Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

The Mark of Zorro 1940


lanceroten
 Share

Recommended Posts

Watched this for the first time recently. Great flick. Anybody else besides me think this is superior to The Adventures of Robin Hood? I know Mark of Zorro isn't a pirate movie ala Captain Blood either but, it's a swashbuckler B-) . I found Power to be a great Don Diego, Basil Rathbone was superb as always, and Linda Darnell was solid also. Love the B&W, and the Esteban/Don Diego duel was great. The movie had great flow from beginning to end. So am I alone in thinking this was better that Flynn's Robin Hood?(Which I don't think is too shabby either, both films are classics). ;)

 

Edited by: lanceroten on Jan 23, 2012 8:21 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree; I still grind my teeth at the idea that a piece of tedious and preachy whimsy like YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU won the 1938 Best Picture Oscar.

 

As for ZORRO, it's a terrific film, has what may be the best sword duel ever filmed, and deserves to be in the pantheon of great swashbukling films, but it's not quite in the same league as ROBIN HOOD, which is, in my admittedly biased view (it's my favorite film, and I own Flynn's sword and Rathbone's truncheon), the perfect fairy tale and the best of its kind ever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that Robin Hood is the greater film. Outside of Errol, nobody could swash their buckle like Ty Power. The dueling in "Zorro" is one of the finest ever filmed and poetry in motion. Thanks in large part to Basil Rathbone.. Without a doubt one of the best { if not THE best } swordsmen in filmdom. But as wonderful an "Zorro" is, IMHO, "Robin" is in a class by itself....So en garde { en guarde }

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about The Sea Hawk? That's a pretty good swashbuckler. I do have to say that Robin Hood is my favorite. I think that the supporting cast in Robin Hood was outstanding. As you say, Basil Rathbone was great at sword fighting and of course the ultimate foe. Then you have Claude Rains, Alan Hale, Eugene Pallette, Patric Knowles, Ian Hunter and of course, Olivia de Havilland and Una O'Conner. I think that everything just came together to make a wonderful adventure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I for one would have a tough time picking between *The Mark Of Zorro* and *The Adventures Of Robin Hood* , I think they are both excellent entertaining films. "Robin" benefits from the super big budget sets and color filming used but "Zorro" , while done on the cheap (relatively speaking) has lots of action and somehow seems grittier in tone (I'm glad it is in black and white). Both Flynn and Power are at the top of their game in these two films and Basil Rathbone is the common thread as the despicable villain. In fact I might say that Basil may be the best thing in both films, he gives the hero a worthy opponent. The duel in "Zorro" may be the best of all films, although the "Robin" duel gets most of the public attention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>Basil Rathbone is the common thread as the despicable villain.

 

Well, one can also say that Eugene Pallette's Padre Felipe is just a reprise of his performance as Friar Tuck in ROBIN HOOD (and Montagu Love, who was the evil Bishop of the Black Canons in the Flynn film is, in ZORRO, Don Diego's father, Don Alejandro).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still need to watch The Black Swan(Power), Don Juan and The Sea Hawk. After watching Captain Blood, I rank the 3 swashbucklers i've seen thus far like this:

 

The Mark of Zorro

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Captain Blood

 

To me, Cap. Blood was the one I would be least likely to ever watch again. It seemed long, and , needed more Basil Rathbone IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basil Rathbone was a great actor in the theatre as well. He did many Shakespeare plays where he played the lead. He also was a very interesting man. His autobiography "In And Out Of Character" is really well written and shows what a great personality he was. Like so many of the great stars, it is ashame that they had to die. I thank God that their personalities are preserved in the movies that the made. And I also thank TCM for helping to do that by airing those movies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's safe to say that of all the classic Hollywood swashbucklers, no other holds quite the same fame and reverance as that enjoyed by The Adventures of Robin Hood. With its combination of a once-in-a-lifetime cast, memerable action scenes including one of the great film duels, great sets and costumes, vibrant Technicolour, remarkable musical score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, it truly is a film to cherish. It's te perfect fairy tale adventure.

 

But I always thought that the 1940 Mark of Zorro is also a quite brilliant film that has always been a bit lost in the overwhelming shadow of Robin Hood. It, too, has one of the great screen duels, a superior cast, rousing musical score by Alfred Newman, and, in Tyrone Power, a great swashbuckling hero. Wonderful as Flynn was as a screen romantic and swashbuckler, I'm not at all certain he could have pulled off this film's heroics the way Power does because of Power's deft touch in the Don Diego scenes, often played for a sly humour.

 

One thing for certain, neither Zorro nor Robin Hood would be as great as they are if if wasn't for the full throated, macho strutting, arrogant intelligence of Basil Rathbone as the villain in both films. Rathbone was, bar none, the greatest costime scoundrel that the movies have ever seen. He was a fine Sherlock Holmes, too, of course, but as a sword-wielding heavy, he was in a class by himself.

 

One other film deserves mention, however, and that's the 1940 Sea Hawk. This film has a more courtly, gentlemanly Flynn than Robin Hood. Impossible for me to take my eyes off him in this film. He was at the peak of his career when he made this one, supported, again, by a solid supporting cast and one of the great Korngold screen scores (in my opinion, even superior to his Robin Hood music, and that's really saying something).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>sez TomJH:

>neither Zorro nor Robin Hood would be as great as they are if if wasn't for the full throated, macho strutting, arrogant intelligence of Basil Rathbone as the villain

 

 

Definitely. A great hero requires a great villan. One thing that always impressed me about Mr. Rathbone is that he was not trapped in that role by the stereotyping that limited so many other actors, but was able to play a wide variety of parts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basil Rathbone was a great leading man on the stage and terrific supporting actor in films. It is ashamed that other than Sherlock Holmes, he really didn't get the leading parts very often on film. He was very popular on and off the set. I really enjoyed his autobiography "In And Out Of Character." It was so interesting to read his "take" on the different films, as well as the actors. The man was a very talented writer, actor, and all round good guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...