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TomJH

Zorro and Don Juan - A Great Swashbuckling Double Bill

338 posts in this topic

TB, yesterday it was feminism, and your desire to discuss lady swashbucklers. Today it's reading homoerotic imagery into a photograph. You are trying to take this thread in directions that I, as the originator, do NOT wish it to go.

 

I have never ONCE come on any of your countless threads and tried to be disruptive, as you are now doing.

 

I put considerable effort into the initial posting on this thread and would like it to remain a reflection of its title, a celebration of The Mark of Zorro and Adventures of Don Juan. If someone wants to bring up some other swashbucklers that's fine, too, of course. But I really don't want a discussion here based on either a feminist agenda or reading gay implications into characters' actions.

 

If you want to pursue either subject you are free to create your own thread. And I assure you that I will not barge into it and try to alter it on you.

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}Yes, indeed, tonight is the night. I am excited. Aren't you?!

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> Though I am sure queer theorists would find a great deal of homoerotic content in this image from ZORRO:

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Just wanted to copy and paste this post to have it on record in case TB tries to change it.

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This is one of Alfred Newman's best scores. It was used again in the TV-movie version starring Frank Langella as Zorro.

 

There's an outake from this movie that is quite funny. It shows the robbery sequence of the Alcade and his wife in the carriage. Zorro carves his Z in the upholstery. The Alcade looks at it in astonishment..."Zanuck!"

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"Queer theorists?"

 

Just wait until they see that THE LAVENDER HILL MOB is tomorrow on TCM. ;)

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Just finished watching *The Mark of Zorro* and, for my money, still the best duel in film history. Short and to the point. (pun intended ;) ) Nowadays, these sequences go on forever and the characters have to perform like Chinese acrobats.

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Hate on me if you must, but to be completely honest: I felt like something was missing from The Mark of Zorro.

 

Well, actually a lot of things were missing- action, stunts, a sense of grandness to the sets that would've been there had this been a Warner's picture...Zorro was largely missing, I can see why calling this movie The Californians wasn't as off-base as it would seem had I not now seen the film...I guess the concept of Zorro grew after the movie came out, still, they did have the foresight to change the title to The Mark of Zorro, which kind of lends one to, you know, expect to see more of Zorro than we did...

 

The actors were all fine, Rathbone had a moment at the beginning that made me think he maybe hadn't gotten all of whatever he was on when he did Son of Frankenstein the previous year out of his system, but he mellowed (and was a litte soft in the middle too!) Great death scene, *that was fun!*

 

Power was fine, he embraced the fop side of the role wonderfully, but wasn't given enough physically to do, and by that I mean some real stunts that Flynn or Fairbanks would've done (and I have nothing against them using a double, he had a bad heart, right?)

 

In the end: *there was too little Zorro.* And too much talking.

And it needed to be in color, hate on me for saying that, fine, but it needed to be in color.

 

Linda Darnell was certainly as lovely a lady as ever there was, and a remarkably solid actress given how young she was, the pressure she was under, and the wild variety of roles she was assigned to play. I'm all for Arturo's sogetto she be SOTM.

 

Pallette and Rathbone's roles were *way too derivative* of their parts in Robin Hood. Sloppy.

 

And why on earth was *the mask covering the bottom part of his face? What human on earth could not tell that was totally Tyrone Power with his eyes and brow completely exposed?*

 

"Oh, Hi Ty. What's with the scarf? You hiding a canker?"

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Watching The Mark of Zorro tonight it occured to me how little we actually see of Tyrone Power in many of the action scenes. Power gives a lovely performance of grace and charm in this film but, unlike Fairbanks or Flynn before he ruined himself, I don't think that Power was in their league as an athlete.

 

As a result of this, director Mamoulian has many of the action scenes set at night, Zorro leaping in and out of hedges, riding wildly on horseback with the troops pursuing him, dodging in and out of trees on horseback, many of the shots rather dark and in long shot, without the audience having the opportunity to spot Power's stunt double.

