Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Mark of Zorro (1940)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Mark of Zorro (1940)

In director Rouben Mamoulian's adventure-swashbuckler (a remake of UA's silent 1920 version with Douglas Fairbanks) about "El Zorro" ("The Fox") - a defender of the rights of the people:

  • the opening prologue beginning with the title card: "MADRID - when the Spanish Empire encompassed the globe, and young blades were taught the fine and fashionable art of killing" - to introduce the character of foppish dilettante and aristocrat Don Diego Vega (Tyrone Power), learning the arts of swordsmanship and riding before being called to return to his homeland (Mexican California)
  • the character of the tyrannical and corrupt Don Luis B. Quintero (J. Edward Bromberg), the ruling Alcalde, who had ousted power and deposed wealthy rancher Don Alejandro Vega (Montagu Love), the father of Diego Vega
  • the placard in Los Angeles' village square, posted and signed by a masked outlaw known as El Zorro ("The Fox") - aka Diego de Vega (by day), threatening the new corrupt ruler: ("SPECIAL NOTICE: To All Men in the District of Los Angeles. Be it known that Luis Quintero is a Thief and an Enemy of the People, and Cannot Long Escape My Vengeance - ZORRO")
  • the character of Quintero's beautiful niece Lolita Quintero (Linda Darnell) - the love interest of black-costumed, dashing and masked Zorro by night; after dancing together, she told him: "I never dreamed dancing could be so wonderful" - but he responded that he was fatigued
  • the thrilling, magnificent fencing-dueling scene between Zorro and cruel villain Capt. Esteban Pasquale (Basil Rathbone), the governor's henchman; it was one of the best swashbuckler fights of its kind in cinematic history; when Zorro pierced Pasquale's chest and he fell back against a wall, he dislodged a framed picture, and revealed a "Z" etched in the wall earlier by Zorro - the Mark of Zorro
Deadly Sword Duel Between Zorro and Capt. Esteban Pasquale
  • the sequence Diego's concluding escape from jail (where he was soon to face a firing squad) after being arrested by Quintero for the death of Capt. Pasquale, and his leadership of a successful peasant/soldier rebellion, and the re-instatement of Alcade power to Diego's father

Introduction of Foppish Dilettante Don Diego Vega (Tyrone Power)

Placard in LA Square Signed by Zorro

Zorro's Tell-Tale Sign

Zorro with Lolita Quintero (Linda Darnell)

After a Dance


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z