Don Q, Son of Zorro (1925)

Adventure | 20 September 1925

Director:

Donald Crisp

Writer:

Lotta Woods

Cinematographer:

Henry Sharp

Production Company:

The Elton Corp.
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HISTORY

Title cards contain the following prologue: "In the long chain of nobel names--warriors, conquerors, statesmen--whose brilliant lives are written in the story of Spanish conquest, the name of De Vega stands well to the fore-- A De Vega stood with Balboa when he discovered the Pacific. A De Vega fought with Pizarro in the conquest of Peru. On 'The Night of Tears,' when Cortes drenched the new world with the best blood of old Spain, a young De Vega died in armor. Though the home of the De Vegas has long been on California soil, the eldest son of each new generation returns to Spain for a period of travel and study."
       Referring to the picture as Don Q, the 24 Dec 1924 Var announced the feature as Douglas Fairbanks’s next starring production, with Donald Crisp directing. Crisp also portrayed “Don Sebastian” onscreen. United Artists Corp. would handle the release. At that time, filming was reportedly planned to take place in Spain. According to the 24 Jan 1925 Moving Picture World, the film was a sequel to Fairbanks’s 1920 feature, The Mark of Zorro (see entry), and also based on the 1925 novel, Don Q's Love Story by Hesketh Prichard and Kate Prichard. Preparations and casting were underway at the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios in Hollywood, CA, and filming was expected to begin soon. Fairbanks’s leading lady was to be decided in the coming week.
       Principal photography began on 1 Feb 1925, as indicated in the 7 Jun 1925 FD.
       The 7 Feb 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review stated that set designs were created by Spanish artist ... More Less