 

The action scenes are quite beautifully done, I think, with Alfred Newman's exciting score bringing an addtional sense of zest to them. Heck, these action scenes are so much fun that the audience doesn't have the chance to observe the fact that there isn't much of Power actually in them. And for that, I take a tip of the saber tip to Mamoulian, his cinematographer and editor.

 

Of course, the highlight of the film in which Power does participate, and memorably so, is the incredible duel that he has with Rathbone, a duel that can stand next to any other in film history, for my money. Even then, there are a few shots in which the most furious action has a fencing double (Albert Cavens) doing the work for Power, including that memorable moment in which Zorro skewers Rathbone. Rathbone, by the way, a wonderful fencer, does all his own dueling in the film. Rathbone was in a class by himself as a costume scoundrel, I think, an athletic actor with great incisive dialogue delivery. Rathbone had the same arrogance as a villain that also worked well for him when he played Sherlock Holmes.

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By mentioning Pallette and Rathbone as both being in *The Adventures of Robin Hood* and *The Mark of Zorro*, you remind me that this was mentioned in the intro. Somehow the researchers failed to notice that Montagu Love was in both films also.

 

Love was one of those go to guys in action films and swashbucklers, in 1940 in addition to the Zorro film, he was in *The Son of Monte Cristo* and *The Sea Hawk*. Flynn, Power and Louis Hayward films all in one year, not bad. Not that Hayward was up to the other two in status, but he probably equalled them in the number of actioners anyway.

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Addison, I always chuckle a little bit that none of the bad guys, after having talks with Don Diego, can afterwards recognize either his voice or face, which he has only half-covered. It requires that suspension of disbelief from a viewer that they like to talk about it. I always just shrug off the illogic of it and enjoy the show.

 

Obviously, I like the film more than do you. However, it was clearly done on a smaller budget than Warners' Robin Hood of two years before. It doesn't have the same big sets or breath taking Technicolor. But this film has wonderful black-and-white photography, really striking (that was a great print that TCM had tonight) that I have always enjoyed. The visual attractiveness of the production is such that I've never thought it was a mistake to not have colour.

 

You seem to want more action. Well, the film buildings up to those moments of action, alternating it in between with some humor (those fop scenes of Power's are quite wonderful, don't you think?). I particularly like the tension of that exchange between Power and Rathbone at the dinner table in which Don Diego makes reference to Rathbone's having presumably had a dalliance with someone's wife.

 

Rathbone Closeup: "Just how did you mean that, senior?"

 

Power: "I hoped to be amusing. Have I failed?"

 

Another great Rathbone closeup: "Somewhat. With me."

 

With Rathbone's steely gaze you could cut the tension with a knife. Or should I say sword?

 

My biggest criticism of the film is that the duel comes too soon. The film tends to meander for the fifteen minutes left to it afterward, making all the post-duel action pretty anti-climactic, in my opinion. But that, to me, is a minor flaw.

 

I think this version of Zorro works very well. I haven't seen a better one.

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Addison, first off, thanks fo your vote of support. Just a couple of comments. At the time this movie supposedly took place, Los Angeles was just a sleepy Mexican pueblo of 1,000 at most. It cosisted of one story adobe dwellings, so there is nowhere room for sets to lend themselves to "grandness", except maybe in the opening scene in the Spanish court.

 

 

 

 

 

I agree it screamed for Technicolor, and was envisioned as such; imagine what the director Rouben Mamoulian did on the following movie BLOOD AND SAND with color. I don't know what happened, other than there was a retrenchment among the studios in 1940, due to curtailed European markets, and the subsequent loss of earnings.

 

 

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TomJH wrote:

 

 

 

I particularly like the tension of that exchange between Power and Rathbone at the dinner table in which Don Diego makes reference to Rathbone's having presumably had a dalliance with someone's wife.

Rathbone Closeup: "Just how did you mean that, senior?"

Power: "I hoped to be amusing. Have I failed?"

Another great Rathbone closeup: "Somewhat. With me."

With Rathbone's steely gaze you could cut the tension with a knife. Or should I say sword?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom, I too love this scene; great dialogue.... isn't this when Rathbone is jabbing and "dueling" with his grapefruit? Great directorial touch inho.

