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The Mark of Zorro
Im Zeichen des Zorro

USA 1940
produced by
Daryl F.Zanuck for 20th Century Fox
directed by Rouben Mamoulian
starring Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone, Linda Darnell, Gale Sondergaard, Eugene Pallette, J. Edward Bromberg, Montagu Love, Janet Beecher, George Regas, Chris-Pin Martin, Robert Lowery, Belle Mitchell, Frank Puglia, Pedro de Cordoba
screnplay by John Taintor Foote, Garrett Fort, Bess Meredyth, based on The Curse of Capistrano by Johnston McCulley, music by Alfred Newman


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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California, circa 1820: When Don Diego Vega (Tyrone Power) returns from Madrid, he finds many things changed: His father the Alcalde (Montagu Love) has been removed from office by greedy Quintero (J.Edward Bromberg) & his Capitan Esteban (Basil Rathbone) & the peons suffer greatly under that rule - especially the taxations of course. But as it seems there is little he can do as Don Diego, he decides to pretend to be an effeminate, even cowardly caballero by day who seems to be harmless enough to even be trusted by Quintero, but by night he dresses in black & dons a mask to terrorize the oppressors, robbing them of their tax-money to re-distribute it among the peons. & as Zorro, he also finds time to court Quintero's niece Lolita (Linda Darnell), who is impressed by his courage. As Don Diego on the other hand, he has an affair with Quintero's wife (Gale Sondergaarde), much to the dismay of Esteban, who has designs on her himself, & to that end, he proposes to Quintero that Diego should be engaged to Lolita - for peace with the peons, who loved Diego's father, the old Alcalde. Lolita of course is appalled by the effeminate caballero until he makes it known to her that he indeed is Zorro. But then part of Zorro's loot is found in the church & the Padre Felipe (Eugene Pallette) - Diego's only other confidant - imprisoned. To free him, Diego once again enters Quintero's place (as himself) & is soon challenged to a fierce duel by Esteban, a master swordsman - which Diego, quite handy with the sword himself, wins of course. But after seeing this (& some other evidence) Quintero is convinced that he is Zorro & incarcerates Diego, to be executed later that day. But of course, Diego manages freeing himself in time, organizing a revolt against the regime, forcing Quintero to resign & handing over office to Diego's father, & annoncing his engagement to Lolita.


Very straight forward, slick & highly entertaining swashbuckler, with some very fierce swordfights. Allegedly, Basil Rathbone proved to be such a good fencer in this one, that Tyrone Power - skilled fencer himself - had to be doubled in some of the fight scenes to make it look convincing.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD