This movie was my introduction to Zorro; and, for the time, it was a fine introduction. I loved this film when it first aired (I was 7) and I spent weeks afterward slashing at everything with a stick. The film is still rollicking adventure, even if it doesn't hold a candle to the 1940 version.
Frank Langella made a decent Zorro, although he was a little too serious for a swashbuckler. Still, he handled the dual role well and looked the part. Ricardo Montalban, on the other hand, was perfect as the villain. He relished the role and had the right amount of menace, with a twinkle in the eye. He was meant for a role like this.
The rest of the cast are fine, with varying degrees of ability. The story moves well and the duels are exciting. The TV budget hampers the spectacle, but not too badly.
After viewing it once, I was able to see the film again, nearly 25 years later. By that point, I had seen the Disney Zorro, the 1940 version, the silent version, the Alain Delon version, Zorro the Gay Blade, and a couple of others. The 1940 version is still superior (in my book) but this was still entertaining. The acting was worse than I remembered, but the action was still exciting and Ricardo Montalban was still wonderful. I'd put this ahead of Disney and George Hamilton, but on equal footing with Delon. Tyrone Power is still the king, although Anonio Banderas was great the first time out. This is a worthy entry in the series, even with its faults.
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