The Mark Of Zorro
(20th C. Fox, 1940)
Seventy-three years(!) to the day after it premiered, this classic tale of romance and swordplay still outshines every pale latter-day attempt to ape it. Tyrone Power is peak-of-career dashing, Linda Darnell is breathtakingly beautiful, and Basil Rathbone is a villain with whom it's worthy to cross swords. If there's any fault in the production it's that it creates a yearning for the days when meddlesome government officials could be sent packing at the point of a stout blade.