Thursday, 5 January 2012

Randomness: The Mask of Zorro

The weirdest thing about appreciating movies, or any form of pop culture really, is how the oddest bits will stick with you. Case in point, The Mask of Zorro which is not quite a flawless production but a film I watched a number of times in my youth (back when I thought that Catherine Zeta-Jones was from Spain or somewhere thereabouts). And, I was mentioning to Nick (Cinema Romantico and elsewhere) yesterday that I still can’t hear the word “vigorous” without being reminded of Martin Campbell’s best films (yup, better than Casino RoyaleThe Legend of Zorro).
The Mask of Zorro works so well, because it’s so much fun. Like that scene where Banderas’ Zorro makes his way into Elena’s father’s house (well, not her real father but I’d rather not get into that). Naturally, the two duel (because Elena’s is a Latina woman so her temperament must be volatile).
Eventually he disrobes her during the duel with his sword and then leaves, but not before…

And, then her not real father comes in and leads to arguably my favourite exchange of the film.

              “What are you doing here? What happened?

               “I fought Zorro, and he left. He left!
               “Did you recognise him?
               “No, but he was young and vigorous... 
              ...he was very vigorous father.
I can't establish it with pictures, but there's something just delightful about the cadence of Catherine's Latina pronunciation of vigorous...which would [vɪgərəs] but comes out as [vì:gərəs] with those prolonged stress on the first vowel which is so over-exaggerated, but lovely and the reason I can't use or hear the word in normal conversation.


I love Stuart Wilson’s reaction shot there. Vigorous? I'll bet.
Okay, you may not have the relationship with vigorous as I do, but this movie is great is it not?


Nick Prigge said...

Ha! This is great. Just great. I DO remember this scene now. And I love how you can devote an entire post to essentially Catherine Zeta's cadence in saying a particular line. Those kinds of off the wall things in movies stay with me all the time too.

Also, I did love The Mask of Zorro quite a bit. Such an old fashioned action picture.

a famous historian said...

The Mask of Zorro was the second film I ever saw at the cinema (the first was, er, Roland Emmerich's Godzilla). It's so absolutely entertaining that its flaws just can't count against it.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

nick i know, right? us bloggers, we focus on the most innocuous of things.

a famous historian so true on that final line. it's fun, fun, fun. unlike that awful sequel.