Toronto Silent Film Festival: The Mark of Zorro

The original swashbuckler is back! Douglas Fairbanks in the Mark of Zorro 1920 107min

Director: Fred Niblo Starring: Douglas Fairbanks, Marguerite de La Motta, Noah Berry

As film-goers await yet another remake of Zorro this year, it’s a good time to re-examine the original screen Zorro and become reacquainted with the incredible feats of the first king of Hollywood, Douglas Fairbanks.

Its massive success not only filled the coffers of United Artists, the company he co-founded the year before, but changed the course of his career. Fairbanks was already established as a well-liked, gregarious light comedian on screen so he was greatly concerned that his fans might not accept him in a costume adventure film. Audiences were thrilled and Fairbanks became the action superstar he’s known for today (Thief of Bagdad, The Black Pirate, Three Musketeers). Zorro turned out to be the perfect showcase for his daring athletic style, exuberance, and mischievous comedy. His adaptation of The Curse of Capistrano proved to be so successful that all later versions of Zorro on film, radio, television, video games, and comic books are based on the archetype that Fairbanks created, right down to the black mask and the carved Z. Batman creator Bob Kane cited this film as his major influence in developing the Caped Crusader.

So if you like sword play, cheeky humour, and amazing stunt work (all done live without doubles or trick photography) then this is the film for you.

Musical Accompaniment Artist: Fern Lindzon will create a Spanish themed score for the film

Tickets: online or at the door $15 ($10 Senior/Student) Festival Passes also available.

Festival runs April 7-12 at various venues

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Toronto Silent Film Festival: The Mark of Zorro

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