The Mark of Zorro - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Mark of Zorro Reviews

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April 25, 2017
Clearly I need to just watch a whole bunch of classic swashbuckler films, because every time I do I enjoy it so much. The Mark of a Zorro was no exception, I thought this movie was a treat. It had a surprising amount of comedy, and plenty of exciting fight sequences. It did a lot to keep me engaged in the story.

The story was better than I expected as well. It seemed like it was going to be very straightforward and predictable. However there were some elements that surprised me and kept me fully invested. I particularly liked the clever way they had Zorro hide his identity when the mask was off. It was both humorous and very smart.

Tyrone Power was a great actor for Zorro and he had a tough role to play. He basically had to pull off two parts and he got both right. The villains were also delightfully bad. Montagu Love was the comedic, bumbling guy and that was hilarious. Basil Rathbone is his more serious counterpart, which I was delighted to see. Rathbone can do the acting and match the hero in any sword fight.

The Mark of Zorro is predictable at times, but I kind of anticipated that, considering it's a fairly traditional hero origin movie. It's hard to complain, though, when you're having such a good time. It has so many earmarks of a truly great film. Between the action, humor, romance, and more I was left wanting nothing. I'll gladly watch this movie again soon.
March 18, 2017
wonderfully flamboyant film about the masked hero. zorro fights for the poor against an evil regime.
½ August 12, 2016
The early movies studios may realize one thing about members of the public to line up to buy tickets; action/adventure sells. Many of the first men were action heroes routinely taking on roles as pirate captains, adventurers or private investigators all rolling to go into the jaws of death complete their noble missions. The most memorable actors that use this genre to catapult him to fame was Tyrone Power. Over three decades he dominated the screen is frequently seen on the cover of celebrity magazine. Was dashingly handsome and athletic of build which guaranteed his legions of fans would include both men and women. The ladies over his good looks while the men wore in awe of his physical prowess. Most importantly of all the members a natural actor and would be able to embody the character he portrayed. He was also a publicist dream being the epitome of all-American hero. During World War II Mr. Power saw action as a pilot United States Marine Corps. Unfortunately, this fan base consists of people who remember World War II first and, the grandparents of today's generation. Performances of the incredible talents of that era would normally be lost except perhaps for a few shoddy prints shown on local cable stations. Thankfully there are distributors who are diligently remastering these American treasures and examples of cinematic history and releasing them as Blu-ray additions. One of Mr. Power' s most memorable works, 'the Mark of Zorro (1940), has just been released by Kino Lorber. As part of an ongoing incentive that this particular has been diligently following. Remastering these movies restoring them to near pristine condition to enthrall yet another generation creating yet another group of ardent fans. This particular film also the sex with another very popular genre movies seems to have been absorbed by other types of film; swashbuckler. Actors such as Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn thrilled audiences with their repertoire of action moves including treating in on a rope to rescue a damsel fighting with multiple attackers holding back throng of men the dazzling display of swordsmanship. Elements of these one standard parts of an action movie still persists today's films but a movie like this one offers the opportunity to experience the undiluted thrill afforded by his films.

Long before there was Batman there is a protector of the common man dressed entirely in black complete with a mask and cape to be authorities he was a vigilante but to people he was a savior; Zorro, the Fox. As far back as his appearance in pulp magazines in 1919 there's been numerous combinations of this dashing hero throughout the years. Like any source of entertainment that utilizes unchanging fundamental human emotions, the Legend of Zorro deserves to be reinterpreted every generation or so. In 1940 movie on the consideration here, it presented three box office magnets talent and appeal were universal; Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone and for the leading lady, Linda Darnell, one of the first Latina actresses make significant crossovers into mainstream movies.

