Jan 23, 201309:13 AMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
Wednesday Western: 'The Mark of Zorro'
Free for you to view on YouTube: The Mark of Zorro, director Rouben Mamoulian’s classic 1940 swashbuckler, starring Tyrone Power as Don Diego Vega, the hearty hero who only pretends to be a foppish aristocrat when he isn’t wearing a mask and fighting the good fight as… well, Zorro.
In 19th-century Southern California, young Don Diego — newly returned from his years of education in Spain — is dismayed to see that, during his absence, a corrupt local magistrate (J. Edward Bromberg) has established a cruel rule to exploit the common people with the aid of master swordsman Captain Esteban Pasquale (Basil Rathbone).
Although his wealthy ranchero father (Montagu Love) is game to organize an armed uprising, Don Diego prefers to launch a one-man guerrilla campaign against the tyrannical alcalde — and his blade-wielding henchman.
Many other movie actors — ranging from Douglas Fairbanks to Antonio Banderas — have offered memorable portrayals of El Zorro (The Fox), a character first introduced in the 1919 novella The Curse of Capistrano by Johnston McCulley. But most movie buffs agree that this particular Zorro film features the most exiting swordfight in Hollywood history, a climactic clash between Power and Rathbone that reportedly left both men with more than a few nicks and scratches.