on March 6, 2005
I've been wanting to see this movie for a long time; I love movies from the 1930s and 40s. I had never seen a Tyrone Power movie before, but I have to say that starting today I've become a fan. Tyrone Power gives a sumptuous performance as Zorro. The movie will keep you interested all along, and the whole cast is one of talented actors. Better than "The Mask of Zorro" with Antonio Banderas, I recommend this movie to any Zorro fan.
on August 26, 2011
This movie was one of the best movies made and was done so in the style of the era where good is what we try for in life. The colorization of the movie just adds to the product. This movie can be watched and enjoyed by the entire family.
on April 7, 2006
Tyrone Power, a highly underrated actor, was born to play "Zorro".Everything about his performance is perfect,his comedic timing is flawless.The entire is first-rate.Eugene Pallette as the Padre,Basil Rathbone as a dastardly villian,J.Edward Bromberg (as a corrupt Gov.-very funny),the beautiful Gale Sondergaard as his unfaithful wife,and Linda Darnell as Brombergs' ultra-beautiful niece.The score by Alfred Newman and the direction by Rouben Mamoulian is letter perfect.The disc contains the original black and white verson and the colorized version.Being a movie purist I stick with the original.
on May 15, 2002
After the success of Warner Brothers "The Adventures of Robin Hood," starring Errol Flynn, Twentieth Century Fox released a film of their namesake, "The Mark of Zorro," starring Tyrone Power. It was a box office hit, and is a classic of it's time. While not in color, and wary of action, this film holds up as, in my opinion, the best of the Zorro films.
In the 1800's, the Spanish Empire rules California. Don Diego Vega (Tyrone Power), is "the best fencer of Madrid." He is ordered home by his father, Don Alejandro. Upon arrival, he hears that the alcalde is an evil tyrant. But Diego's fahter is the alcalde!
Diego learns from Capitan Esteban Pasquale (Basil Rathbone) that his father resigned, and that Luis B. Quintero (J. Edward Bromberg). Both Esteban and Quintero are worthless land theives, taxing the peons into pverty to fill their own pockets. However, Diego suddenly appears to have lost his swordsman skills, now acting foppish and peaceful, much to Alejandro's dissapointment. However, Deigo soon becomes the black-clad Zorro, a daring freedom fighter rescuing both the rich and poor from the tyrants. To disguise himself, he must remain foppish. Only the padre Felipe (Eugene Pallette) knows his true identity, along with Diego's fiance Lolita Quintero (Linda Darnell), a kind girl against her uncle and his henchman. However, when Fray Felipe is arrested as Zorro for trying to defend the mission taxes, Diego abandons both disguises and leads the caballeros and peons to battle, personally taking on Esteban in a spectacular showdown.
"The Mark of Zorro" was bassed on three stories. One was Johnston McCulley's original Zorro story. Unlike the Fairbanks film, the theme here focuses on saving the people from corruption, rather than defending Lolita. Another was Douglas Faribanks's "The Mark of Zorro" (1920). The other was "The Adventures of Robin Hood." Basil Rathbone and Eugene Pallette had roles in the Robin Hood film before starring in "The Mark of Zorro." Zorro here as a Robin Hood characteristic: he steals tax money and returns it to the people. Most Zorros force their enemies to give the money back themselves.
Sword battles in this film occur mainly between Diego and Esteban. The fencing in this movie is excellent. Rathbone is one of the best fencer's of all time, as is Power. The Zorro in this film is the closest thing ever that fits the Zorro legacy. This is a beautiful colassic, one than cannot be missed.
on June 17, 2011
The duel in The Mark of Zorro at the end is superb. In the climax, Tyrone Power, son of the Ohio women's fencing champion, and Rathbone, lifelong fencing enthusiast, square off for one of the all-time classics on-screen battles to the death. No doubt Power's most durable role. Great script, beautiful girl, wonderful supporting cast. The plot is simplicity itself: Don Diego sees people being abused, dons his mask as Zorro (the Fox) to right the wrongs of the tyrants, he finally reveals himself and leads a big screen revolt against the bad guys. Absolutely unbeatable. When they did a TV version with Frank Langella, they simply reshot the same script. And the later Banderas version, as good as he is, still doesn't stack up against the Tyrone Power version. As with The Adventures of Robin Hood, once you watch the latest slick, multi-million dollar remake, go here and see how its done.
on August 12, 2014
This is my grandfather's favorite movie of all time. He lights up around it, and all of the excitement of sneaking out of his window to go to the movies and then coming home to get spanked by his mother comes back to him. He knows every scene, every note, and every line. He watches the movie, and I watch him. The joy on his face is priceless. He's blind now, but he listens, and he still leans forward in excitement, still makes sword motions with his hands, and he still knows right when to cheer for Zorro.
