Thursday, June 2, 2016

Langella as the BEST ZORRO EVER


Written for my Frank Langella Celebration! ❤

Okay, so maybe I am a tad biased. Who wouldn't be? It's funny how every time I watch the 1974 made-for-television version of The Mark of Zorro that I always wish it was longer. As it is, the film is only about 75 minutes long, which isn't nearly long enough in this reviewer's humble opinion.

Think back to every version of Zorro you've ever seen.

What do you love most about it?


For me Zorro must also be Don Diego Vega. He cannot be someone made into the image of Don Diego Vega, which is why I struggle with the rewrite with Antonio Banderas. He's remade into Zorro from a bum. So there's one point, Zorro and Diego are one and the same man and Diego is of noble blood. Like Robin Hood. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel.


Next, he must sell me the lie that nobody would ever consider him capable of being Zorro. With Frank Langella at the helm Don Diego becomes the most foppish, most foolish, most inane male to ever come out of Spain. He's not at all masculine with all his talk of frippery and lace and his delicate pitched voice. That is, until he transforms and becomes Zorro. Langella made me believe that no one in their right mind could consider Diego a viable candidate for Zorro. And I love him for it!


Finally, when Diego transforms into Zorro, he must do so wholeheartedly. Become an utterly different individual with almost nothing left of the man that everyone sees. He is passionate, he is angry, he is determined, and he rebels. All of these traits combine into one very attractive package when Langella dons the cape and mask of Zorro. His height didn't hurt things either.

Now, just for kicks, if you haven't already decided to at least try his version of The Mark of Zorro, here's a few more screen shots to give you a bit more incentive.

News from home isn't good and Diego decides to leave Spain for California.

His concerns are already justified when fear of the Alcalde (his father) is evident in the people.

Except that Diego arrives home to find the house is no longer his father's, but belongs to a new Alcalde, a much crueler man, and his military leader.

Dude, I hate you already.

But I can't let you know, so look and see what a silly oaf I am, afraid to catch a blade and stain his Madrid lace handkerchief with blood!

Ooh, hark, is that the lovely niece of the new Alcalde?

And the Alcalde's wife who is salivating most disgustingly over Diego.

Zorro befriends the local priest.

And in his escape masquerades as a monk in order to woo the Alcalde's niece. What? Silly girl, you need to know something is wrong when a MONK is wooing you.

Making friends with the new Alcalde. Apparently it's normal for men to hold each other's arms in that culture. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Hey, Don Alejandro Vega, I'm stealing your sword and making sure the Alcalde's military leader sees me doing it.

WHATTT?

How dare you take my family's sword!?

The Alcalde's niece primping for a party where she hopes to find herself swept away by Diego.

Only to find his conversation is limited only to idle prattle.
And there is nothing particularly memorable about scented bathtubs!

Playing the game.

Oh so very slyly.

You and your faux pas.

And here we have Zorro, ready to battle valiantly and defeat the corrupt Alcalde.

Jeering and sneering going on, as usual.

Wait, Zorro is also my son?! Yay!

To the victor go the spoils and all is well once more in California with Zorro there to protect the people.
 
And yes, Diego and the Alcalde's niece fall deeply in love. It helps when she learns there's more between his ears than a "This space for rent" sign.

6 comments:

  1. Your closing line is hilarious.

    Several things: this, right here, is a magnificent example of a healthy ENFJ. Diego arrives in California, intuitively realizes what is going on almost immediately, decides on the spur of the moment exactly what he's going to do about it, and lives a farce from that moment on. Perfect FeNiSe. He does not mind playing the fool for a greater cause -- and he's so good at it, he convinces even his own father.

    Looking at screen caps reminds me of why my mother adores Langella's Zorro so much. Even my dad admitted one afternoon, "I can see why women like him so much," when he wandered into the midst of a Zorro viewing.

    This Pimpernel-esque version brings to mind thoughts of wearing masks. Each of us conceals something from the world, be it our real face or the face we think we wear. We put on pretenses so others will not see the truth of us -- sometimes these masks we wear are to protect ourselves from being hurt, other times they are to impress others. We wear masks of indifference, of greater interest than we feel, that everything is fine when it isn't, etc. Only God sees the truth. He sees not only the mask we wear, and what is underneath it, but the flawless version of ourselves that exists on the other side of this reality. The butterfly inside the caterpillar.

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    1. Ahhh, so Diego is an ENFJ is he? Cool! I do love him so very much. I've always loved the idea of Zorro, the concept if you will, but hadn't met a film version to love until you showed me Langella.

      I think, really, that some emotions and faces are only to be shared with God. Just because I have a bad day, does everyone need to know it? Does someone need to know when I dislike them? What good would that do? God is the only one who knows and still loves every facet of who I am. Honestly, I'll be so ecstatic when the time comes for my glorified body. I dream of it!

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    2. Yep. And a fabulous one at that. ;)

      My mother always did love Zorro -- she was a fan of the Disney Channel series, so when "The Mask of Zorro" came out and they KILLED DIEGO, she had a conniption fit. I agree, while I love that movie on the whole, it doesn't really capture the entire spirit of Zorro as an aristocrat undercover as a bandit.

      I have a line in my book about, if you wear a mask often, when does it become your true face? How much of us is real? Can you change who you are, by donning a mask each day? Does the mask help you or hinder you?

      Concealing a bad day is a good way to wear a mask; dying inside a little bit at a time, and letting no one know about it, is not a good idea. Sometimes, masks are good. Sometimes, masks harm us. In those times, we need our closest family and friends to see beyond our mask.

      Diego's separation from his parents for such a long time enabled them to believe the mask, the lie... his dad actually thought he was a coward. It needed to be that way, but it's also sad, because it proves to the audience -- Diego's father doesn't know his son at all. They're strangers, so distant that a mask can fool him.

      To my great fortune, my mask would never fool my parents. We know each other so well, they instinctively know when something is "up."

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    3. My pastor's sermon on Sunday was on 2 Samuel 19 (yep, we're in the OT), where Joab rebukes David for grieving overmuch about Absalom's death. Not that he grieved, necessarily, but to whom he grieved. He let the entirety of Israel see his grief in a way that devalued the people's loyalty to him.

      Pastor's point was that we need to be cautious who we share things too. It needs to be to someone we trust and not everyone needs to know every single thought or emotion that flutters through our hearts. I'm so guilty of letting momentary emotions affect how I interact with others and I'm also guilty of letting my emotions drag other people down. I find that if I turn certain things over to the Lord and discuss them with Him before I ever share them with anyone else that their potency fades and I may never need to share them with anyone else. I experimented with that last night and it worked. Something that felt major for a few minutes faded when I gave it over to the Lord and was suddenly not important at all.

      Amazing how that can work.

      For me, I think I just need to gauge when to share something and who I should share it with.

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    4. I'm glad you discovered something wonderful about God and yourself. :)

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  2. Ha ha! Yup, that sums it up so well :-) Guy Williams will always be my favorite Zorro, but Langella is lots of fun too!

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