The Mark of Zorro
Swashbuckling trumpets and flamenco romance mark this musical adventure through the 1920 Mark of Zorro. What could better capture the mood of adventurous 19th century Spanish California than a flamenco-tango-salsa-mariachi-jazz score?
In its day The Mark of Zorro was a huge success, blending action, adventure, romance and comedy in a new way. Douglas Fairbanks’s portrayal of Zorro, the black-clad outlaw-hero, was to set the standard for all future versions of the film. Despite all of the high-budget action sequences we are accustomed to in modern movies, one still can’t help but be blown away by Fairbanks’s acrobatic stunts. Leaping over tables and off roof-tops, the artfulness of his agility is highlighted by the simplicity of the cinematography, giving the action sequences a ballet-like quality.
Capturing the humor of the film Cooney’s score freely borrows from a variety of Spanish and Latin influenced musical genres from flamenco to tango to salsa. The sentimental and meek themes of Don Diego contrast with bold heroic Zorro themes, brooding bad-guy music, and plenty of extended, up-beat fight music. Scored for trumpet, guitar, piano, bass and percussion, it is a real treat to see and hear.