Before I watched The Sign of Zorro (1958), I knew there had been a Zorro television show starring the same actor, Guy Williams. The show, which first aired in 1957, was one of my mother's favorites, and although I have not yet had the pleasure of watching it, I was grateful that I could at least watch this movie. I found the movie exceedingly entertaining, but I began to notice that it seemed like two or more movies had been fused together, much like a re-edited serial. Sure enough, I learned afterward that it had been re-edited from eight different episodes of Zorro. As much as it pleases me to have found a way to enjoy the television show in some capacity, it saddens me that I currently have no means of watching the show itself in its entirety, and any review of The Sign of Zorro is less a complete review of a movie than an incomplete review of the series.
Nonetheless, I will say this much about The Sign of Zorro and whatever I can glean from Zorro: It is a far more thoughtful, exciting, and humorous adaptation than I expected, and Guy Williams was superb at imbuing his portrayal with subtlety and complexity. His Zorro is genuinely interesting and not a mere cliché.
If Zorro is ever made available again in any format (preferably Blu-ray), I will happily watch it and report my findings here in Theoretical Swashbuckling. In the meantime, The Sign of Zorro, currently available on Disney+, is a delight for any fan of Zorro.Writing: Good
Overall Rating: Good
Swashbuckling Rank: Great
Written by: Norman Foster, Lowell S. Hawley, Bob Wehling, John Meredyth Lucas, and Ian Hay (uncredited)
Based on: The Curse of Capistrano by Johnston McCulley
Directed by: Lewis R. Foster and Norman Foster
Performed by: Guy Williams, Gene Sheldon, Henry Calvin, George J. Lewis, et al.