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Nigel De Brulier
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Marguerite De La Motte,
In old Spanish California, the oppressive colonial government is opposed by Zorro, masked champion of the people, who appears out of nowhere with flashing sword and an athletic sense of humor, scarring the faces of evildoers with his Mark. Meanwhile, beautiful Lolita is courted by villainous Captain Ramon, rich but effete Don Diego... and dashing Zorro, who is never seen at the same time as Don Diego. As Zorro continues to evade pursuit, Ramon puts the damsel in distress...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Fray Felipe is receiving his lashes, there are horizontal lacerations along the left side of his back. The camera angle then widens to reveal two vertical lacerations - one in the center of his back and one to the right - while the laceration on the left side of the back is gone. See more »
This film is apparently Douglas Fairbanks' first swashbuckler and for a first, it is very good--though I still think his later film, THE BLACK PIRATE, is easily the better of the two films. And, because it is a first for Fairbanks AND one of the earliest swashbucklers period, I cut it a little more slack and don't score this film quite as stringently as later ones in the genre.
Douglas plays the somewhat wimpy and effeminate son of a well-respected member of the California gentry during the final days of Spanish rule. I say "somewhat" because in later Zorro films, these aspects are much more apparent--making his persona seem gay and a coward--much like the Scarlet Pimpernel character (who poses as a fop yet fights for justice). As Don Diego Vega, Fairbanks did a decent job. As Zorro, he was wonderful and athletic--and very magnetic.
The direction, writing and acting was just fine. The only problem I found with the film is that the final resolution seemed to happen a little too quickly and easily. I wish it had been drawn out longer and the sword fighting sequences had been a little longer and more complex. Regardless, it STILL is an amazing and watchable film--even in the sound and special effects saturated world of today.
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