The Mark of Zorro (1920)

Adventure | 5 December 1920

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Curse of Capistrano. While one contemporary source credits Eugene Miller with the adaptation, modern sources credit Elton Thomas, which was Douglas Fairbanks' pseudonym. McCulley's story was published in book form under the title The Mark of Zorro in 1924.
       Some scenes in the film were shot in the San Fernando Valley in CA, where a set representing Los Angeles during the period of 1840 was built. M. Harry Uttenhover of Belgium, a thre-time world's champion fencer, was hired to instruct cast members Noah Beery and Robert McKim. The Mark of Zorro marked the first film of Noah Beery, Jr. (1915--1994), son of long-time character actor Noah Beery. Berry, Jr. also had a long career in film and television.
       Among the many other films based on McCulley's story or using the character of Zorro are: the 1925 United Artists release Don Q, Son of Zorro, starring Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Astor and directed by Donald Crisp (see entry); the 1936 Republic film The Bold Caballero, starring Robert Livingston and directed by Wells Root; a series of Republic serials in the thirties and forties, including 1939's Zorro's Fighting Legion, starring Reed Hadley and directed by William Witney and John English; the 1940 Twentieth Century-Fox film The Mark of Zorro, starring Tyrone Power and directed by Rouben Mamoulian (see entry); the 1957 ABC-TV series Zorro, starring Guy Williams and produced by Walt Disney; the 1975 Italian film Zorro, starring Alain Delon and directed by Duccio Tessari; the 1981 Twentieth Century-Fox release ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Curse of Capistrano. While one contemporary source credits Eugene Miller with the adaptation, modern sources credit Elton Thomas, which was Douglas Fairbanks' pseudonym. McCulley's story was published in book form under the title The Mark of Zorro in 1924.
       Some scenes in the film were shot in the San Fernando Valley in CA, where a set representing Los Angeles during the period of 1840 was built. M. Harry Uttenhover of Belgium, a thre-time world's champion fencer, was hired to instruct cast members Noah Beery and Robert McKim. The Mark of Zorro marked the first film of Noah Beery, Jr. (1915--1994), son of long-time character actor Noah Beery. Berry, Jr. also had a long career in film and television.
       Among the many other films based on McCulley's story or using the character of Zorro are: the 1925 United Artists release Don Q, Son of Zorro, starring Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Astor and directed by Donald Crisp (see entry); the 1936 Republic film The Bold Caballero, starring Robert Livingston and directed by Wells Root; a series of Republic serials in the thirties and forties, including 1939's Zorro's Fighting Legion, starring Reed Hadley and directed by William Witney and John English; the 1940 Twentieth Century-Fox film The Mark of Zorro, starring Tyrone Power and directed by Rouben Mamoulian (see entry); the 1957 ABC-TV series Zorro, starring Guy Williams and produced by Walt Disney; the 1975 Italian film Zorro, starring Alain Delon and directed by Duccio Tessari; the 1981 Twentieth Century-Fox release Zorro the Gay Blade, starring George Hamilton and directed by Peter Medak and the 1998 Columbia release The Mask of Zorro, directed by Martin Campbell and starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Trade Review
11 Dec 1920
p. 108.
Motion Picture News
13 Nov 1920
p. 3729, 3779.
Moving Picture World
11 Dec 1920
p. 719.
New York Times
29 Nov 1920
p. 20.
Variety
3 Dec 1920
p. 32.
Wid's
5 Dec 1920
p. 3.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Curse of Capistrano
Release Date:
5 December 1920
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 29 November 1920
Copyright Claimant:
Douglas Fairbanks Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
22 November 1920
Copyright Number:
LP15847
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When Don Diego Vega returns to Old California from school in Spain, he discovers the tyrannical governor Alvarado in power. Assuming the persona of an effeminate fop while secretly masquerading as Zorro, a masked bandit who robs the wealthy and gives to the poor, Diego attempts to restore justice. His true identity known only to his faithful servant Bernardo, Zorro outwits his enemies, wins over the soldiers to his case, forces the governor to abdicate and wins the affections of Lolita, a lovely aristocrat who is delighted to discover that her foppish fiancé Diego, whom she scorns, is actually a dashing ... +


When Don Diego Vega returns to Old California from school in Spain, he discovers the tyrannical governor Alvarado in power. Assuming the persona of an effeminate fop while secretly masquerading as Zorro, a masked bandit who robs the wealthy and gives to the poor, Diego attempts to restore justice. His true identity known only to his faithful servant Bernardo, Zorro outwits his enemies, wins over the soldiers to his case, forces the governor to abdicate and wins the affections of Lolita, a lovely aristocrat who is delighted to discover that her foppish fiancé Diego, whom she scorns, is actually a dashing hero. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.