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Thanks, filmlover. When I do not post in this thread, it falls to the second most popular discussion.

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> {quote:title=Arturo wrote:}{quote}

> Addison, first off, thanks fo your vote of support. Just a couple of comments. At the time this movie supposedly took place, Los Angeles was just a sleepy Mexican pueblo of 1,000 at most. It cosisted of one story adobe dwellings, so there is nowhere room for sets to lend themselves to "grandness", except maybe in the opening scene in the Spanish court.

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Arturo, you just reminded me...I meant to post that at the time, it was called *El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles* (basically Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels).

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...I meant to post that at the time, it was called *El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles*

 

 

 

 

 

*....Except you forgot the last part....Del Rio de Porciuncula.*

 

 

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Well, kudos to TCM for giving us a restored copy of *Cyrano De Bergerac* as opposed to that public domain print that has been aired previously. I just may finally be able to watch it all the way through.

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Topbilled wrote:

 

 

What if we said DARK VICTORY and NOW, VOYAGER-- A Great Chick Flick Double Bill.

How come we do not get all excited about the women's pictures as much as we do about the male-dominated action flicks?

 

 

TB:

 

 

This is such an anachronistic term. I can never see a Bette Davis movie as a "chick flick". Nor would the people they were made for ever have been considered 'chicks", nevermind their actual gender. You said it correctly in your next paragraph, these are "women's pictures', specifically melodramas.

 

 

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slaytonf wrote:

>Zorro was great! Thanks, TCM!

 

And I say +1 to that.

 

AND I say, thanks for the heads-up here, Tom. I probably would have missed it without your initiating this thread!

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Thanks very much, Dargo, and I'm glad you enjoyed The Mark of Zorro. The main reason I created the thread was to bring these two films to the attention of others that might otherwise have missed them.

 

mz42a.jpg

 

No one ever took a blade quite like Basil Rathbone (that, by the way, is Albert Cavens, Power's double, performing the fatal blow).

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Hi Arturo,

 

Of course I am using the term 'chick flick' not in the most academic sense, but to reach an audience. Our younger generation of classic film buffs probably do consider anything that has two women in the lead roles a chick flick, regardless of what year it was made. Even a silent film like ORPHANS IN THE STORM might be called a chick flick by today's audience.

 

Personally, I like the term 'weepers' if the content of the film under discussion is rather emotionally charged. Lana Turner's version of IMITATION OF LIFE is a real weeper, especially with that funeral scene at the end.

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>The main reason I created the thread was to bring these two films to the attention of others

 

Yes, with all due respect, you have been hammering that point into the ground. After awhile, folks may start to think these are attempts to desperately wrestle back control of the thread which quite frankly seems like a waste of energy. We can all benefit from the rich assortment of subtopics that have been introduced in this thread and will continue to be introduced provided the thread does not wind up locked.

 

I suppose one could always create a new thread that says 'ZORRO and DON JUAN Discussion Only' but since when does a thread on the TCM message board have to become exclusive...?

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Sigh. While you say you are a feminist, you put on airs like Blanche Dubois with your calling people here rude, which makes me think of her speech of: "But some things are not forgivable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable! It is the one unforgivable thing, in my opinion, and the one thing of which I have never, never been guilty."

 

And you insist on have the last word.

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>Sigh. While you say...

 

Some people have been rude in various threads on this forum. It's a fact. Why not just admit it, make attempts to get along better (all of us) and move forward. But when a poster starts a comment with the word 'Sigh,' then we may have serious reason to doubt that attitudes are changing for the better.

 

Quite frankly, I have been surprised by the increasing display of bad manners in some of these threads. Usually the folks around here practice more tolerance and self-control. I am sorry that you disagree with my opinion, but I feel it necessary to state it so that we can continue to make progress in these discussions.

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> {quote:title=AddisonDeWitless wrote: }{quote}And it needed to be in color, hate on me for saying that, fine, but it needed to be in color.

You can get your wish. There is a DVD with both the b&w and --- arghh --- a colorized version.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Zorro-Special-Edition-Colorized-Black/dp/B000A9QK8M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359474109&sr=8-1&keywords=themarkof+zorro

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