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The Mark of Zorro (1920)



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Starring in The Mark of Zorro was a historical move for Douglas Fairbanks. This, his first swashbuckling adventure comedy, was a landmark success, prompting Fairbanks to spend the rest of his acting career making films in the same spirit. He was a hit with audiences of the day and is still remembered for his dashing, athletic screen heroes.

He was the precursor to Buster Keaton, in a way. (In fact, Keaton's first feature was a remake of a Fairbanks movie.) The purpose of Keaton's athleticism is comedy. The purpose of Fairbanks' is adventure and excitement...with some humor thrown in. Jackie Chan owes much to both.

In The Mark of Zorro, Fairbanks plays Don Diego Vega, alias the masked bandit Zorro, on a mission to free the poor from the shackles of oppression and win the heart of the one he loves. Fairbanks' nimble antics in the action scenes add zest and humor to the now-familiar formula.

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