Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

ZORRO RIDES AGAIN


ZORRO RIDES AGAIN (1937). Republic. Directed by William Witney and John English.

This is an acceptable but pretty standard cliffhanger that is by no means any great classic of the genre. John Carroll is fine as James Vega/Zorro, who comes to the aid of a brother-sister team of railroad owners beset by villains. Marsden (Noah Beery) wants the railroad for himself, and has "El Lobo" do his dirty work for him out in California while he sits behind a desk in Manhattan. El Lobo and Marsden are both colorless, unprepossessing antagonists. Helen Christian plays Joyce Andrews, one of the railroad owners. (Her reaction when she learns that a father and his young son have been killed by El Lobo is "underplayed," to say the least!) Duncan Renaldo is "Renaldo," who assists Zorro at times. Some good cliffhangers involve floods, explosions, and train tunnels, while chapter three features some good fisticuffs on the tracks as a train approaches, with Zorro’s foot getting caught in the rail (it never occurs to Zorro to simply remove his boot)! Zorro Rides Again is not terrible, but considering it comes from Republic studios, it is rather disappointing.
Verdict: Unspectacular. **1/2.

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