the family and worth a Saturday or Sunday afternoon watch. Guaranteed to cheer you up if your feeling low. The fact that it is so over the top makes it all the more enjoyable. I cannot wait for the day that i can show this to my kids and have them laugh as hard as i did when i was there age.
I have seen "Zorro the Gay Blade" several times since it was released
in the 1980s, and I get something new from it each time. I have liked
all the Zorro films, and this comic spoof is yet another "twist" on the
original Zorro plot.
My favorite part of "Zorro the Gay Blade" is the masked ball, at which the Alcalde hopes to catch Zorro, only to have all his male guests arrive in Zorro costumes. The result is a dizzying "house of mirrors" effect as the Alcalde looks from one "Zorro" to another around the room and then finds himself unable to identify and arrest the "real" Zorro.
Another favorite part is the soundtrack, taken from Max Steiner's compositions for the soundtrack of "Don Juan" (which starred Errol Flynn in the 1940s) and "The Danzas Fantasticas," some Spanish classical music. Unfortunately, Steiner's music is unpublished; I do hope it will be published some day so that fans of Spanish-style music can enjoy playing it.
I would recommend the "Zorro" series by Disney and all other movies about Zorro. I also would recommend "Don Juan" (starring Errol Flynn) and "Don Juan DeMarco" (starring Johnny Depp and the late Marlon Brando).
When I saw it in 1982 I thought it was one of the worst movies ever made. Over the years it has become one of my favorites. Its dialogue and Hamilton's one liners. It is a Z not a two, the peeples, it is better to be poor than to dress poorly, etc. There are so many subtle comments and in jokes you need to watch it many times to pick them all up.
This movie is a completely funny spoof of the Zorro legend - complete with sword fights, injustice, and cross dressing. There are many small innuendos, lines, and moments that the first time viewer may miss, so be sure to watch it again - also look for the reactions of the lesser characters. George Hamilton shows his silly side and his ability for self-mockery - which is totally worth watching! The supporting cast are all great veteran character actors - people you couldn't name, but whose face you recognize. Paco, who plays George's mute servant, is priceless. It's definitely included in my "80's Comedies Worth Owning" list.
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