Zorro's Fighting Legion
was a 1939 Republic Pictures serial
consisting of 12 chapters. It featured Reed Hadley
and his alter-ego Don Diego's fight against the evil Don Del Oro. It was noted for its exciting stunts and thrilling cliffhanger chapter endings as well as a better-than-average plot.
A trademark of the serial's production is the sudden demise of at least one native informant each episode. The direction, being unsophisticated, was identical for each informant's death, and thus became a source of unintentional humor. Each informant, upon uttering the phrase, "Don del Oro is..." would be shot by a golden arrow (wielded by Don del Oro himself, hidden behind a curtain) and die with a grunt before being able to name the villain's alter ego.
The mysterious Don Del Oro ("Lord of Gold"), an idol of the Yaqui Indians, has emerged and attacks the gold trade of the Republic of Mexico, with plans to take over the land and become Emperor. A man named Francisco was put in charge of a fighting legion to combat the Yaqui tribe and protect the gold, but he was attacked by a few men working under Don Del Oro-- Zorro came to his rescue but it was too late for him. Francisco's partner recognized Zorro as the hidalgo Don Diego Vega. Francisco asked Diego to take over the fighting legion as his alter-ego Zorro and defeat Don Del Oro.
- The Golden God (27 min 38s)
- The Flaming "Z" (16 min 41s)
- Descending Doom (16 min 41s)
- The Bridge of Peril (16 min 40s)
- The Decoy (16 min 39s)
- Zorro to the Rescue (16 min 40s)
- The Fugitive (16 min 41s)
- Flowing Death (16 min 41s)
- The Golden Arrow (16 min 39s) -- Re-Cap Chapter
- Mystery Wagon (16 min 40s)
- Face to Face (16 min 40s)
- Unmasked (16 min 41s)
The story takes a few liberties with Zorro
's official timeline:
- Takes place in Mexico instead of Alta California.
- Zorro wears a masquerade mask rather than the traditional bandana.
- Characters such as Bernardo are absent.
- Zorro's horse, Tornado, was changed to white (much like Kaiketsu Zorro).
But it should be noted that this story is presented as a further adventure of Zorro. Or a sequel to the traditional "Mark of Zorro" origin story.
- Don Diego is said to be visiting from Los Angeles
- The people of Mexico immediately recognize Zorro when he first appears in this story, Strongly suggesting that Zorro is a well known hero.
- * This serial very intentionally did not remake the Zorro story. But shows Zorro briefly visiting Mexico because his help is needed there.
- Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement; Mathis, Jack, 1995, ISBN 0-9632878-1-8
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