The Mark of Zorro
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Top Customer Reviews
As with any entertainment from a different era, silent films require patience and an open mind to get the proper feel of. Some people can do this, some people can't, that does not make either side an inferior species.
After having just rewatched this film, I must say that I still find it quite enjoyable. (I have seen every readily available version of Zorro) This is still the best of the lot in my opinion for several reasons. First, no pretentions. Second, very good action. Third, wildly imaginative stunts for the time.
I do hope you will give this movie a fair chance, silent films are a fascinating intellectual challenge to a modern filmgoer and will widen your film appreciation. Set your mind back to 1920 and savour the taste of the era.
The plot is a familiar one, Don Diego is a seemingly foppish landowner who dons a black mask and fights evil as Zorro. Fairbanks's talent for comedy is well exploited here. His juevenile antics as Don Diego drive everyone, including his leading lady, nuts. (A running gag is for Don Diego to take out a hanky, ask his audience if they have seen this one, and will proceed to do a very silly trick with it.)
Of course, once he's Zorro the fighting is furious. The duels easily rival the action sequences of modern movies. And the grand finale, a chase across the rooftops, in and out of windows, up walls, over fences, etc. etc. was so amazing that I had to see it again to believe it.
Just one last note, if you have never seen a silent movie before keep in mind that the acting style is totally different from talkies. Movements are exagerated for affect. The soundtrack can be overwhelming at first. But once you get used to them, they are a very refreshing breather from modern movies. Let this movie be your introduction to the unrivalled swashbuckler, Douglas Fairbanks sr.
If you don't know Douglas Fairbanks and his being renown for his athleticism, this is fun even on that level. Though they don't quite come under the classification as Stunts, well if climbing the side of the building is normal, he is fun to watch for many reasons. Very clever sequences through out the movie.
I've seen a recent version of Zorro and it was every bit as good as this one. Even though this is silent it is NOT boring for even a minute. OK maybe I'm so used to silents say compared to explosions and nastiness of the modern screenplays so if your looking for that well maybe this movie will only be fun.
The unveiling is everything you could hope for and more, from the look on the heroin's face to the reason for the unveiling. If you are unsure of silents this is a great place to start.
I especially loved the way Fairbanks played the dual role of Don Diego Vega/Zorro. Don Diego's lifelessness was oftentimes amusing, and so were those magic tricks of his. And I loved seeing the practical jokes Zorro played on Sergeant Gonzales. Oh, and could Zorro ever woo Senorita Lolita Pulido!
The acting was probably very good for a 1920s movie (though quite frankly, this is the first time I really saw a silent film, so I don't have much to compare it to), though the performance of Marguerite de la Motte as Lolita, in particular, is slightly melodramatic at times. Still, it's a minor complaint, and it didn't keep me from loving the movie and from wanting to watch it often. END
Most recent customer reviews
There are many Zorro movies out there and each brings with it a unique character. This version has all the energy and routines of Douglas Fairbanks. Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2010 by Bernie
The only silent film I have enjoyed as much as I enjoy the best of modern film is Buster Keaton's The General, but Douglas Fiarbanks' The Mark of Zorro holds up better than most... Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2004
I saw this film last night on TCM. Silent movies are very odd. Douglas Fairbanks is impressive in his acrobatics and swordplay but does not look like Don Diego, who is said to be... Read morePublished on June 25 2002
I dont mean to offend people when I say this but HAVE YOU ALL LOST YOUR FREAKEN MINDS!!!!THIS IS A SILENT MOVIE, A WORK MADE LONG BEFORE FILMMAKING CAME INTO ITS PRIME (2001 with... Read morePublished on April 27 2002 by Bill Sanderson