The Mark of Zorro (1974) DVD

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The Mark of Zorro (1974)


Don McDougall


Brian Taggert (teleplay), John Taintor Foote, Johnston McCulley, Garrett Fort, Bess Meredyth


Frank Langella, Ricardo Montalban, Gilbert Roland, Louise Sorel, Robert Middleton, Anne Archer
Made for television, The Mark of Zorro is virtually a scene-for-scene remake of the 1940 Tyrone Power theatrical film--the principal difference being that, where Power's version ran 93 minutes, the TV version blurs along at a mere 78 minutes. Frank Langella plays Don Diego, the supposedly foppish Spanish California nobleman who fights for the people's rights in the guise of Zorro. Ricardo Montalban appears in the Basil Rathbone role as the evil oppressor whom Zorro eventually bests with his sword. Gilbert Roland is cast as Zorro's father, allowed a bit of swashbuckling on his own (the 69 year old Roland is astonishingly athletic). Alfred Newman's pulsating score from the original Mark of Zorro is cleverly redeployed in this remake. What's missing in the 1974 Mark of Zorro is the freshness and virtuosity of the earlier film's director Rouben Mamoulien; and, in all due respect to his considerable talent, Frank Langella is no Tyrone Power.
This was a "backdoor pilot" for a proposed revival of the Zorro series on which ABC-TV declined to pick up the option.

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