This was the first time I was able to see the film in color, which was a really nice experience. The color was very well added, it almost looks like the movie was filmed in color. Still, this movie is just meant to be in black and white and I prefer it that way. I'm glad both versions are included.
on September 3, 1999
My history teacher originally reccommended this movie to me, and, confidentially, I was a bit skeptical. My father said he had seen it before and also thought it was wonderful, but I still wasn't sure. So one day, I watched this movie on AMC, and, believe me, I am now in agreement with my teacher and Dad!! Every single time it is on TV I watch it, even though I already have it on tape. Just recently I saw the Douglas Fairbanks version, and I must say that while I didn't feel it was better, and I did not feel it was worse either, I thought it was much funnier. Fairbanks has you in stitches while he's running around in his Zorro costume, jumping over things and throwing food at people. If you haven't seen the Tyrone Powers version, go rent it immediately!! If you haven't seen the silent version, see that now, too!! (Don't let the quality of the silent one discourage you. In the one I saw, the film was constantly going from blindingly light to almost pitch black. Even so, it is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.) SEE THESE MOVIES NOW!!!!!!
20th Century Fox present "THE MARK OF ZORRO" (Special Edition) (Released: November 8, 1940) (93 mins) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- now in COLOR and Glorious Black and White --- "The Mark of Zorro" is a 1940 feature motion picture directed by Rouben Mamoulian and produced by 20th Century Fox --- It starred Tyrone Power as Don Diego de la Vega (Zorro), Linda Darnell as his love interest, (Lolita Quintero), Montagu Love as (Don Alejandro Vega), Gale Sondergaard as the naughty (Inez Quintero), Eugene Pallette as (Fra. Felipe), with Basil Rathbone, one of the most durable of screen villains who has mastered stage fencing but never won a sword fight, plays the cruel (Captain Esteban Pasquale), the Alcalde's military adviser and J. Edward Bromberg was the corrupt governor (Don Luis Quintero ) --- The film was directed by Rouben Mamoulian and produced by Raymond Griffith and Darryl F. Zanuck.
Based on the Johnston McCulley story "The Curse of Capistrano", originally published in 1919, which introduced the masked hero Zorro, the movie's story is set in Southern California during the early 19th century --- It deals with the foppish son of a wealthy ranchero who returns to California after a sojourn at school in Spain, only to be horrified at the way the common people are being mistreated by Governor Quintero --- Don Diego adopts the guise of Zorro ("the Fox"), a Robin Hood like outlaw who becomes a defender of the people --- In the meanwhile, he romances the governor's beautiful niece, Lolita, and fends off the governor's ablest henchman, the malevolent Captain Pasquale --- The high point of the picture is the fantastic duel between Power and Rathbone, a masterpiece of screen Swordplay --- Tyrone Power had joined Errol Flynn as the reigning 'kings' of swashbucklers, a title both would find amusing, if limiting, but which would be how both actors are best remembered, today! (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Under Rouben Mamoulian (Director), Raymond Griffith (Producer), Darryl F. Zanuck (Producer), John Taintor Foote (Screenwriter), Garrett Elsden Fort (Screenwriter), Johnston McCulley (Short Story Author), Bess Meredyth (Screenwriter),Arthur C. Miller (Cinematographer), Alfred Newman (Musical Direction/Supervision / Composer (Music Score), Robert Bischoff (Editor), Richard Day (Art Director), Joseph C. Wright (Art Director), Thomas K. Little (Set Designer), Travis Banton (Costume Designer) - - - - This film is essentially a remake of the 1920 United Artists silent version, "The Mark of Zorro", which starred Douglas Fairbanks --- The 20th Century Fox 1940 version under Alfred Newman's Oscar-Nominated score and despite the unusual absence of Technicolor, the film (the first of the great Tyrone Power swashbucklers ) is great fun, full of vitality and suspense, an exciting, deliciously ironic swashbuckler
the cast includes:
Tyrone Power ... Don Diego Vega/Zorro
Linda Darnell ... Lolita Quintero
Basil Rathbone ... Captain Esteban Pasquale
Gale Sondergaard ... Inez Quintero
Eugene Pallette ... Fray Felipe
J. Edward Bromberg ... Don Luis Quintero
Montagu Love ... Don Alejandro Vega
Janet Beecher ... Señora Isabella Vega
George Regas ... Sergeant Gonzales
Chris-Pin Martin ... The Turnkey
Robert Lowery ... Rodrigo
Belle Mitchell ... Maria de Lopez
John Bleifer ... Pedro
Frank Puglia ... Propietor
Eugene Borden ... Officer of the Day
Pedro de Cordoba ... Don Miguel
Guy D'Ennery ... Don José
Stanley Andrews ... Commanding Officer
Ralph Byrd ... Student/Officer
Charles Stevens ... Jose, a Peón
1. Tyrone Power
Date of Birth: 5 May 1914 - Cincinnati, Ohio
Date of Death: 15 November 1958 - Madrid, Spain.