Title cards contain the following prologue: "In the long chain of nobel names--warriors, conquerors, statesmen--whose brilliant lives are written in the story of Spanish conquest, the name of De Vega stands well to the fore-- A De Vega stood with Balboa when he discovered the Pacific. A De Vega fought with Pizarro in the conquest of Peru. On 'The Night of Tears,' when Cortes drenched the new world with the best blood of old Spain, a young De Vega died in armor. Though the home of the De Vegas has long been on California soil, the eldest son of each new generation returns to Spain for a period of travel and study."
       Referring to the picture as Don Q, the 24 Dec 1924 Var announced the feature as Douglas Fairbanks’s next starring production, with Donald Crisp directing. Crisp also portrayed “Don Sebastian” onscreen. United Artists Corp. would handle the release. At that time, filming was reportedly planned to take place in Spain. According to the 24 Jan 1925 Moving Picture World, the film was a sequel to Fairbanks’s 1920 feature, The Mark of Zorro (see entry), and also based on the 1925 novel, Don Q's Love Story by Hesketh Prichard and Kate Prichard. Preparations and casting were underway at the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios in Hollywood, CA, and filming was expected to begin soon. Fairbanks’s leading lady was to be decided in the coming week.
       Principal photography began on 1 Feb 1925, as indicated in the 7 Jun 1925 FD.
       The 7 Feb 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review stated that set designs were created by Spanish artist Francesc Cugat and Edward M. Langley. Exteriors were still planned to be filmed in Madrid and Andalusia, Spain, as reported in the 21 Feb 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review, but location filming abroad did not transpire. Fairbanks was coached for his role by famed Spanish bullfighter Manuel de Los Rios, and two bulls were imported by train from Mexico City, Mexico. Three prize-winning horses were also rented from the same Frenchman in Mexico, who refused to sell the valuable animals outright, according to the 9 May 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review.
       On 15 Mar 1925, FD noted that the picture was in its sixth week of production.
       The 18 Mar 1925 Var announced that actor George Blankman died from complications of tuberculosis on 13 Mar 1925, while working on Don Q.
       According to the 25 Mar 1925 Var, Lottie Pickford Forrest, Mary Pickford’s sister and Fairbanks’s sister-in-law, had been given the female lead. The casting had been a kept secret for some time. However, Mary Astor is credited as Fairbanks’s co-star, and Pickford Forrest appears to have been recast in a lesser role as “Lola.”
       The 4 Apr 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review named Percy and Ernest Westmore as persons in charge of “whiskers” on set, as the male characters’ facial hair, including Fairbanks’s sideburns, were an important element to the storytelling.
       The 29 Apr 1925 Var stated that Donald Crisp had suffered an injury to his foot after it was stepped on by a horse, but he had since returned to work. Another news item in the same issue reported that principal photography had completed two days before, on 27 Apr 1925.
       Referring to the picture for the first time as Don Q, Son of Zorro, the 9 May 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review listed an anticipated release date of 30 Aug 1925.
       The 23 May 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review listed Frederick Ritter as head of “technical work” on the picture. The New York City opening was announced for 15 Jun 1925 at the Globe Theatre.
       The 17 Jun 1925 Var review stated, “The suspense element is beautifully maintained throughout,” and declared the film as “Doug at his best.” The “splendid” direction and photography were also noted. According to the review, the picture contained hand colored sequences.
       Voted one of the “Top Best Features” of 1925 by the 1929 Film Daily Year Book, as reported in the 7 Feb 1930 FD. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Trade Review
27 Jun 1925
p. 59.
Exhibitors Trade Review
7 Feb 1925
p. 23.
Exhibitors Trade Review
21 Feb 1925
p. 29.
Exhibitors Trade Review
4 Apr 1925
p. 26.
Exhibitors Trade Review
25 Apr 1925
p. 33.
Exhibitors Trade Review
9 May 1925
p. 52, 55.
Exhibitors Trade Review
23 May 1925
p. 29.
Film Daily
15 Mar 1925
p. 6.
Film Daily
7 Jun 1925
p. 132.
Film Daily
7 Feb 1930
p. 8.
Moving Picture World
24 Jan 1925
p. 385.
Moving Picture World
27 Jun 1925
p. 961.
New York Times
16 Jun 1925
p. 24.
Photoplay
Aug 1925
p. 51.
Variety
24 Dec 1924
p. 28.
Variety
18 Mar 1925
p. 46.
Variety
25 Mar 1925
p. 27.
Variety
29 Apr 1925
p. 9, 25.
Variety
27 May 1925
p. 29.
Variety
17 Jun 1925
p. 35.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Scenario ed
Photoplay
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Assoc photog
Lighting eff by
ART DIRECTORS
Supv art dir
Consulting artist
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film cutter
COSTUMES
Master of ward
MUSIC
Mus score
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech eff by
Research dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Don Q's Love Story by Hesketh Prichard and Kate Prichard (New York, 1925).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Don Q
Release Date:
20 September 1925
Premiere Information:
New York opening at the Globe Theatre: 15 June 1925
Production Date:
1 February--27 April 1925
Copyright Claimant:
The Elton Corp.
Copyright Date:
8 July 1925
Copyright Number:
LP21637
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
10,264
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Don César de Vega, a dashing young Californian, is sent by his father, Zorro, to Spain in order to broaden himself as is the tradition of the family. There he falls in love with a beauty named Dolores and also, owing to his prowess, gains favor with the Spanish court and the visiting Austrian Archduke. When the archduke is assassinated by one of the queen's guards and Don César is accused, the only witness refuses to clear Don César. So as to gain time to unmask the real criminals, Don César then feigns suicide, and with the help of his father, who has come to Spain, he succeeds in solving the mystery. His reward is the love of ... +


Don César de Vega, a dashing young Californian, is sent by his father, Zorro, to Spain in order to broaden himself as is the tradition of the family. There he falls in love with a beauty named Dolores and also, owing to his prowess, gains favor with the Spanish court and the visiting Austrian Archduke. When the archduke is assassinated by one of the queen's guards and Don César is accused, the only witness refuses to clear Don César. So as to gain time to unmask the real criminals, Don César then feigns suicide, and with the help of his father, who has come to Spain, he succeeds in solving the mystery. His reward is the love of Dolores. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Historical


Subject

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.