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The Mask of Zorro di Antonio Banderas
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The Mask of Zorro (originale 1998; edizione 1998)

di Antonio Banderas (Actor)

Serie: Zorro Movies (1)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
296466,343 (3.97)1
The elder Zorro comes out of retirement to train a new Zorro to fight the enemy Montero.
Titolo:The Mask of Zorro
Autori:Antonio Banderas (Actor)
Info:Columbia Tristar
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca, VHS
Etichette:Action, Adventure, Comedy

Informazioni sull'opera

The Mask of Zorro [1998 film] di Martin Campbell (Director) (1998)

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The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Anthony Hopkins – Don Diego de la Vega
Antonio Banderas – Alejandro Murrieta
Catherine Zeta-Jones – Elena
Stuart Wilson – Don Rafael Montero

Matt Letscher – Capt. Harrison Love
Tony Amendola – Don Luiz
L. Q. Jones – Three-Fingered Jack
Victor Rivers – Joaquin Murrieta
Maury Chaykin – Prison Warden
Julietta Rosen – Esperanza de la Vega
José Pérez – Cpl. Armando Garcia

Screenplay by John Eskow, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio
Directed by Martin Campbell

Columbia Tristar Home Video, 1999. Colour. 132 min. DD 5.1. 2.35:1. Bonus: director’s commentary; making-of documentary (45:06); deleted scene (1:20); music video “I Want to Spend My Life Loving You” (4:52).


“After all, it’s only one man.”
“It isn’t just one man, damn it. It’s Zorro.”

I have long since lost count how many times I have seen that movie. Dozens, probably. I am not going to claim it is among the greatest, most underrated and so on masterpieces of all time. It is simply a great favourite of mine. But I do wonder why it has been lambasted by so many people. I suppose they expected plausible story, complex characters and philosophical dialogue. In other words, they expected what was never meant to be there. If you take the trouble to have even a brief look at old Zorro movies, starring everybody from Douglas Fairbanks to Alain Delon, you can hardly fail to observe they are far more preposterous than this one.

The best thing about this movie is the humour. Sure, it is not of the most sophisticated type. But it’s abundant and consistently amusing. The prison scene with the fake Zorros, the naughty confession scene, the training sequence (“Perfect. Do it again.”), the horse stealing debacle, the first meeting between Don Diego and Alejandro (“He’s trained to kill, you seem trained to drink”), the strip swordfight with Elena: all these are relentlessly funny. The horse chase towards the end is one of most hilarious scenes I’ve ever seen. It never fails to make me laugh. Dozens of times. It still works like a charm. Watch out for Don Diego’s coughing scene with the guard, too. Here is a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s a precious quality.

And yet, despite plenty of comic and even farcical moments, this is by no means a comedy, much less a farce. There are many serious, touching, poignant and even tragic overtones. The scenes between Diego and Rafael are intense indeed. They run like an obsessive leitmotif through the whole movie. The private meeting between Alejandro and Captain Love is nothing if not chilling. Have a drink, will you! The death of Three-Fingered Jack is moving and so is the stable scene between Diego and Elena, both especially powerful in the context of the movie. Sometimes – always a hallmark of the great script – the most painful confessions are left unsaid and unseen. Don Rafael’s explanation to Elena and her meeting with Diego later are perfect examples. Two brief and wordless glimpses are the ideal complement to the operatic trio that precedes them. You can figure out the rest. This is great screenwriting.

There is a steamy undercurrent, too. Every scene between Alejandro and Elena is suffused with smouldering sensuality. The tone is established with their first meeting and skilfully developed during the confession and the party. The dancing scene is surely one of the sexiest ever put on the screen. The swordfight-cum-striptease is even hotter. Ask Elena: “He was young and vigorous. He was very vigorous, father.” Sure he was!

Then look at the cast. It is one of the most beautiful ever assembled. Even the bad guys, Don Diego and Captain Love, are handsome fellows. Catherine Zeta-Jones has never looked more gorgeous before or since, and in all probability she never will. The same goes for Antonio Banderas. He hasn’t aged very badly, but in those balmy days, still in his thirties, he was dazzling indeed. As for Stuart Wilson, compare his looks here with those in The Rock (1996), where he had a very minor part (uncredited), and you will know how much the beard, moustache and hairstyle of a Spanish nobleman enhance his appearance. Matt Letscher is completely unknown to me outside this movie. But I can’t complain of his beauty, either.

