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Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939)

The masked hero leads a fighting force to fight a villian who plots the conquest of The Republic of Mexico.

Writers:

Ronald Davidson (original screenplay), Franklin Adreon (original screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Reed Hadley ... Don Diego Vega / Zorro
Sheila Darcy Sheila Darcy ... Volita
William Corson William Corson ... Ramon
Leander De Cordova Leander De Cordova ... Felipe
Edmund Cobb ... Gonzalez
John Merton ... Manuel [Ch. 1-9]
C. Montague Shaw ... Pablo
Budd Buster ... Juan
Carleton Young ... Benito Juarez [ch 1-2, 12]
Guy D'Ennery ... Don Francisco [Ch. 1]
Paul Marion Paul Marion ... Kala [Ch. 10-12] (as Paul Marian)
Joe Molina Joe Molina ... Tarmac
James Pierce ... Moreno (as Jim Pierce)
Helen Mitchel Helen Mitchel ... Doña Maria
Curley Dresden Curley Dresden ... Tomás
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Storyline

It'a 1824 and Don Del Oro, a man completely hidden in a suit of armor, plans to become emperor of Mexico. Don Diego arrives and as the masked Zorro takes up the fight. He organizes the Legionnaires to fight Del Oro's henchmen and the Yaqui Indians. CHAP. 1, GOLDEN GOD: An explosion sends a landslide down on Zorro. CHAP. 2, FLAMING Z: Zorro is trapped in a building as it explodes. CHAP. 3, DESCENDING DOOM: Zorro is trapped in an elevator shaft with the car plummeting down at him. CHAP. 4, BRIDGE OF PERIL: Zorro is on a narrow suspension bridge when the suport ropes are cut. CHAP. 5, DECOY: Zorro is on a wagon that explodes. CHAP. 6, ZORRO TO THE RESCUE: Zorro is locked in a dungeon cell with a moving wall that is about to crush him. CHAP. 7, FUGITIVE: Zorro falls beneath a runaway stagecoach. CHAP. 8, FLOWING DEATH: Zorro is in a mine shaft when an avalanche of water is released. CHAP 9, GOLDEN ARROW: A man at close range shoots an arrow at the unsuspecting Don Diego. CHAP. 10, MYSTERY... Written by Maurice VanAuken <vanauken@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WHIPS CRACK! SWORDS FLASH! BULLETS FLY! (original print ad-all caps)

Genres:

Action | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La legión del Zorro See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the only serial in which Zorro's character has been presented authentically; often said to be a prequel to Zorro Rides Again (1937) because the main character of that serial was the original Zorro's descendant, it is, in fact, a completely original story featuring the actual Zorro character. See more »

Quotes

Don Diego Vega: What Diego can't do, Zorro can!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tsonta (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

We Ride!
Music by William Lava
Lyrics by Eddie Cherkose
Sung by Zorro's Legionaires over the credits and throughtout the serial.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wall to Wall Action!
3 April 2005 | by bsmith5552See all my reviews

As serials go "Zorro's Fighting Legion" is one of the best action serials of the 1930s. Made in a period when the studios could still field a large cast, this one has wall to wall action throughout its 12 chapters.

In 1824 the President of the newly formed Republic of Mexico Benito Juarez (Carleton Young) is trying to put his new country on a solid financial footing. To that end, he has arranged to have rich gold shipments forwarded to the capitol from the local San Mendolita mine.

Members of the local council plot to steal the shipments on behalf of Don-del-Oro a gold armored god, who with the aid of the local Yaqui tribe, hopes to install himself as the ruler of Mexico. Opposing him is Don Francisco (Guy D'Ennery) who forms a legion of locals to aid Juarez. When Don Franciso is murdered by Don-del-Oro's men, a stranger, the fopish Don Diego (Reed Hadley) arrives in town. Diego aka Zorro takes over the legion with the help of his friends Ramon (William Corson) and Juan (Budd Buster). The token heroine of the piece is Ramon's sister Volita (Sheila D'Arcy).

Both Diego and Ramon hold seats on the local ruling Counsil. It soon becomes apparent that some of the other members of the Council are in league with Don-del-Oro. First there is the Chairman of the Council (Leander de Cordova), the head of the militia Manuel (John Merton), Chief Justice Pablo (C. Montague Shaw) and Gonzolez (Edmund Cobb). Zorro suspects that one of these men is Don-del-Oro, but which one?

What follows are several hair raising escapes by Zorro and his confederates from the followers of Don-del-Oro. We have the ever present collapsing rope bridge, the deep chasm between two cliffs over which only Zorro can jump to safety, and the usual assortment of explosions, fires and coaches and wagons crashing or going over the cliff. Hats off here to Republic's fine team of stunt men lead by the legendary Yakima Canutt and the Yrigoyens, Bill and Joe. Canutt performs his signature stunt jumping on a team of runaway horses and then falling beneath the coach which he repeated in other films including John Ford's "Stagecoach" the same year.

Anyway, Zorro finally unmasks the false god Don-del-Oro and restores peace to the valley before riding off into the sunset in Chapter 12.

Others in the cast include Jim Pierce, Curley Dresden and Charlie King as Don-del-Oro's hence men and if you look closely you may spot bits by future serial star and Lone Ranger Clayton Moore and stuntman Canutt in bits. "Big" Jim Pierce by the way, may be best remembered for playing Tarzan in 1927's "Tarzan and the Golden Liom" (1927) and for his marriage to Joan Burroughs the daughter of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Thoroughly enjoyable.


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