Don Diego Vega (Tyrone Power), is a handsome young man from an exceptionally wealthy and powerful family where really cared only for a good time sporting the latest fashion. Sent to Spain by his father, Don Alejandro Vega (Montagu Love), a wealthy ranchero and former magistrate for the community. After arriving back in California Diego cannot help but notice the deplorable treatment inflicted upon the native people and common Spaniards. Succeeding his father as Alcade is the cruel and corrupt Luis Quintero (J. Edward Bromberg), who illegally and immorally pushed his father out that position of power and authority. During his training back in Spain, Diego rose to be recognized as the best swordsman in the country. It's most sons of wealthy means return from Spain as pampered playboys most would consider Diego would follow the same pattern. He had something in mind to help the common man and if possible restore his father to the authority that he wielded with mercy and kindness. At night he would assume the persona or mysterious man in black would initiate guerrilla type rates against Quintero and his military forces. Because of his spots like wit and ingenuity he was stopped, 'Zorro'. He embraced the moniker would leave a Z slashed into board or fabric with the lightning flick of his sword. It becomes a champion of justice beloved among the common people yet feared among the troops.

In his normal guys as Diego he maintains his cover by romancing the beautiful and na´ve daughter of the current Alcalde, Lolita (Linda Darnell). Despite not wanting emotional attachments that could deter him from his mission, Diego begins to fall in love with Lolita. Keenly aware that his talents are not restricted to his swordsmanship, Diego is good looks and debonair personality to work with Don Quintero's wife, Inez (Gale Sondergaard). Because of the stories of Madrid and how it is sent to all civilized people in the very pinnacle of modern fashion. Surely a fine, hybrid woman such as she would flourish in Madrid rather than having to conceal flair for fashion and culture and the uncouth frontier of California. Inez is quite predisposed to such flattery begins to become obsessed with having her husband return them to their home in Madrid.

Diego finds that he has a nemesis that he shares with his alter ego Zorro, Captain Esteban Pasquale (Basil Rathbone). He is your spirited and malicious without pity anyone especially the low born. Above and beyond his high rank in the military much of his power comes from being the sadistic right hand of Don Quintero not only performs any despicable task asked of him but he does it with great joy in flourish. It's the kind of role that Basil Rathbone became famous for mastering. Just a year before he played a similar role in the 'Adventures of Robin Hood' opposite Errol Flynn. As was common for young male actors of the time swordsmanship was a skill that was actively encouraged by the studio. Promising actors and actresses were trained in various skills that would bring realism to their roles. Joe actors were able to match Power Rathbone and Flynn in the agility and grace necessary successfully perform the scream sword fight. The tensions between the two main characters would be exacerbated throughout the story until the final moment, the showdown two men and their swords.

A movie like this had everything possible to heighten the entertainment value for the audience. Of course the men would be held mesmerized by the amazing acrobatic stunts and swordplay of the titular hero. The ladies there was always the romance between the handsome man in the elegantly beautiful leading lady. All of this was placed upon the setting of political intrigue in class discrimination which in a movie as well-crafted as this one provided an air of history to the story and validated it as something worthwhile. Remastering of this film is remarkable restoring the crystal clarity of the video and even removing any signs of degradation in the audio. This form is inducted into the National Film Registry in 2009 by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant", and to be preserved for all time. His new Blu-ray release by Kino Lorber helped perform that very function. This is a film that deserves to be available for generations to come.
May 11, 2016
Best sword fight scene ever!
½ April 29, 2016
Tyrone Power plays the foppish Don Diego Vega quite well, a nice contrast to his brutish persona of Zorro. Zorro would influence Bill Finger to create Batman, and I had to watch this film in order to see a fanastic sword duel with Basil Rathbone. The Mark of Zorro is a fantastic adventure movie for all.
September 29, 2015
Tyrone Power is amazing!!
August 20, 2015
A solid sound studio adventure of what has become an oft filmed story. It is however not that distinguishable from other solid romps of this nature, from this period.
Super Reviewer
August 12, 2015
The Adventures of Robin Hood was only two years previous to this and so Hollywood was essentially riding the trend with this one, very nearly a remake (albeit cheaper, quelle surprise) of the other. Stolen from The Scarlett Pimpernel is the hero-pretending-to-be-gay bit (until he dresses up all in black, and THEN he's a MAN). Okay, now the particulars. Powers is serviceable as the lead and no one except Basil Rathbone challenges this watermark throughout the production. Sondergaard gets to chew a little scenery but the highlight of the film, of course, is the swordfight between Powers and Rathbone.
May 6, 2015
Rollicking action movie.

