AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Mark of Zorro
Director: Rouben Mamoulian (Dir)
Release Date:   8 Nov 1940
Duration (in mins):  93
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Cast: Tyrone Power  (Diego [Vega])
  Linda Darnell  (Lolita Quintero)
  Basil Rathbone  (Capt. Esteban Pasquale)
 

Summary: In the early 1800s, when Diego Vega, one of the best swordsmen in all of Spain, is unexpectedly summoned home to California by his father, Don Alejandro, he returns to find that his father has been deposed as alcalde and the peasants crushed beneath the yoke of tyranny under Don Luis Quintero and his soldiers, who are led by the sword brandishing Captain Esteban Pasquale. With the odds against an uprising because of the sheer number of soldiers under Pasquale's command, Diego becomes the scourge of the oppressors by acting as the masked bandit Zorro by night while impersonating a foppish dilettante by day. As Zorro, he falls in love with Quintero's beautiful niece Lolita, while as Don Diego, he flirts with Quintero's conceited wife Inez, thus earning the ire of Pasquale, her other suitor. When Zorro orders that Quintero return to Spain and appoint Don Alejandro as his successor, Pasquale cleverly proposes an alliance between the Vega and Quintero families through a marriage between Diego and Lolita. At first repulsed, Lolita embraces Diego after she discovers that he is the dashing Zorro. However, Diego's masquerade is exposed when his accomplice, Fray Felipe, is arrested by Pasquale and Diego challanges the smug captain to a duel. When Diego kills his opponent, he attracts the suspicion of Quintero, who arrests him and sentences him to death. As Fray Felipe and Diego await the firing squad, Diego outwits the guard, breaks out of jail and leads the peasants and caballeros in a rebellion against the soldiers. With Quintero and his men defeated, Don Alejandro takes over as alcalde, and peace is restored to the village of Los Angeles. 

Distribution Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Director: Rouben Mamoulian (Dir)
  Lynn Shores (2d unit dir)
  Bill Weenberger (Asst dir)
  Sidney Bowen (Asst dir)
Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck (Exec prod)
  Raymond Griffith (Assoc prod)
Writer: John Taintor Foote (Scr)
  Garrett Fort (Adpt)
  Bess Meredyth (Adpt)

Subject Major: California--History--To 1846
  Despotism
  Impersonation and imposture
  Masked bandits
  Uprisings
 
Subject Minor: Fathers and sons
  Flirtation
  Fops
  Mayors
  Nieces
  Peasantry
  Romance
  Soldiers
  Spain
  Sword fights

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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