Search This Blog

Saturday, February 27, 2021

The Mark Of Zorro (1940)

Following his military education in Spain, a young man (Tyrone Power) returns to early 19th century California to find Los Angeles ruled by a corrupt Alcalde (J. Edward Bromberg) and his manipulative henchman (Basil Rathbone). He masquerades as a fop while assuming the guise of the masked Zorro to defend the abused and overtaxed populace. Based on THE CURSE OF CAPISTRANO by Johnston McCulley and directed by Rouben Mamoulian (BLOOD AND SAND). One of best of the movie swashbucklers, this carefree adventure has a twinkle in its cinematic eye. Power is surprisingly good providing his dual character with the necessary panache and wit. It's a pity the film wasn't shot in Technicolor, not that Arthur C. Miller's (HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY) B&W lensing isn't detailed and handsome. It's just that color would have added another layer of vibrancy. The swordfight between Power and Rathbone is marvelous (Rathbone said Power was better at it than Flynn). The Oscar nominated score is by Alfred Newman. With Linda Darnell (looking breathtakingly beautiful), Gale Sondergaard, Eugene Pallette, Montagu Love and Janet Beecher. 


  1. Great write-up. I enjoyed it a lot. Probably my favorite swashbuckler due to Tyrone Power's entertaining performance and Basil Rathbone. Darnell was only 17 when this was made. I guess they liked their leading ladies young back then.

    1. Power and Darnell had made Daytime Wife the year before (1939) and they played husband and wife! She was 16!