Zorro (1975 Italian film)
Zorro is a 1975 spaghetti Western film based on the character created by Johnston McCulley. Directed by Duccio Tessari, it stars French actor Alain Delon as Zorro. It was produced by an Italian studio and filmed in Spain.
|Directed by||Duccio Tessari|
|Screenplay by||Giorgio Arlorio|
|Story by||Giorgio Arlorio|
|Edited by||Mario Mora|
On the eve of his return to Spain from the New World, Diego (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 Francisco's murder absolves Diego of his vow to his dead friend Miguel - leaving Zorro free to engage Huerta in a duel to the death.
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).
Zorro was released in Italy on 6 March 1975. It was released in the United States in June 1976. It was released in China in 1979, as one of a few Western movies introduced after the Culture Revolution, and made both Zorro and Alain Delon household names.
- Kinnard, Roy; Crnkovich, Tony (2017). Italian Sword and Sandal Films, 1908-1990. McFarland. ISBN 1476662916.