Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action.
A newly arrived governor finds his province under the control of the corrupt Colonel Huerta. To avoid assassination by Huerta, he pretends to be weak and indecisive so Huerta will believe ... See full summary »
The original Zorro, Don Diego de la Vega, is captured and imprisoned just as Spain concedes California to Santa Anna. 20 years go by and his mortal enemy, Don Rafael Montero, returns to California with a plan to become wealthy at the expense of the peasants. The original Zorro escapes from prison and trains a new Zorro to take his place. Much swashbuckling and derring-do ensues. Written by
When Elena is presented with a sprig of white flower on the beach, and its scent triggers a lost memory in her, she is told the plant grows only in California. The flower used in the film is a Camellia japonica cultivar, a shrub native to (and long-cultivated in) China, Japan and Korea, though introduced to Europe in 18th Century, and thence to America in the 19th. It has no scent at all. See more »
At the conclusion of The Mask of Zorro I heard something I haven't heard in a cinema for a long, long time an outbreak of spontaneous applause. It happened because the audience felt so good at the conclusion of the film that they wanted to show their appreciation, to share with others the goodwill which this little slice of magic had brought into their lives. To a jaded movie-goer like myself, it was music to the ears.
This is a simple film, telling a simple story about justice conquering oppression and the power of all that is good in the world to put all that is evil to the sword. Anchored by three great performances from Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas and the luscious Catherine Zeta-Jones, it's a never-ending parade of derring-do which brings to mind the likes of The Crimson Pirate, the kind of film your parents tell you they just don't make anymore. It's played for laughs all the way down the line, but it's not a farce the humour is gentle, the characters inhabiting a world which we know never existed but which damn well should have, a world where swordfights and horse chases and romantic love are the order of the day. I watched this film in an enraptured stupor, and for a short time I was twelve years old again, thrilling to the larger than life exploits of pirates, musketeers and the sons of Hercules.
Okay, so it isn't going to win any awards for depth of character, and you aren't going to be discussing the finer details of the plot over a bowl of gazpacho when it's over. But in an age when meanspirited movies seem to be becoming more and more common, it's a pure delight to come across something so untainted.
It's the sound of two hands clapping, folks. Miss it at your peril.
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