Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|The Mark of Zorro (spoilers)
Written by Mary Anne
(1/29/2013 12:45 p.m.)
TCM had a real treat last night--the 1940 The Mark of Zorro with Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, and Basil Rathbone. I've loved that movie ever since I was a child and it's one of my top choices in the swashbuckler category. I'm sort of a fancier of sword fights and this movie features one of the best between Tyrone Power as Don Diego de la Vega/Zorro and Basil Rathbone as the suave and menacing Capitan Esteban Pasquale. From what I understand, both Power and Rathbone were excellent fencers and that gave this sword fight a speed, power, and believability that you don't often see in such films.
Also, Power has a fine talent for comedy; it's a laugh riot to see him smirk and simper and flounce about in his assumed manner as a harmless fop to deflect attention from his activities as Zorro.
Linda Darnell is so young and radiant that it's amazing every man in the film isn't in love with her; her beauty is positively luminous. This is especially obvious set against the more exotic and worldly good looks of Gale Sondergaard as Inez--her jealousy over the young woman's beauty is as evident as the Wicked Queen's toward Snow White. And the interaction between her and Rathbone is positively racy for the era. It's amazing what each of these performers can imply with sidelong glances and raised eyebrows.
Another good comic perfomance is that of Eugene Pallette as Fray Felipe. That trademark gravelly rasp of a voice had me giggling in the fight scene at the end where he's whacking soldiers over the head and pauses after each whack to intone, "God forgive me."
Some lovely visuals, too, especially with some of the elaborate costuming. It comes across as positively lush for a black and white film.
Keep an eye out for this one and give yourself a treat if you like swashbuckler movies. It's a five star delight.
Virtual Views is maintained by Golda with WebBBS 3.21.