The Sign of Zorro
Released Theatrically: 1960
Released on Television: 1957
Box Office: N/A
Starring: Guy Williams, George J. Lewis, Gene Sheldon, & Henry Calvin
Director: Lewis R. Foster & Norman Foster
Plot: Don Diego de la Vega returns home to California, from his time in Spain where he studied, to find out that his home is not as he left it. While in Spain, the town he once knew came under the control of the cruel Capitan Monastario. Due to the Capitan’s arresting a dear family friend for speaking out against the Capitan, Don Diego is forced to put on the mask and cape of Zorro. Along with his trusted sidekick Bernardo, the two fight against the tyranny and try to set his hometown free from the rule of the Capitan.
Final Thoughts: Like Davy Crockett before it, The Sign of Zorro is a movie that is compiled of eight episodes of the hit TV series. If you were like me I remember a lot of these episodes being on Disney Channel, I want to say it aired daily before Avonlea. Probably the most memorable thing about this movie is the opening theme song. The Zorro TV series was made around the same time as Davy Crockett. While the series was a hit on TV, when they compiled the episodes into a feature film, it did not garner the same attention as Davy did.
The reason it didn’t do as well as Davy can probably be contributed to how it was made. Where Davy was made as a TV movie, Zorro was made as a TV show. Critics panned it for this reason because as they saw it the movie had the TV style of acting as well as the quick edits. I would tend to agree looking back at this but not knowing that it was actually a movie compiled of eight episodes I still found the movie to be entertaining.
The most memorable character for me other than the obvious Zorro, is Sgt Garcia. Seeing him brought memories of my childhood, because he was so prevalent in the TV Series, that when I think of Zorro he is the first person that I think of. Unlike the movie, the TV series was a complete success. The only reason that is was cancelled after two seasons was a dispute between the network and Disney (Disney did not have its own network until 1983).
Overall I actually enjoyed the movie, I thought the characters were likeable and it’s a great introduction to the Zorro character. To be honest when The Mask of Zorro came out in 1998, I went to see it mainly based on what I saw of the TV show. But, to be perfectly honest here the thing that I will most remember about this movie is the theme song which has been in my head non stop for a week.
Final Score: 2 out of 5
Next Review: The Shaggy Dog (1959)