The Mark Of Zorro (1920)
“The Mark of Zorro” is a 1920 silent film directed by Fred Niblo and starring Douglas Fairbanks.
This swashbuckling adventure film is considered a classic of the silent era and an early example of the masked vigilante genre. The film tells the story of a young nobleman who takes on the secret identity of Zorro to fight injustice in Spanish California.
In the film, Douglas Fairbanks plays the dual role of Don Diego Vega, a wealthy young man, and his masked alter ego, Zorro. Don Diego returns from Spain to find his hometown of Los Angeles oppressed by a tyrannical governor and his henchmen. Unhappy with the state of affairs, he decides to take action.
Don Diego adopts the persona of Zorro, a dashing and masked swordsman, to secretly fight for justice and the rights of the common people. As Zorro, he engages in daring swordfights, acrobatics, and playful tricks to outwit the governor’s forces and defend the oppressed.
Zorro’s trademark “Z” mark is carved into various objects and characters throughout the film, leaving a trail of intrigue and fear for the corrupt officials. The film is known for its thrilling action sequences and the charismatic performance of Douglas Fairbanks.
“The Mark of Zorro” is an early example of the vigilante hero archetype that would become a popular theme in American cinema and literature. Zorro’s swashbuckling heroics and sense of justice have made him an enduring and iconic character.
The film was both a critical and commercial success and helped establish Douglas Fairbanks as a leading actor in Hollywood. It also played a significant role in the popularization of the Zorro character, who would go on to appear in various films, television series, books, and other forms of media.
The success of “The Mark of Zorro” contributed to the development of the adventure genre in cinema and helped pave the way for the action-adventure films that would become a staple of Hollywood in the years to come.
Overall, “The Mark of Zorro” is a classic silent film that continues to be celebrated for its action, adventure, and the enduring legacy of the Zorro character. Douglas Fairbanks’s portrayal of the masked hero remains iconic in the history of cinema, and the film’s impact on the entertainment industry is still felt today.
Release Date: December 5th, 1920
Main Cast Members
Douglas Fairbanks (Don Diego Vega / Señor Zorro)
Noah Beery (Sgt. Pedro Gonzales)
Charles Hill Mailes (Don Carlos Pulido)
Claire McDowell (Dona Catalina Pulido)
Marguerite De La Motte (Lolita Pulido)
Robert McKim (Capt. Juan Ramon)
George Periolat (Gov. Alvarado)
Walt Whitman (Fray Felipe)
Sidney De Gray (Don Alejandro as Sydney De Gray)