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Published on Jan 31, 2018
A seemingly idiotic fop is really the courageous vigilante Zorro, who seeks to protect the oppressed. Director: Fred Niblo Writer: Johnston McCulley (based on the story by: "The Curse of Capistrano" published in "All-Story Weekly") Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Marguerite De La Motte, Robert McKim
he Mark of Zorro is a 1920 silent adventure romance film starring Douglas Fairbanks and Noah Beery, Sr.. This genre-defining swashbuckler adventure was the first movie version of The Mark of Zorro. Based on the 1919 story "The Curse of Capistrano" by Johnston McCulley, which introduced the masked hero, Zorro, the screenplay was adapted by Fairbanks (as "Elton Thomas") and Eugene Miller.
The film was produced by Fairbanks for his own production company, Douglas Fairbanks Pictures Corporation, and was the first film released through United Artists, the company formed by Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith.
Noah Beery, Jr. makes his first of many dozens of screen appearance spanning six decades. He portrayed a young child; his father began sporadically billing himself as Noah Beery, Sr. as a result.
The Mark of Zorro tells the story of Don Diego Vega, the outwardly foppish son of a wealthy ranchero Don Alejandro in the old Spanish California of the early 19th century. Seeing the mistreatment of the peons by rich landowners and the oppressive colonial government, Don Diego, who is not as effete as he pretends, has taken the identity of the masked Robin Hood-like rogue Señor Zorro ("Mr. Fox"), champion of the people, who appears out of nowhere to protect them from the corrupt administration of Governor Alvarado, his henchman the villainous Captain Juan Ramon and the brutish Sergeant Pedro Gonzales (Noah Beery, Wallace Beery's older half-brother). With his sword flashing and an athletic sense of humor, Zorro scars the faces of evildoers with his mark, "Z".
When not in the disguise of Zorro, dueling and rescuing peons, Don Diego courts the beautiful Lolita Pulido with bad magic tricks and worse manners. She cannot stand him. Lolita is also courted by Captain Ramon; and by the dashing Zorro, whom she likes.
In the end, when Lolita's family is jailed, Don Diego throws off his masquerade, whips out his sword, wins over the soldiers to his side, forces Governor Alvarado to abdicate, and wins the hand of Lolita, who is delighted to discover that her effeminate suitor, Diego, is actually the dashing hero.
Douglas Fairbanks as Don Diego Vega/Señor Zorro Marguerite De La Motte as Lolita Pulido Noah Beery, Sr. as Sergeant Pedro Gonzales Charles Hill Mailes as Don Carlos Pulido Claire McDowell as Doña Catalina Pulido Robert McKim as Captain Juan Ramon George Periolat as Governor Alvarado Walt Whitman as Father Felipe Sidney De Gray as Don Alejandro Vega Tote Du Crow as Bernardo, Don Diego's mute servant Noah Beery, Jr. as Boy Charles Stevens as Peon beaten by Sergeant Gonzales Milton Berle (uncredited child)