John Taintor Foote

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The Mark Of Zorro Review


Very Good
Fun fact: The swashbuckling Zorro has been the subject of some 70 feature films. Holy rapier, hombre!

Cinema's best-known (and only, as near as I can tell) Hispanic hero came to the screen in this, one of his best-known incarnations, with Tyrone Power in the role. While the 1940 Mark of Zorro has a swooping score (nominated for an Oscar) and thrilling swordfights, it borrows much to heavily from the Robin Hood school of filmmaking. Don Diego's love affair with the beautiful Lolita (Linda Darnell) reeks of soap-level melodrama, and all too often it drags down an otherwise thrilling movie.

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The Story Of Seabiscuit Review


Weak
While the 2003 Seabiscuit has its share of factual license, it can't hold a candle to the utterly contrived The Story of Seabiscuit, a mere Shirley Temple love story set against the backdrop of the (at the time) recent success of Seabiscuit in the thoroughbred horse racing world. The only actual reason to watch this film -- which has Temple and her dad coming over from Ireland in order to train the horse and lead him to victory -- is the black and white footage of Seabiscuit's actual races, incorporated into the film. It's the only genuine part of the movie, and the only part worth watching.
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