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Movie Source: Internet Archive (archive.org)
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Mark of Zorro

1920

Mark of Zorro was the transition between Douglas Fairbanks' early career as a brash all-American hero and the lavish 1920s costume adventures.


File:The Mark of Zorro (1920).webm
The Mark of Zorro is a 1920 silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks and Noah Beery. This genre-defining swashbuckler adventure film was the first movie version of The Mark of Zorro. Based on the 1919 story "The Curse of Capistrano" by Johnston McCulley, which introduced the masked hero, Zorro, the screenplay was adapted by Fairbanks (as "Elton Thomas") and Eugene Miller.
The film was produced by Fairbanks for his own production company, Douglas Fairbanks Pictures Corporation, and was the first film released through United Artists, the company formed by Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith. The character Sgt. Pedro Gonzales (Noah Beery, Sr.) was later transformed into Sgt. Demetrio Lopez Garcia (Henry Calvin) by the Zorro (1957 TV series) with Guy Williams (actor) as Diego/Zorro, who was renamed Don Diego de la Vega.
The film has been remade twice, The Mark of Zorro (1940 film) (starring Tyrone Power) and The Mark of Zorro (1974 film) (starring Frank Langella).

Primary cast

  • Douglas Fairbanks as Don Diego Vega/Señor Zorro
  • Marguerite De La Motte as Lolita Pulido
  • Noah Beery, Sr. as Sergeant Pedro Gonzales
  • Charles Hill Mailes as Don Carlos Pulido
  • Claire McDowell as Doña Catalina Pulido
  • Robert McKim (actor) as Captain Juan Ramon
  • George Periolat as Governor Alvarado
  • Walt Whitman (actor) as Father Felipe
  • Sidney De Gray as Don Alejandro Vega
  • Tote Du Crow as Bernardo, Don Diego's mute servant
  • Noah Beery, Jr. as Boy
  • Charles Stevens (actor) as Peon beaten by Sergeant Gonzales
  • Milton Berle (uncredited child)

Plot

Image:A Marca do Zorro (1920).PNG
The Mark of Zorro tells the story of Don Diego Vega, the outwardly foppish son of a wealthy ranchero Don Alejandro in the old Spain California of the early 19th century. Seeing the mistreatment of the peons by rich landowners and the oppressive colonial government, Don Diego, who is not as effete as he pretends, has taken the identity of the masked Robin Hood-like rogue Señor Zorro ("Mr. Fox"), champion of the people, who appears out of nowhere to protect them from the corrupt administration of Governor Alvarado, his henchman the villainous Captain Juan Ramon and the brutish Sergeant Pedro Gonzales (Noah Beery, Wallace Beery's older half-brother). With his sword flashing and an athletic sense of humor, Zorro scars the faces of evildoers with his mark, "Z."
When not in the disguise of Zorro, dueling and rescuing peons, Don Diego courts the beautiful Lolita Pulido with bad magic tricks and worse manners and she cannot stand him. Lolita is also courted by Captain Ramon; and by the dashing Zorro, whom she likes.
In the end, when Lolita's family is jailed, Don Diego throws off his masquerade, whips out his sword, wins over the soldiers to his side, forces Governor Alvarado to abdicate, and wins the hand of Lolita, who is delighted to discover that her effeminate fiancé, Diego, is actually the dashing hero.

Reception and impact

The New York Times gave the The Mark of Zorro a mixed review.
In the Golden Age of Comic Books, this was the film to which Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne took their young son Batman on the night that they were murdered in front of him in Gotham City in 1920.
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Category:1920 films
Category:Swashbuckler films
Category:American silent feature films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:American films
Category:Zorro films
Category:Films directed by Fred Niblo
Category:Films set in the 1840s
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Douglas Fairbanks

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