The Mark of Zorro (1940)

93 mins | Adventure | 8 November 1940

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Californian . According to an item in LAEx , Douglas Fairbanks sold Fox his rights to the Johnston McCulley story, which was published in book form in 1924 as The Mark of Zorro . Materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library add that McCulley retained author's rights to the character of Zorro and wrote several other Zorro stories. As a result, Fox did not control the rights to the Zorro character, thus enabling Republic to make The Bold Caballero in 1936 (see above). The legal files also add that William A. Drake and Dorothy Hechtlinger worked on treatments for the film. Materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library note that Darryl Zanuck suggested that Richard Greene test for the role of Zorro. The film had its premiere in Cincinnati, the home town of star Tyrone Power. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. The 1981 Fox release Zorro, the Gay Blade , starring George Hamilton and directed by Peter Medak, was dedicated to director Rouben Mamoulian. For more information on other Zorro films, see entries above for The Bold Caballero and the 1920 The Mark of Zorro ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Californian . According to an item in LAEx , Douglas Fairbanks sold Fox his rights to the Johnston McCulley story, which was published in book form in 1924 as The Mark of Zorro . Materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library add that McCulley retained author's rights to the character of Zorro and wrote several other Zorro stories. As a result, Fox did not control the rights to the Zorro character, thus enabling Republic to make The Bold Caballero in 1936 (see above). The legal files also add that William A. Drake and Dorothy Hechtlinger worked on treatments for the film. Materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library note that Darryl Zanuck suggested that Richard Greene test for the role of Zorro. The film had its premiere in Cincinnati, the home town of star Tyrone Power. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. The 1981 Fox release Zorro, the Gay Blade , starring George Hamilton and directed by Peter Medak, was dedicated to director Rouben Mamoulian. For more information on other Zorro films, see entries above for The Bold Caballero and the 1920 The Mark of Zorro . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Nov 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Nov 40
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 40
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 40
pp. 8-9.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 40
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 40
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 40
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 40
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
20 May 1939.
---
Motion Picture Daily
6 Nov 40
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
9 Nov 40
p. 35.
New York Times
4 Nov 40
p. 33.
New York Times
10 Nov 40
p. 5.
Variety
6 Nov 40
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the serial story The Curse of Capistrano by Johnston McCulley in All-Story Weekly (9 Aug--6 Sep 1919).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Californian
Release Date:
8 November 1940
Premiere Information:
Cincinnati opening: 1 November 1940
Production Date:
25 July--12 September 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
8 November 1940
Copyright Number:
LP10310
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93
Length(in feet):
8,409
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6597
SYNOPSIS

In the early 1800s, when Diego Vega, one of the best swordsmen in all of Spain, is unexpectedly summoned home to California by his father, Don Alejandro, he returns to find that his father has been deposed as alcalde and the peasants crushed beneath the yoke of tyranny under Don Luis Quintero and his soldiers, who are led by the sword brandishing Captain Esteban Pasquale. With the odds against an uprising because of the sheer number of soldiers under Pasquale's command, Diego becomes the scourge of the oppressors by acting as the masked bandit Zorro by night while impersonating a foppish dilettante by day. As Zorro, he falls in love with Quintero's beautiful niece Lolita, while as Don Diego, he flirts with Quintero's conceited wife Inez, thus earning the ire of Pasquale, her other suitor. When Zorro orders that Quintero return to Spain and appoint Don Alejandro as his successor, Pasquale cleverly proposes an alliance between the Vega and Quintero families through a marriage between Diego and Lolita. At first repulsed, Lolita embraces Diego after she discovers that he is the dashing Zorro. However, Diego's masquerade is exposed when his accomplice, Fray Felipe, is arrested by Pasquale and Diego challanges the smug captain to a duel. When Diego kills his opponent, he attracts the suspicion of Quintero, who arrests him and sentences him to death. As Fray Felipe and Diego await the firing squad, Diego outwits the guard, breaks out of jail and leads the peasants and caballeros in a rebellion against the soldiers. With Quintero and his men defeated, Don Alejandro takes over as alcalde, and peace is restored to the village ... +


In the early 1800s, when Diego Vega, one of the best swordsmen in all of Spain, is unexpectedly summoned home to California by his father, Don Alejandro, he returns to find that his father has been deposed as alcalde and the peasants crushed beneath the yoke of tyranny under Don Luis Quintero and his soldiers, who are led by the sword brandishing Captain Esteban Pasquale. With the odds against an uprising because of the sheer number of soldiers under Pasquale's command, Diego becomes the scourge of the oppressors by acting as the masked bandit Zorro by night while impersonating a foppish dilettante by day. As Zorro, he falls in love with Quintero's beautiful niece Lolita, while as Don Diego, he flirts with Quintero's conceited wife Inez, thus earning the ire of Pasquale, her other suitor. When Zorro orders that Quintero return to Spain and appoint Don Alejandro as his successor, Pasquale cleverly proposes an alliance between the Vega and Quintero families through a marriage between Diego and Lolita. At first repulsed, Lolita embraces Diego after she discovers that he is the dashing Zorro. However, Diego's masquerade is exposed when his accomplice, Fray Felipe, is arrested by Pasquale and Diego challanges the smug captain to a duel. When Diego kills his opponent, he attracts the suspicion of Quintero, who arrests him and sentences him to death. As Fray Felipe and Diego await the firing squad, Diego outwits the guard, breaks out of jail and leads the peasants and caballeros in a rebellion against the soldiers. With Quintero and his men defeated, Don Alejandro takes over as alcalde, and peace is restored to the village of Los Angeles. +

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

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