Not quite the original Zorro - there were a few Zorro movies before this - but probably the best.

Decent, simple plot. Writer and director don't try to make things too complicated. It's pretty much Robin Hood set in early-1800s California. Consistent with this, doesn't overstay its welcome.

Good action scenes. Some of the fencing contests are among the best you'll see in a movie.

Good performances. Tyrone Power gives a solid, suitably dashing, performance as Zorro, while also having to act the dandy for his unmasked other life.

Nothing more than an action-drama though - don't expect anything too profound.
May 2, 2015
A fun and humorous swashbuckling good time.
½ November 14, 2014
the best Zorro movie out there. This has survived the test of time.
October 26, 2014
Featuring one of the best swordfights on celluloid between Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone.
October 18, 2014
very good film. Tyrone Powers played a great Zorro. this film is easy a classic.
½ September 9, 2014
A classic swashbuckling film and probably the best Zorro picture I've seen; Tyrone Power is at home in his role and, as films aren't made this way anymore, it's always a breath of fresh air to watch.
August 21, 2014
This Quintessential Alternative Take On A Swashbuckling Film, Is A Must See For Fans Of Historical Swordplay Films. Everything Is Perfect In This Movie, Of Course Their Is Probably Some Flaws I Never Picked Up On But All Round An Excellent Film. Regarded As The Best Zorro Flick, This Remake See's Tyrone Power Take The Title Role, Starring Alongside Power, Is Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard & Eugene Pallette. All Actors Give Excellent Performances & The Action Sequences Are Extremely Well Choreographed. This Is A Fun Flick In Which Both Fans Of Cinema In General & Classics Should View.
June 23, 2014
A good old-fashioned enjoyable film.
April 23, 2014
wow ummmn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch.......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.......i think that tyrone power (.R.I.P.), linda darnell (.R.I.P.), basil rathbone (.R.I.P.), gale sondergaard (.R.I.P.), eugene pallette (.R.I.P.), play good roles/parts throughout this movie.....i think that the director of this action/adventure/classics movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie......its got good sword fighting scenes throughout this movie........its got good fight scenes throughout this movie......i think that this is such a cults classics movie 2 watch its such a brilliant movie 2 watch.......i think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch its such an enjoyable movie 2 watch........i think that tyrone powers was brilliant throughout this movie as the hero zorro thorughout this movie.......i think that basil rathbone was brilliant throughout this movie as the bad guy throughout this movie........its got good fight scenes thorughout this movie.......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie......i think that this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie......its got good sword fighting scenes thorughout this movie.......i think that this is such a cult classics movie 2 watch its such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch its such a really well directed movie its got good fight scenes thorughout this movie its such an enjoyable classics movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie its such a brilliant movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie its such a classics movie 2 watch its such a brilliant movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie.......
½ January 13, 2014
This is a truly romantic adventure story. Bravo!
December 10, 2013
One of the greatest movies ever made.
November 17, 2013
You handle a sword like a devil from hell.

In 1820 Don Diego Vega is an aristocrat who returns home to Spain from California to find his country under the rule of an evil dictator. However, the dictator's niece is a beauty he hopes to masquerade as her fiancÚ to get closer to the uncle and ultimately bring down his operation. Don Diego will become Zorro and perform as a Robin Hood of sorts for his countrymen.

"Find speech or I'll cut out your tongue."

Rouben Mamoulian, director of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Queen Christina, Silk Stockings, Blood and Sand, Golden Boy, and Summer Holiday, delivers Mark of Zorro. The storyline for this picture is very interesting and contains witty lines, interesting characters, great action, and solid drama. The acting is also wonderful and the cast includes Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Eugene Pallette, and Gale Sondergaard.

"All of the people were covered in blood."
"Sorry I missed that."

I DVR almost all of Power's movies off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) as they come on. This was a very fun and entertaining picture. His character was entertaining, although a bit predictable, and I loved how the story turned out. Overall, this is an entertaining movie that is definitely worth watching once.

"Sword play is such a violent business."

Grade: B
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