Parents' Guide to

The Sign of Zorro

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Fun, swashbuckling classic based on series; some violence.

Movie G 1960 91 minutes
The Sign of Zorro Poster Image

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Viewers may come to this movie for the legendary character's promise of adventure, but they'll stay thanks to the charisma of lead actors Guy Williams as Zorro and Britt Lomond as Monastario. Both play their parts with such sheer delight that they're hard to take your eyes off of in The Sign of Zorro. Williams, a former model, is a dashing hero, always ready with a witticism and a toothy smile. He can do no wrong, gallantly saving victims and escaping unscathed, scaling walls, dodging bullets, defeating enemy guards, and outwitting Monastario at every turn. "It takes no skill at all to make a fool of you," he quips. Lomond is equally dazzling as the overconfident, mustachioed dictator. Each has his own overweight sidekick for laughs, Sancho Panza-style.

But viewers should also take this fun at face value, without trying to apply 21st-century values to it. Casting mostly non-Hispanic actors to don apparently darkened hair and mustaches and fake Spanish accents was the norm when the series was made in the 1950s. There are long-haired "Indian" characters as well, mostly houseboys and servants. Women appear largely for decoration, as flamenco dancers for the men's enjoyment or as the mostly mute wives or daughters of male characters. The black and white can be shadowy in outdoor scenes, at least on the small screen. And there's a musical score that never seems to rest. But, if you can ignore all that and enjoy the action and the acting, you may just have as much fun as it appears the people who made this Zorro did.

Movie Details

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