What It’s About: You know the plot by now: in Old California, a tyrannical governor (George Periolat) is opposed by a single masked man who calls himself Zorro (the fox). Zorro is really Don Diego Vega (Douglas Fairbanks), a landowner who sides with the people rather than the caballeros.
Why Watch it Today?: Fred Niblo, one of the major silent film directors, responsible for the original Ben Hur as well as today’s film, was born today in 1874. The Mark of Zorro is an excellent and highly influential swashbuckler, with Douglas Fairbanks’s (who also executive produced) trademark stunts, although it has a larger emphasis on comedy than one might expect from a Zorro film that doesn’t star George Hamilton.
A short clip:
Other Choices: Today is also Three Kings Day. Last year we recommended John Ford’s 3 Godfathers.