40’s movies marathon – part 8

The Mark of Zorro (1940, USA) – A perfect Zorro, far better than any swashbuckler Errol Flynn ever made. But why nobody connects the voice of the masked bandit with the recently arrived gentleman from Spain, and why Zorro thinks he can be a hero of both the people and the nobility of California, is beyond me. Watched it all.

The Torrid Zone (1940, USA) – I’m fascinated by Hollywood’s use of banana republics as an oasis of dirty bars, loose women and gentlemen rogues. Not enough to watch this, though. Watched: 8 minutes.

Arizona (1940, USA) – Civil War era Tucson is a place of folksy, enterprising American men, and one folksy, enterprising American woman, all trying to carve out a living while the threat of war, bandits and injuns hangs over their heads. Most Westerns deal with the breakdown of law and order, but here there’s a sense of there being no society at all except what individuals build for themselves, giving the movie the feel of a political manifesto. You almost expect Lazarus Long to show up. Watched it all.

Down Argentine Way (1940, USA) – From this failed government attempt at courting Latin American opinion (true!), we learn that Argentina is both exotic, friendly and safe. Why, the aristocrats are so friendly and safe that they only speak English, and require translators when they talk to the stereotypical commoners who serve them. Watched: 8 minutes.

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