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The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 8 November 1940 (USA)
A young aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California.

Director:

Rouben Mamoulian

Writers:

John Taintor Foote (screenplay), Garrett Fort (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrone Power ... Diego
Linda Darnell ... Lolita Quintero
Basil Rathbone ... Capt. Esteban Pasquale
Gale Sondergaard ... Inez Quintero
Eugene Pallette ... Fray Felipe
J. Edward Bromberg ... Don Luis Quintero
Montagu Love ... Don Alejandro Vega
Janet Beecher ... Senora Isabella Vega
George Regas ... Sgt. Gonzales
Chris-Pin Martin ... Turnkey
Robert Lowery ... Rodrigo
Belle Mitchell ... Maria
John Bleifer John Bleifer ... Pedro
Frank Puglia ... Propietor
Eugene Borden Eugene Borden ... Officer of the Day
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Storyline

Around 1820 the son of a California nobleman comes home from Spain to find his native land under a villainous dictatorship. On the one hand he plays the useless fop, while on the other he is the masked avenger Zorro. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Jagged Mark of His Sword Struck Terror to Every Heart - But One! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 November 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Californian See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,360,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (censored)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

During filming, Tyrone Power was in the habit of taking an early morning swim in a pool that he insisted on being carefully pre-heated. Darryl F. Zanuck played a prank on him by arranging for the heating to be turned off. Power dived in and got such a shock that he later claimed he nearly had a heart attack. He got his revenge. Zanuck watched the dailies every day with a critical eye and one evening saw something unexpected; the cast and crew collaborated to film a spoof version of the hold-up scene where Zorro robs a coach carrying the Governor and his wife. When Zorro is supposed to slash his trademark "Z" into the coach's seat cushion, the reverse angle reveals an uncharacteristic "DZ" instead, to a shocked gasp of "Zanuck!" from J. Edward Bromberg, as the evil Alcalde. Power declares snidely, "Let that be a lesson to you, damn it!" See more »

Goofs

After Zorro breaks into the Alcalde's home, threatens him, and meets Lolita, he is shortly, thereafter, seen slashing down a "Wanted" poster offering 20,000 pesos for his capture. Later, when he holds up the tax collectors after they have gathered tax money from the peons, as he robs the tax collectors, in the background can be seen another "Wanted" poster offering 5,000 pesos reward for the capture of Zorro. In a subsequent scene moments later, they again show the poster offering 20,000 pesos reward for Zorro's capture. See more »

Quotes

Fray Felipe: To think that the boy that I helped to raise, the boy that I taught to hold a firm wrist behind a true point, has turned into a puppy! Bah!
Don Diego Vega: Well,! Tsk, tsk, tsk! How vexatious!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: MADRID - when the Spanish Empire encompassed the globe, and young blades were taught the fine and fashionable art of killing ... See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: The Princess Bride (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
my favorite superhero movie
9 October 2004 | by dr_foremanSee all my reviews

I like to be an iconoclastic jerk sometimes, so whenever I'm asked to name the best superhero movie, I always say "The Mark of Zorro." Then I have to specify that I mean the Tyrone Power movie, not the Fairbanks one and certainly not the Banderas. Ah, elitism can be amusing sometimes...

Seriously, though, this is one heck of a motion picture. The best part is the pacing; it's deliciously slow, in the most effective way. Characters are developed fully, tensions heighten gradually, and just when you're on the verge of getting bored - BOOM! A fantastic chase scene or swordfight perfectly repays your patience. Well, my patience, anyway. Maybe you were bored the whole way through?

Tyrone Power is simply awesome in this flick. He's hilarious as the fey Don Diego, and he cuts an impressive figure as Zorro. It's easy to see that Batman was patterned on Zorro, as he also pretends to be a stupid playboy, but Bruce Wayne was *never* this cool.

Basil Rathbone makes a great villain, as always, and his close-quarters duel with Zorro is, as I'm sure you've heard, one of cinema's great action scenes (I think the confined setting actually enhances the suspense). Even J. Edward Bromberg, who plays a slightly dated and silly character, somehow manages to come across well - it's interesting to see his character come into his own as the main villain at the end of the movie.

Even the romance isn't a dud. Lots of amusing flirting goes on, and Linda Darnell certainly is easy on the eyes.

Why can't they make action flicks like this anymore? To paraphrase a certain famous political catchphrase, "it's the characters, stupid." Everybody in this movie is colorful and cool, and through them I get wrapped up in the plot. When the biggest complaint I have is a bit of rear-screen projection during a boat ride, you know the movie's almost perfect.


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