The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Movie InfoThis film stars Tyrone Power as the alternately swishing and swashbuckling son of a 19th-century California aristocrat. Champion of the oppressed, his enemy is a wicked governor portrayed by Bromberg who, of course, has a beautiful niece that our hero loves. Rathbone is a delightfully evil assistant to the governor.
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Critic Reviews for The Mark of Zorro
If you really dig the newer Zorro exploits, there's very little reason to think you wouldn't enjoy a nostalgic trip back to the guy's earlier screen adventures.
Powers can't match [Fairbanks'] astonishing acrobatics and doesn't try but the rousing climactic duel against Basil Rathbone's villainous Captain Esteban, one of the best swordfights ever filmed at that time, almost makes up for it.
Far and away the best Zorro ever!
Audience Reviews for The Mark of Zorro
A young caballero returns from military service in Spain to find his father deposed from office by a corrupt tyrant and so dons a mask to fight on the side of the people. The original template used in the Antonio Banderas remake, The Mark Of Zorro was made 2 years after the classic The Adventures Of Robin Hood and features many of the same ingredients, including impressive swordplay, charming old school romanticism, a supremely hissable villain in the form of Basil Rathbone and Eugene Pallette who is pretty much playing the same part as a good hearted but belligerent old friar. But the star of the show is most definitely Tyrone Power who proves he can swashbuckle with the best of them, not only in his skillful use of the sword but also with his fine display of comic timing in the genuinely amusing scenes as his foppish alter ego. He and Linda Darnell make an extremely attractive couple, the action sequences are some of the finest from the golden age and it has a refreshingly old school lack of cynicism, making for a rousing boy's own adventure that rates as one of the best of the era.More
I loved Power as Zorro, he's handsome and brave, just like Zorro should be. The story is awesome too. I highly recommend this movie.More
the 40s "the mark of zorro" is a remake of the 20s original starring douglas fairbanks sr., casting tyrone power as the hooden swashbuckling hero to serve justice for ill-fated common people in california.
it has right elements of swashbuckler gendre, and tyrpone power's interpretation would be more versatilely understated since the script requires him to impersonate dual characters: the spineless dandy vs. the gallant dark-knight...power's performance differentiates from errol flynn's flamboyant wisecrackers against the evil authority, but power carries his chivalry in a more straitforward manner, with his ebullient vigor inhabited under the seemingly indifference. of course, you cannot help but be hypnotized by his million-watt brilliant wide-smile.
linda darnell plays the first-love burgeoning lad, zorro's love interest. darnell has the perfect garment, her rosy beauty, to infiltrate this juliet-alike belle. observe the scene her facecheek lingers over the white rose given by zorro, such scenario of puberty chasteness would be considered preposterously campy by today's standard. courting lines like "you're more radiant, more lovely than the mornings in june" could only exist in ancient fairy tales. why swashbuckler beauties always show great favors to roses from the heros? instead of diamonds or lease of real estate? ha. you would probably be mocked for love due to an un-costy rose in reality.
basil rathbone, again, is the immoral buzzard with warsome appetite for swordplay gore, ignoring the dillemma of the commoners. rathbone's lofty figure and hooked astrocratic nose are the adequate gears to emit crooked snobbery. perfect casting for villainy, even his talent is diverse enough to cross gendres.
tyrone power, errol flynn and basil rathebone were the mere three actors capable of the art for sword-swaying in old hollywood. it's always pleasant to see any two of these trio dueling each other in the highlight of masculine grace. "the mark of zorro" is another well-made swashbuckler flick with escapistic innocence.
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