Zorro Rides Again
Robert M. Beche (supervising) for Republic
directed by William Witney, John English
starring John Carroll, Helen Christian, Reed Howes, Duncan Renaldo, Noah Beery, Richard Alexander, Nigel De Brulier, Bob Kortman, Jack Ingram, Roger Williams, Edmund Cobb, Mona Rico, Tom London, Harry Strang, Jerry Frank, Brooks Benedict, Lane Chandler, Frank Leyva, Paul Lopez, Chris-Pin Martin, Hector Sarno, Dirk Thane, Rosa Turich, Ray Teal
written by Barry Shipman, John Rathmell, Franklin Adreon, Ronald Davidson, Morgan Cox, based on the character created by Johnston McCulley, music by Alberto Colombo, special efects by Harold Lydecker, Theodore Lydecker
Zorro, Republic's Zorro
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Siblings Joyce (Helen Christian) and Philip Andrews (Reed Howes) run a
company building a railroad track between the USA and Mexico, but crooked
businessman Marsden (Noah Beery) wants to take over their contract, and he
has hired outlaw El Lobo (Richard Alexander) to help him in achieving that
goal. And El Lobo and his men don't exactly shy away from breaking the law
to help their boss. Joyce and Philip set high hopes in James Vega (John
Carroll), the third shareholder in their company, to help them sort things
out with Marsden, especially since Vega is a direct descendant of
legendary Zorro ... but James proves to be a disappointment, an effeminate
playboy who has little interest in railroads let alone fighting, and he
seems more than ready to sell his shares to Marsden - but he never does,
because to noone's knowledge but his servant Renaldo (Duncan Renaldo),
James Vega is actually Zorro the masked avenger, and Zorro soon becomes
the railroad's fiercest defender, saving it from numerous acts of
sabotage, gathering evidence concerning Marsden's involvement in the whole
affair. After numerous chases by foot, car, train, truck and even
airplane, shootout after shootout and a few fistfights in between, El
Lobo's men actually manage to get their hands on Zorro and unmask him ...
but by that time, the local police and Joyce and Philip's men have long
grown wise to El Lobo's hideout, and it all ends in a big shootout, with
the side of the law triumphing after James Vega has managed to free
himself and turned the tide. And in the end, he even gets the girl, Joyce
that is, who has previously thought very little of him.
the story of this serial might be less than special, John Carroll might
not be the most charismatic leading man, and turning Zorro from a freedom
fighter into the protector of a railroad line is a bit of a demotion, but
still, Zorro Rides Again is great fun, it's very fast-paced,
features plenty of action including some rather inventive set pieces, and
the story, clichéd as it might be, never loses itself in the onscreen
goings-on. In a word, this serial is plenty of fun.