Zorro (1975 film)
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|Directed by||Duccio Tessari|
|Written by||Giorgio Arlorio|
by Johnston McCulley
|Music by||Guido & Maurizio De Angelis|
|Edited by||Mario Morra|
|Box office||1,218,320 admissions (France)|
Zorro is a 1975 Italian/French film based on the character created by Johnston McCulley. Directed by Duccio Tessari, it stars famous French actor Alain Delon as Zorro. Filmed in Spain, this Italian movie has many spaghetti western elements to it.
On the eve of his return to Spain from the New World, Diego de la Vega (Alain Delon) meets his old friend Miguel de la Serna (Marino Masé), who is about to take up the governorship of Nueva Aragón - after his uncle Don Fernando died of “malaria” in a malaria-free region.
Diego vainly warns the idealistic Miguel that Nueva Aragón is ruled by greed and hatred; later that very evening Miguel is assassinated by Colonel Huerta's hirelings. Diego vows to avenge Miguel by taking his place, but not before a dying Miguel makes Diego swear "the new governor will never kill."
As Colonel Huerta (Stanley Baker) asks the local council to appoint him both military and civil governor of Nueva Aragón, Diego walks in, disguised as de la Serna. While lulling Colonel Huerta's fears by pretending to be a useless fop, Diego learns that Huerta is a cruel despot as well as a dangerous swordsman.
Comic relief is provided by his encounters with Don Fernando's widow, 'Aunt' Carmen (Adriana Asti), Kapitan Fritz von Markel (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart), the former governor's personal guard, and his new obese bodyguard Sergeant García (Moustache).
With Joaquín (Enzo Cerusico), Miguel's devoted mute servant, and aided by Assassin, the late Don Fernando's Great Dane, Diego goes among the people and learns how miserable and afraid they are: the innocent are punished for speaking the truth while the guilty, who cheat unmercifully, are called “respectable” citizens.
Inspired by street urchin Chico's tales of Zorro, a freedom-loving black fox spirit, Diego creates his own alter ego and begins a campaign for justice with a hilarious marketplace brawl. Outwitting Huerta and his men time and again, he finally stages his own kidnapping (as the governor) by himself (as Zorro) both to free wrongfully held prisoners and to make Colonel Huerta think both are dead.
Huerta, feeling himself safe at last, forces aristocrat Hortensia Polido (Ottavia Piccolo) to the altar. He shoots Brother Francisco (Giampiero Albertini) when the latter leads protesters to the church steps, just as Zorro reappears. Brother Fransisco's murder absolves Diego of his vow to his dead friend Miguel - leaving Zorro free to engage Huerta in a duel to the death.
- Alain Delon - Diego de la Vega/Zorro
- Stanley Baker - Colonel Huerta
- Ottavia Piccolo - Hortensia Pulido
- Adriana Asti - 'Aunt' Carmen
- Giampiero Albertini - Brother Francisco
- Moustache - Sergeant García
- Enzo Cerusico - Joaquín
- Marino Masé - Miguel Vega de la Serna
- Giacomo Rossi-Stuart - Kapitän Fritz von Markel
The film was made in part because Alain Delon had enjoyed making the swashbuckler The Black Tulip in 1964 and wanted to do another one. Filming began in July 1974 in Spain, with most of the crew being from Italy. Some studio work was done in Rome. The final sword duel was inspired by Scaramouche (1952).
- The original French version of the film runs for over two hours. An American version ran only ninety minutes, cutting out many of the explanatory scenes, but the full 118 minute version in English has since been restored and re-released by Somerville House and sold on Amazon.com.
- This movie inspired Ilya Salkind to make a motion picture about a superhero. That movie was Superman (1978).
- This movie was one of the first of several modern Western movies introduced into China in 1978 after the Cultural Revolution. More than 70,000,000 people went to theaters to watch it.
- Some of the interiors (including the Governor's residence) were filmed in the Museo Cerralbo, Madrid, Spain.
- Box office information for film at Box Office Story
- Marco Giusti. Dizionario del western all'italiana. Mondadori, 2007. ISBN 8804572779.
- "The Making of Zorro" at Histoires de Tournages