Sunday Trip to a Silent Movie: "The Mark of Zorro"

By Cena do filme "A Marca do Zorro" (1920) (www.goldensilents.com/stars/markzorro.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
@msiduri (5841)
United States
May 2, 2016 4:40pm CST
Yesterday, the dearly beloved and I saw a showing of the 1920 silent version of The Mark of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Live music was provided by an organist named Dennis James who appeared on stage in a straw hat and spats. In his opening remarks, he said that he first saw The Mark of Zorro in 1969 with his father. At the time, he was 18 and studying to be a church organist. On seeing the movie with an organist performing, he said he told his father, “I can do that.” In the movie’s familiar plot, based on a 1919 story The Curse of Capistrano by Johnston McCulley, the lazy Don Diego Vegas, has recently returned from Spain. However, when no one is looking, Don Diego dons a mask and assumes the identity of “Zorro,” (“Fox”) riding about avenging wrongs inflicted by the corrupt government on the downtrodden in the days of Mexican rule. He often uses his sword to mark the faces of the transgressors with a “Z.” Silent movies have limitations, of course, but this was a lot of fun. The viewer has to pay attention. The viewer has to read the intertitles. The acting, the expressions, the action—all are over the top. But this movie is also quite funny. It shouldn’t be too surprising that the performing arts center wasn’t exactly sold out, but this was enjoyable.
7 people like this
6 responses
@BelleStarr (30999)
• Portland, Connecticut
12 May 16
That sounds like a lot of fun, I have not seen a complete silent movie, I don't know if I could pay that much attention. I think originally they had people playing music during the shows.
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@msiduri (5841)
• United States
12 May 16
Yes. During this, there was a guy playing an organ. He also performed some simple sound effects, such as knocking his fist on the organ for people knocking on doors. It was entertaining, though, so watching it wasn't a chore.
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@BelleStarr (30999)
• Portland, Connecticut
12 May 16
@msiduri Well that would have vastly improved the whole experience.
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@jaboUK (50038)
• United Kingdom
12 May 16
Wow - that's nearly a hundred years old. Glad you enjoyed it.
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@msiduri (5841)
• United States
12 May 16
It's odd to think how old the movie was. It was fun.
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@teamfreak16 (35065)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
2 May 16
That would be fun. I've never been to anything like that before.
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@msiduri (5841)
• United States
3 May 16
It was fun. I managed to drag the dearly beloved. He liked it better than I thought he would.
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@amadeo (46027)
• United States
2 May 16
Yes,they are fun.Did you have a piano player going along with the movie?
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@msiduri (5841)
• United States
3 May 16
No piano player, but an organist.
@JohnRoberts (38662)
• Los Angeles, California
2 May 16
I have seen the film. Fairbanks essentially controlled all aspects of his films and his foremost priority was audience enjoyment and fun that's why there's humor with the spectacular even by today's standards stunts.
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@msiduri (5841)
• United States
2 May 16
Yes. Quite a bit of athleticism on his part. I especially liked watching Lolita rolling her eyes while he's reluctantly courting her.
@ricki_911 (16664)
• Toronto, Ontario
2 May 16
Glad you enjoyed it!. I would love to go to something like this.
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@msiduri (5841)
• United States
2 May 16
Hope you get the chance. It's not something I could do every weekend, but it was fun.