3 October 2003 | django-1
fun, colorful Italian swashbuckler with Ardisson as Zorro
First, this is definitely NOT a western. This Zorro is NOT like the Republic serial. It's set in the Spain (Lusitania in the English version!) of the mid 1800s and is in the costumed swashbuckler vein. The name of Zorro's alter ego seems to have been changed in the English dubbing also, as he is called "Senor Martin" throughout, not Riccardo as in the original Italian. That said, the film is a lighthearted, colorful action romp with Ardisson turning on his boyish charm in both roles--the powerful, slick, romantic Zorro, and his prissy, spoiled, wiseass alter ego Martin. I'm reminded of the bored, spoiled way that Robert Lowery played Bruce Wayne in the 1949 Batman and Robin serial. Watching Zorro make buffoons out of the members of the Spanish royal court is very entertaining. Director Luigi Capuano's films are usually very rich visually, with lots of vibrant color, and this one is no exception. The usual suspects appear in supporting roles here: Livio Lorenzon (NOT with shaved head!), fencing master Franco Fantasia, Alberto Lupo, Gianni Rizzo, Carlo Tamberlani. My copy is titled ZORRO AT THE COURT OF SPAIN, but there are also English language prints with the title THE MASKED CONQUEROR. Overall, a swashbuckling romp where you can tell the actors, especially Ardisson, are having fun themselves--it's contagious.