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... if you think this has to take place in California or Mexico just because
Zorro is in it, you are mistaken my friend ...
Spain, sometimes in the 17th century: Another of these annoying
Franco-Spanish wars is taking place, & this time the 2 nations are fighting
over castle Vandremond, a castle on the border of the 2 countries that's of
strategic interest at best, & that's currently in Spanish possession &
fiercly & successfully defended. But evil cardinal Richelieu has decided
to turn the fortunes of war a little by taking prisoner the Spanish King
Phillip's niece Donna Isabella (Maria Grazia Spina), & ask for the castle
Philipp's not at all amused, & a message from the outlaw Zorro that he
will free the girl doesn't lift his mood either - only when treacherous
nobleman Count Sevilla promises to free the girl as well is he a little
But Zorro stops the Count on his way to France & discovers that he
wanted to trade the girl for a map of the castle that shows all the secret
entrances, which would basically mean selling the castle to the French ...
Zorro chases off Sevilla & soon takes on his disguise to free Isabella on
his own ... & he proves to be Count Tiroel (Gordon Scott), the most effeminate of the
noblemen on King Philipp's court (which of course is just a clever guise).
Posing as Count Sevilla, Zorro soon makes the acquaintance of the 3
Musketeers (well, actually 4 of course, we all know their story) & they
become friends. The 4 3 Musketeers even accompany him to Saint Denis, where
Cardinal Richelieu holds Donna Isabella, but are disgusted to learn that
Sevilla is actually a traitor to his own people - & therefore not the man
of honour they took him for -, and when Zorro's about to leave with Isabella,
they challenge him to a duel. Only when they find out Sevilla isn't Sevilla at
all but Zorro/Tiroel, & has tricked the Cardinal into releasing Isabella, the Musketeers
change sides & actually help Zorro escape - even though in the
Franco-Spanish war he fights on the opponent's side.
Unfortunately Zorro has to leave Isabella behind, but he has wasted no time
& already made up a second plan to free her ... even though by now the
Musketeers are personally responsible that Isabella doesn't escape. But in the
disguise of a French general coming to inspect castle Saint Denis, Zorro can
stir up enough commotion & bring up the entire army of the castle against
the 4 3 Musketeers so that he & Isabella can make a quick escape ... &
this time for good.
Back at Philipp's court Isabella soon gets engaged to Count Tireol - of whom
only she knows the secret identity -, but much to the dismay of Count Sevilla,
who now suspects Tireol to be Zorro, too, & just waits for an opportunity
to dispose of him & marry Isabella himself - an opportunity that soon
arises when the French finally manage to conquer castle Vandremond, &
Sevilla can plant sufficient evidence suggesting that Tireol has given away the
castle's secrets to the French - which as you might remember, Sevilla himself
wanted to do -, & Tireol is sentenced to death by beheading.
But in step the Musketeers - all 4 three of them -, who want to abduct
Isabella whom they had failed to properly guard back in France. When they hear
though the war is already over & Isabella is no longer needed, they
reorganize their priorities & decide to free Tireol ... pulling him away
from right under the hangman's blade ... a plan that almost goes wrong when the
Musketeers oversleep (really). In the end though, the 4 3 Musketeers can not
only free Zorro/Tireol but also reinstore his honour when they produce evidence
right from Richelieu's desk that not Tireol but Sevilla has planned to betray
& of course, after a final duel with Zorro, Sevilla gets his just
A simplistic & childish adventure-melange, that doesn't try to be in the
least historically accurate, doesn't try to do much justice to its 2 famous
sources (Zorro for example doesn't even wear a mask through the majority of the
film - acutally only in 2 scenes - & his identity is pretty soon found out
by everybody ... & it isn't Don Diego de la Vega) and little effort
is made to even come close to similar Hollywood output starring Errol Flynn or
Tyrone Power it is obviously modeled on ... & this carelessness actually
makes the film all the more charming: yes it's a simple, even silly adventure
yarn, & yes the action is not very well made, but the movie never pretends
to be more than it is & delivers an enjoyable 1 1/2 hours ... which you might
have forgotten another 1 1/2 hours later though.
Some of the music by Carlo Savina sounds so much like some of the film
scores John Williams did 1 1/2 decades later for some of these
unmentionable blockbusters it's a small miracle that Savina didn't sue (or did