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

Thursday, February 4, 2021


(1940). Director: Rouben Mamoulian. 

Diego Vega (Tyrone Power) returns to Los Angeles from Madrid and discovers that in his absence his elderly father (Montagu Love) has been unseated and a petty tyrant, Don Quintero (J. Edward Bromberg), is taxing the people to death and brutalizing the rebellious with the aid of nasty Captain Pasquale (Basil Rathbone). Diego's father is appalled by what his predecessor is doing but can't see himself fighting against the government, no matter how corrupt. Therefore Diego dons the mask of Zorro to fight his people's oppressor, and begins to act as a carefree, callous fop to avoid suspicion being focused upon him. This very good movie about one of the first masked "super-heroes" of sorts is fine entertainment, with smashing performances from all -- this is one of Power's best -- and an excellent sword fight between Power and Rathbone, who is also at his snarling best. Linda Darnell is lovely as the romantic interest and Gale Sondergaard splendid as Quintero's catty and unfaithful wife. Eugene Palette scores as the Padre, and there's a good scene when Power reveals his secret identity to the priest. Bromberg and Love are also in top form. Not as thrilling as the serial Zorro's Fighting Legion but much superior to Zorro Rides Again. 

 Verdict: Very entertaining classic. ***.


angelman66 said...

Tyrone Power was one of the most good-looking actors of all time. And he is at the zenith of his attractiveness here. Though I prefer Power and Darnell in Blood and Sand (with the sizzling Ria Hayworth coming between them!), they are also memorable here, assisted by great character actors like the amazing Gale Sondergaard. Need to see it again soon!!

William said...

Delightful movie with a great cast. I like "Blood and Sand" too. Tyrone had Power over both sexes (terrible pun, I admit).

angelman66 said...

Lol@Bill. Thought it was rather witty, actually!!