- Title: CF417
Zorro’s Fighting Legion - a 1939 film serial of 12 chapters starring Reed Hadley, Sheila Darcy and William Corson.
CU of drummers. Line of soldiers marching. Fast paced cutting between canons, horses charging, fighting. ‘Declaration of independence’ [of Mexico] appears in the background. The Mexican flag is winched up a flagpole. Animated map of Mexico with title card ‘By 1824 the old Spanish provinces had formed themselves into the United States of Mexico’. Zoom in. Table of councillors. They greet Benito Juarez. CU of Juarez’s face. Officials look to one another shadily. He addresses each one. CU of each face. Juarez goes outside. Good shot of men dressed in 19th century Mexican clothing, looking like Zorro. Juarez gets into carriage. Councillors inside drink to bandit Don Del Oro’s success. CU of clinking drinks.
Close up of a hat on the ground. A line of men throw coins into a busker’s hat, as he plays guitar. He stops and bends down to look at the coins. CU of him opening a coin to reveal a note; ‘The Golden arrow strikes as planned. Don Del Oro’. Silhouette of a man firing a bow and arrow. A line of officials on horseback are riding past. The arrow hits a tree. Yaqui Indians on horseback charge over a hill into the officials. They ride behind some trees. Shot of Indians charging at them. The men fire gunshots into the Indians. Indians fall to the ground. Footage of a battle. Indians with bow and arrows and spears. One man with an arrow in his back. One of the councillors takes the arrow from the tree and rides off with it. Shot of man holding arrow and showing it to the table of councillors. Pans out to see councillors.
Shot of restaurant sign ‘Cantina del Camino’. Good shot of typical Mexican restaurant interiors and costume. Group of men enter restaurant and approach the councillor Don Francisco. One of them drinks to his health. Shot of men who’ve sat down. All look shady. One of the men throws a drink in Don Francisco’s face. Good footage of sword fight. Don Francisco faints. His companion jumps in and begins to sword fight. One of the men discreetly pulls out a gun. One of the men grabs a bottle of wine and hits him over the head with it. He falls to the ground. The man raises his hand to strike but his hand is lassoed. Zorro appears at a balcony with a mask and a whip. Zorro swings on a chandelier down and kicks the man down. Great footage of Zorro sword fighting with original villain. A man takes out a pistol but Zorro uses his whip to snatch it. Don Francisco wakes up. Zorro uses his rapier to leave a Z mark on the bandit’s forehead. Don Francisco shoots him. Zorro runs over to him. Dom Francisco is his uncle. He wants Zorro to take his place as a councillor. Don Francisco dies.
The busker plays guitar by a shack. Inside the shack, men are throwing knives at a bullseye. They hear the busker, Don Del Oro’s signal. They leave. A group of men are playing cards and hear the music. One of the men doesn’t want to go. He throws an ace of spades down, ‘the card of death’. A golden arrow suddenly pierces it. He slowly stands. Cuts to the man with arms ties being dragged by a group of Indians. They bow and chant Don Del Oro. The man looks scared. Shot of Don Del Oro on a throne wearing a tin man type costume. The man is sacrificed by the Yaquis for being a traitor. All the other men step back in fear. Don del Oro gives speech about the land and gold being Yaqui. The Indians chant his name and bow to him. Don Del Oro addresses the men.
Shot of a house. The councillor Don Felipe greets a middle aged woman and her daughter, dressed in traditional Mexican costume. The councillors stand together. Don Diego (Zorro) comes in with Ramon and greets his aunt and cousin. He is very affected and very different from Zorro. His aunt and cousin are very disappointed and say he’s a fop. Talking to the councillors, Don Diego/Zorro is convinced of becoming a councillor in his uncle’s place. Shot of Zorro’s hat. Ramon and Zorro are getting dressed in his room, congratulating on having deceived everyone.
Ramon in a mask greets Francisco’s legion of men who are going to protect a shipment of gold going across the region. Zorro is going to lead them. He appears on a black horse and addresses the men. They cheer. They chant an oath to uphold the Republic of Mexico. CU of a man amongst the crowd. A traitor. He rides out into the countryside and removes his mask and outfit and rides off. Zorro and two men ride on horseback sing a song. More men on horseback join them until they’re a legion. They continue singing. The traitor rides to meet Don Del Oro’s men. The gold train is going through a wood. A golden arrow strikes a man who dies and the Yaquis come over the hill fighting. Zorro’s legion come charging. They fight off the Indians. A large fight ensues. The Yaquis ride off. Zorro’s men follow the gold train, whilst he follows the Yaquis.
Zorro following the Yaquis through the Mexican countryside. Zorro overhears the men saying that they’ve laid trap for the gold train. He runs off, the Yaquis see him and charge at them. He fights them using his gun and whip. they chase him on horseback. Good shots of Zorro rearing up on his horse. Great shot of him jumping over a canyon. He escapes the Yaquis.
Don Del Oro’s men are hiding explosives inside a crack in the hill. Shots cut between Zorro on horseback and the men preparing the dynamite. The gold train approaches. The bandits are about to light the dynamite but Zorro fires the torch from the bandit’s hand. They begin sword fighting. The flame lights the dynamite. Zorro falls backwards. He tried to warn the gold train but the hillside blows up and they are hit by an avalanche of rocks.
- Keywords:Zorro, Western, B movie, Indians, Yaquis, Mexico, swordfight, early film, 1930s, 1940s
- Master Title:CF417