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The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 8 November 1940 (USA)
A young Spanish 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)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,424
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

Linda Darnell and Tyrone Power had worked together twice before this film. See more »

Goofs

The wanted posters are printed in English. While it's common in Hollywood movies to have English substitute for a foreign language, movie logic usually dictates that the written word be in the language the characters were really speaking - Spanish, in this case. Oddly enough, the posters are allegedly for the benefit of 18th-century Californian peasants, most of whom would never have learned to read anyway. See more »

Quotes

Don Diego Vega: I must please ask you to change the subject. His Excellency objects to talk of throat-cutting.
Captain Esteban Pasquale: Quiet, you Popinjay! I have no reason to letting you live either.
Don Diego Vega: What a pleasant coincidence. I feel exactly the same way about you Capitan.
Captain Esteban Pasquale: You wouldn't care to translate that feeling into action would you?
Don Diego Vega: I might be tempted. If I had a weapon.
Captain Esteban Pasquale: Would you.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Pleasant Scorpions and Agreeable Rattlesnakes
28 October 2011 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

This is what I can't help but like about the old high seas adventures and swashbuckling romances of the 1930s and '40s. You know, the ones where you can always hear Alfred Newman's bombastic score. The Mask of Zorro opens with a title card saying, "Madrid - when the Spanish Empire encompassed the globe, and young blades were taught the fine and fashionable art of killing…" So what's that, like 18...30? 1840? I guess we'll figure it out. And so we do, of course. But there was an unabashed syrupy-ness about the melodramatic urgency given to these movies.

When Zorro's not prancing around in his little cape eye-mask, he's playing the part of the utterly timid, and more than a touch effeminate, Don Diego Vega. The likelihood that Vega could be the remarkably expert swashbuckler never once dawns on the baddies, largely because Vega is such a stern little prude.

The first big-budget talkie starring the swashbuckling samaritan, Rouben Mamoulian's old-fashioned jaunt was a blockbuster in 1940, and it remains recalled quite warmheartedly by the Silent Generation's moviegoers, and equally the small screen's fascinated beginners among the Baby Boom, as one of the period's very best adventure pictures. One grows accustomed to the movie's qualitative foothold in that time of matinée idols and sword-fighting silver-screen hero worship, and we can concede for that reason. But tolerant filmgoers will stay open for a movie that's considerably chock-a-block with romance, action, duplicity, and courageous bravado, all in an overstated manner that could've only been taken seriously in 1940, and perhaps not one year later.

The nuts and bolts are all here: Don Diego is invited to come home from Madrid to his family in Los Angeles, but upon his reappearance he learns that his father's standing as "alcalde" has been seized by the shameless Don Luis Quintero, a nasty piece of work who's nothing more than a minion to the man enjoying the real supremacy: Captain Esteban Pasquale. As expected, Diego/Zorro means to linger in Los Angeles just long enough to depose the scoundrels, entice a pretty slice of illicit fruit, and bring integrity to his family's native soil. Nothing ground-breaking here, but there's nothing amiss in a straightforward adventure yarn told in the traditional way.


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