And the acting is no less beautiful. Stuart Wilson captures to perfection the supercilious bearing, but also the charm and the elegance, of a Spanish grandee. So does Anthony Hopkins, a strange choice for the role, you might think, but he pulls it off with total success. The two dons are as different characters as their background is the same, a tribute as much to the screenwriters as to Wilson and Hopkins. Banderas is terrific. He is evidently in the peak of his physical prowess (reportedly he did many of his own stunts), but he also conveys Alejandro’s development from a hot-tempered bandit to a poised aristocrat, relishing every comic effect along the way. Zeta-Jones is wonderful as well, nowhere more than in the most affecting moments toward the end.

As a pure swashbuckling adventure, the movie is second to none. The action scenes are spectacular, swordfights and all. I shudder to think how much training and how many takes went into them. The story is carefully crafted, by no means more implausible than usual for the genre, and dealing with love, hate, revenge and death – just about everything our lives are made of. The characters may be simple, but they are vivid (or vigorous, if you like) and vastly entertaining. Visually, the movie is a thing of beauty, with sets and costumes almost too lavish, and some lovely locations for the outdoor scenes. Even the soundtrack is among the most epic and the most haunting ever composed for the screen.

How brilliant this movie is is best shown by its sequel, The Legend of Zorro (2005). Boy, is it dull! It has nothing like the compelling power of the original. It has merely lots of action and special effects. The story is idiotic beyond endurance and the characters diluted beyond recognition. I have watched this tiresome dreck exactly once. I found hard to endure even that. ( )
1 vota Waldstein | Jan 1, 2020 |
An absolute classic that impresses me on every rewatch. Everything I want in a swashbuckling adventure film is present here. ( )
  Lucky-Loki | Apr 20, 2018 |
136 minutos
  Miquinba_F | Dec 21, 2013 | essential video
A lusty and rousing adventure, this calls to mind those glorious costume dramas produced so capably by the old Hollywood studio system--hardly surprising, in that its title character, a de facto Robin Hood in Old California, provided starring vehicles for Douglas Fairbanks and Tyrone Power, the '50s TV hit, and dozens of serials and features. Zorro, a pop-fiction creation invented by Johnston McCulley in 1918, is given new blood in this fast-moving and engaging version, which actually works as a sequel to the story line in the Fairbanks-Power saga, The Mark of Zorro. A self-assured Anthony Hopkins is Don Diego de la Vega, a Mexican freedom fighter captured and imprisoned just as Spain concedes California to Santa Ana. Twenty years later, he escapes from prison to face down his mortal enemy, a land grabbing governor played with slimy spitefulness by Stuart Wilson. Too old to save the local peasants on his own, he trains bandito Antonio Banderas to take his place. Much swashbuckling ensues as Banderas woos Catherine Zeta-Jones, becomes a better human being, and saves the disenfranchised rabble. Director Martin Campbell wisely instills a measure of frivolity into the deftly choreographed action sequences, while letting a serious tone creep in when appropriate. This covers much ground under the banner of romantic-action-adventure, and it does so most excellently. --Rochelle O'Gorman
Questa recensione è stata segnalata da più utenti come violazione delle condizioni d'uso e non è più visibile (mostra).
  schotpot | May 16, 2007 |
Mostra 4 di 4
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» Aggiungi altri autori (1 potenziale)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Campbell, MartinDirectorautore primariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Elliott, TedScreenwriterautore principaletutte le edizioniconfermato
Eskow, JohnScreenwriterautore principaletutte le edizioniconfermato
Rossio, TerryScreenwriterautore principaletutte le edizioniconfermato
Banderas, AntonioActorautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Claybourne, DougProducerautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Foster, DavidProducerautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Hopkins, AnthonyActorautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Horner, JamesCompositoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Letscher, MattActorautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Wilson, StuartActorautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Zeta-Jones, CatherineActorautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
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The elder Zorro comes out of retirement to train a new Zorro to fight the enemy Montero.

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