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The Mask Of Zorro: The Romatic Tale

1028 words - 5 pages

The Mark of Zorro: The Romantic Tale
The Mark of Zorro (1940) is an American adventure film based on Johnston McCulley’s 1924 novella, The Curse of Capistrano. During the late 19th century, when McCulley was born, the Romantic Movement in America became a period of renaissance in art and literature and redefined the fundamental ways in which people in Western cultures thought about themselves and about their world. Many romantic writers of the era, like McCulley, sought to create an image of the ideal hero who possessed all of the essential human qualities and taught the reader about themselves, through tales of love and honor and tragedy and triumph. The hero as rebel is an invention of ...view middle of the document...

Zorro, a romantic hero created by McCully, was one of the earliest of many successful twentieth-century characters that tapped into the frustration of readers. During this period, many people in the American society were afraid of crime, war, and oppressive governments. In the Mamoulian’s 1940 film, The Mark of Zorro, romantic adventure allowed people to imagine the world where wrongs could be righted through a system that was swift and just.
Zorro, with his sword, was able to attack the villains justice could not reach and even the villains that were supposedly keepers of justice. Another important component of Zorro's appeal lies in his incredible ability to defy the odds. No matter how great the challenge or powerful the enemy, Zorro always came out on top and set things right. Whenever a swashbuckling swordsman defies a sputtering tyrant or some black-clad vigilante stalks the night seeking criminal prey, both are following in the footsteps of El Zorro and the ideals that made him popular through generations of fans.
The Mark of Zorro (1940), which is not to be confused with the 1920 silent film, was directed by Rouben Mamoulian and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck for 20th Century Fox. The film is set in the early 19th century in Mexican California, is a romantic adventure, in the vein of Don Quixote and Robin Hood, about one man standing against a corrupt and oppressive government on behalf of those less able to bear their burdens. Mamoulian’s film is quite superior to past Zorro incarnations because it was laced with humor and one-liners but also kept the swashbuckling traditions. Director Rouben Mamoulian seems to have a great time with this film, jettison his more experimental tendencies and concentrating simply on presenting a story that is all about excitement and delivering the goods in spades. He's helped enormously by the stellar performance of Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard, and Linda Darnell.
The action-packed story opens in Madrid in the early 1800s with the talented aristocratic military swordsman...

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