2. Linda Darnell
Date of Birth: 16 October 1923 - Dallas, Texas
Date of Death: 10 April 1965 - Glenview, Illinois
3. Basil Rathbone
Date of Birth: 13 June 1892- Johannesburg, South Africa
Date of Death: 21 July 1967 - New York, New York
4. Gale Sondergaard
Date of Birth15 February 1899 - Litchfield, Minnesota
Date of Death: 14 August 1985 - Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California
5. Eugene Pallette
Date of Birth: 8 July 1889- Winfield, Kansas
Date of Death: 3 September 1954 - Los Angeles, California
6. J. Edward Bromberg
Date of Birth: 25 December 1903 - Temesvár, Austria-Hungary. [now Timisoara, Romania]
Date of Death: 6 December 1951 - London, England, UK
7. Rouben Mamoulian (Director)
Date of Birth: 8 October 1897 - Tiflis, Georgia, Russian Empire. [now Tbilisi, Georgia]
Date of Death: 4 December 1987 - Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California
1. All new Colorized feature
2. Restored Black & White feature
3. Commentary by Film Critic Richard Schickel
4. Tyrone Power: :The Last Idol" as seen on Biography on A&E Network
5. Special Edition - Collectible Movie Photos from the film "The Mark of Zorro".
Hats off and thanks to Barry B. Sandrew Ph.D. (Founder, COO, CTO & Board Member) and his Legend Films Staff --- looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage era of the '20s, '30s & '40s --- order your copy now from Amazon where there are plenty of copies available on DVD --- if you enjoyed this title, why not check out Legend Films where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector --- all my heroes have been cowboys!
Total Time: 93 mins on DVD ~ 20th Century Fox Video. ~ (10/18/2005)
on November 22, 2003
I just bought the DVD thinking it would have been digitally restored or duped from a good print or negative. Sadly, no. There are too many scratches for a state of the art digital DVD. Shame on the producers for not taking the effort to find a better print to work from, or to use computer technology to clean it up. I may miss my guess, but I believe that I have a VHS version that is cleaner than the DVD. That said, this is a classic to have. It moves at a fast pace with no wasted dialogue. Power gives a fine performance as do all the characters, such as Bromberg and Rathbone, with a twinkle of humor. The Darryl Zanuck joke on the extras is fun to see. Shickel commentary is kind of humdrum, and when he introduces Darnell, at her loveliest, as the "daughter" I felt hmm Richard you lost me already (she is the niece). I still await a better technical quality version on DVD. For now this will do.Zorro theme was actually done by Hugo Friedhofer,not Alfred Newman.
on January 17, 2016
I watched this as a kid and it is still a pretty good flick. Quite a bit of action and some good sword fights in it. Basil Rathbone is his usual solid performance as the bad guy. Similar to the roles he played in Captain Blood and Robin Hood. Tyronne Power does a good job as Zorro and the rather effeminate Don Diego de la Vega. Power actually spends very little time in the black outfit of Zorro and the last quarter of the movie, including the big sword fight with Rathbone is in his Don Diego guise. He also keeps switching from a mask that covers the bottom of his face to a mask with eyeholes, I don't get that. Typical 1940's type of action flick but if you like that ear of movies you will probably enjoy this. I grew up with the Walt Disney TV version of Zorro with Guy Madison. I am not a huge fan of the Antonio Banderas films. The, what looks almost like spandex, pants on Power as Don Diego are pretty strange. Short and fun film.