The Mark of Zorro (1920) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Mark of Zorro (1920)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The apparently weak and silly offspring of a wealthy landowner in Southern California is actually the mask-wearing, sword-wielding character known as Zorro, scourge of the local oppressors. This first and most influential of screen adaptations from Johnston MacCulley's pulp tale features athletic Douglas Fairbanks in top form.

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Douglas Fairbanks
as Don Diego/Zorro
Noah Beery Sr.
as Sgt. Pedro Gonzalez
Claire McDowell
as Doña Catalina
Noah Beery Sr.
as Sgt. Gonzalez
Robert McKim
as Capt. Juan Ramon
Sidney de Grey
as Don Alejandro
George Periolat
as Gov. Alvarado
Walt Whitman
as Fray Felipe
Sydney De Grey
as Don Alejandro
Tote Du Crow
as Bernardo
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Critic Reviews for The Mark of Zorro

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

Douglas Fairbanks's first great acrobatic epic, from 1920, set the standard for zesty swashbucklers.

November 16, 2015 | Full Review…

You haven’t seen Zorro until you’ve seen Douglas Fairbanks Sr. as Zorro in the 1920 silent swashbuckling classic The Mark of Zorro… It’s amazing how far we haven’t come.

November 1, 2002 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Doug's latest picture will be considered by thousands to be his best.

December 14, 2021 | Full Review…

The Mark of Zorro... slowly sets the stage and effectively builds the tension and anger of Don Diego as he shifts from merely lurking in the shadows to save the innocent to inspiring a movement to take down the evil governor.

June 10, 2021 | Rating: 7.5/10 | Full Review…

It's exciting, thrilling, romantic, and thoroughly entertaining.. And it's all anchored by a rousing performance from Douglas Fairbanks. This is what going to the movies should be about: Pure escapism!

April 18, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

It was such a successful box office film; it became a precursor to the type of action film Hollywood is now noted for.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Mark of Zorro

Apparently the plot device of having the lead act like a woman so that all can be surprised when we discover that he's the gallant hero as well is one hell of a lot older than I'd imagined (did Joe Campbell write about this trope?). Perhaps the best Zorro is just that for the acrobatics of its lead, the dashing Doug Fairbanks, who never saw a table he couldn't leap over/onto/or under. Its a silent film, yes, but the sheer dynamism of the man cannot be restrained by even the age of the film. The rest of the cast is serviceable, with De La Motte playing the love interest with equal parts demureness and spicy vixen-ity (?!). Its a fun film if unbelievable (as when he holds 20+ guys at bay with a single shot revolver!). Let yourself go.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

1920's "The Mark of Zorro" may not have invented the superhero, but Douglas Fairbanks' performance in this role must've surely provided the inspiration for many of the costumed heroes to come in the following decades (I'm looking at you, Batman). Fairbanks not only handles the swash-buckling (that's a given), he hits just the right note with his secret identity, the effete Don Diego, son of a caballero and lover of all things gentle and safe. Don Diego saw that there was injustice towards the California natives by the tyrannical governor and watched while his fellow caballeros stood by and let it happen. To fight evil he becomes the masked avenger, Zorro. Meanwhile, his father wants him to court the lovely Lolita Pulido (Marquerite De La Motte) of the Pulido family, who have fallen on hard times. Don Diego courts her as both himself and as Zorro, to see which one she prefers, and if all she's interested in is his money. Zorro also has a secret lair with false panel intrances, and a mute indian servant who knows his secret identity (as I've said, he's the superhero archetype in many ways). The Mark of Zorro is quite action-packed in it's 105 minutes. Douglas Fairbanks is electrifying, as usual. He's not necessarily a terribly handsome man, but he's loaded with so much charisma he demands your attention. It's a great performance in a great action film from the silent era.

Devon Bott
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

This movie starts out kind of slow, but it gets better as it goes on. Fairbanks is good as Zorro, and does all his great stunts. I enjoyed this movie, it even has a bit of comedy here and there, a fun movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Mark of Zorro Quotes

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