Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Mark of Zorro (1920) directed by Fred Niblo

This original film version the Zorro legend is a pure delight. At this point we all know the story of the rich dandy courting the beautiful woman who finds him annoying but is also the dashing hero of the people, Zorro who cuts the faces of evil doers with sword, leaving his trademark "Z" on them as a warning to others. 

This is the role that catapulted Douglas Fairbanks to international fame and it is no mystery why. His dual role is done with an amazing amount of humour and his physicality and joyful energy in the role has never been matched. The sword fighting and the amazing stunts are still thrilling to watch and done with a grace and sense of fun that just keeps you engaged with the film from start to finish. 

Fairbanks produced the film and adapted it from the the 1919 story The Curse of Capistrano by Johnston McCulley as well as playing the titular role. 

I was introduced the character by the old TV show and have a soft spot for Zorro I have to admit. He was in some ways the inspiration for another vigilante of justice, Batman. In the comic, Bruce Wayne's parents are killed after seeing this this film so it's no wonder why the grieving child took on the role of a masked hero. To be honest this film would many anyone want to do that. 

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