Zorro: The fox so cunning and free! went the theme song. What a theme tune it was.This was a Saturday morning staple when I was a kid. It was in black and white but we did not care, it could be silly, the bad guys were inept, Zorro was as see through as Batman but this Mexican version of Robin Hood was great fun.Zorro is a great swordsman who fights for justice, stands up for the poor. His alter ego, the rich kid, Diego masquerades as 'the most inept swordsman in all of California.' who is jealous of Zorro. Of course, we the audience are in on the joke.
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For the boomers who actually saw this in real time, this review is redundant. At the time of course we had no idea: 1. We were watching the most expensive TV show ever filmed in that era, each done in color because Disney could do it no other way 2. We were watching the original original original superhero source material, experts generally agree that the idea of a secret identity and masked hero started here. Ditto the "Batcave" motif and hidden passages 3. We were watching the start of the branding phenomenon. Today Disney Studios could not imagine doing a project without pre selling the toys and spinoffs. Then, the studio was shocked at how lucrative that market was. There were dozens of Zorro toys, all valuable today. Yes, there have been other Zorros but this the template. (We will not mention the versions with Sir Anthony Hopkins because the less said about them the better) These shows are over a half century old and hold up well. Check out THE LUCKIEST SWORDSMAN ALIVE episode, it is especially compelling.
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What a guy he was! An incredible athlete. He was daring, romantic, and well-mannered even under stress. At times witty, and a bit mischievous in dealing with the villains. Women pined for him, and men wished they could be him. He had a clever way of making the criminals pay for their misdeeds. As I remember it was a show an entire family could watch with no apprehension. Good, clean fun for all. And the underlying moral, "Crime does not pay." At least it does not succeed if Zorro is around. There was always an intriguing plot and I remember many good laughs while watching this nimble hero foil the plans of the evil commandante. This was well written, and well acted TV entertainment at its best. I was almost 11 years old when this show first appeared on TV, but I remember the dashing hero as if it were yesterday. This is the Zorro that I will likely compare all others to. I must say that Antonio Banderas put an incredible amount of energy into the latest production of Zorro. I greatly enjoyed it and will watch for the sequel due out in 2005. Perhaps Antonio can get access to some of the original Guy Williams versions and raise the bar on his portrayal of the dashing, cunning hero dressed in black? I rate the Disney Zorro played by Guy Williams as 10/10
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One might say this is quite possibly the most entertaining TV show ever created. "Zorro" has a rare combination of action, adventure, suspense, music, and even comedy. Though Guy Williams is only one of many men who have donned the mask of Zorro, he is considered by many, including me, to be the one true Zorro. Williams, though the true highlight of the show, was just part of a great cast. Gene Sheldon is a convincing "deaf" mute and we can always rely on Sergeant Garcia (Henry Calvin) for a few laughs. This show also is unique because even though it holds enough action and plot for adults, it is still mild enough for even very young children to watch and enjoy.When "Zorro" originally aired on ABC from 1957-1959, it was a smash hit, knocking 5 of the 7 shows airing at the same time off the air. Unfortunately, due to legal problems with the rights of the show, only two full seasons of the show and four one-hour episodes were completed. But, on the bright side, "Zorro" can still be seen nightly on the Disney Channel.