A seemingly idiotic fop is really the courageous vigilante Zorro, who seeks to protect the oppressed.A seemingly idiotic fop is really the courageous vigilante Zorro, who seeks to protect the oppressed.A seemingly idiotic fop is really the courageous vigilante Zorro, who seeks to protect the oppressed.
In 1920 Douglas Fairbanks, one of the partners in the newly formed United Artists Studio, found what he instinctively knew would be the perfect film project. The Curse of Capistrano, a novel by Johnston McCulley, was full of adventure and romance, with an exciting hero in its main character, Zorro. Doug, Hollywood's greatest athlete, needed a showcase for his physical talents & charming personality.
The search now at an end, THE MARK OF ZORRO would be the first in a series of swashbucklers with which Doug would dominate the 1920's. Giving the audience their money's worth, Fairbanks would insure that his films were full of elaborate historical ambiance, rapid-fire action & spectacular stunts.
Fairbanks would always be the center of attention, of course, and this first foray would set the pattern. Sword fights, breathless escapes and constant leaping about gives Doug plenty to do, but he also enjoys the quieter, light-hearted moments - in this case playing little slight-of-hand tricks with his handkerchief. It is enormous fun to see Fairbanks set the mold on the persona which would ensure his screen legend.
Although Fairbanks dominates the proceedings, there are other players to note: beefy Noah Beery as a bullying Spanish sergeant; innocent Marguerite De La Motte as Zorro's conflicted, confused sweetheart; Robert McKim as a villainous Spanish captain; and diminutive comic Snitz Edwards as a frightened innkeeper.
The success of this film engendered a 1925 sequel, DON Q SON OF ZORRO, in which Doug would get to play father & son.
- Ron Oliver
- Jun 29, 2002