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quiet_curiosity ([personal profile] quiet_curiosity) wrote2011-03-02 07:47 pm
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The Mark of Zorro (1920)

Trying to make a dent in my list o' stuff to write about. And I still have a ton of stuff waiting for me on the DVR. I originally saw this in November. Prompt, aren't I?

Summary: The government oppresses the people. Only one man will stand up for them. He just does so from the shadows and while wearing a fetching little mask.

Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Noah Beery, Marguerite De La Motte, Charles Hill Mailes, Claire McDowell, Robert McKim, George Periolat, Sydney De Gray, Tote Du Crow
Directed by: Fred Niblo

Viewed Via: TCM/DVR
Current Commercial Availability: Douglas Fairbanks: A Modern Musketeer (Flicker Alley - R1)

1) Outside of his Show People cameo, this is my first exposure to Douglas Fairbanks. How does he fair? Pretty well, actually. He's engaging, he's often funny, and he has amazing energy. He's a good fit for both the foppish Don Diego and his alter ego. He certainly seems well suited for these swashbuckler roles. This was a first for him and these roles would dominate the rest of his career.

2) I don't have much love for either Beery (they just annoy me for some reason), but Noah stands out as the hot-headed Sergeant. He's over-the-top but it fits the character. His opening sword fight with Fairbanks is quite well done.

3) Marguerite De La Motte is fine as Lolita. She doesn't have much to do.

4) Robert McKim chews some scenery as our villain, Juan Ramon. As with Beery, this kind of behavior fits the character. He's the proper kind of brute who'll force himself places he need not be and then have his ass kicked by Zorro.

5) The End: And what an end! We have jail breaks (Zorro and newly assembled crew save Lolita and family), a chase, and, of course, a sword fight between Zorro and Ramon. It's a lot of fun: tons of movement and adventure. The film ends as they all do: the villain vanquished and Zorro gets the girl. But that's to be expected and it's easy for the viewer to get caught up in everyone's jubilation.

You'll watch this for Fairbanks and you'll most likely enjoy him. The film, a pioneer in this genre, is fun.

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