Una Noche Mas / Yasmin Levy
“Never regret anything you have done with a sincere affection;
nothing is lost that is born of the heart.”
– Basil Rathbone
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
We finally come to the wonderful climatic sword fight scene between Zorro (Tyrone Power)
and Capt. Esteban Pasquale (Basil Rathbone).
After 78 years this is still regarded among the great sword fight/Swashbuckling scenes in filmdom.
Rathbone is often said to be the greatest of all the swashbuckling fencers/swordsmen Actors in Film.
He displayed his skills in several movies: Captain Blood (1935); Romeo and Juliet (1936; The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938); and The Court Jester (1955)
And as is evident in the video below, he how proud he was of his prowess.
Rathbone studied stage fencing as part of his training at the famous Old Vic Theatre. The study of Fencing and Swordsmanship is part of a Shakespearean Actors training.
He was also tutored under Swordmaster and famed Fight Choreographer Fred Cavens.
Rathbone did his most of his own stunts and required no stand-in or double for his swordwork.
What is NOT well known, however, is that Tyrone Power was also very good.
Said Rathbone of Power’s swordsmanship skills:
“Power was the most agile man with a sword I’ve ever faced before a camera.
Tyrone could have fenced Errol Flynn into a cocked hat.”
Fred Caven’s son Albert Cavens did double-in for Power some shots. He was likely better for sure,
but I figure Tyrone coulda handled it himself.
It’s interesting that that Errol Flynn is so highly regarded as a fencer/sword fighter in Swashbuckling films because Rathbone
who dueled with in Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood says otherwise:
From CROSSED SWORDS – The Hollywood Swashbuckler
“I enjoyed swordsmanship more than anything because it was beautiful. I thought it was a wonderful exercise, a great sport. But I would not put it under the category of sport; I would put it under the category of the arts. I think it’s tremendously skillful and very beautiful… The only actor I actually fought with on the screen was Flynn, and that’s the only time I was really scared. I wasn’t scared because he was careless,
but because he didn’t know how to protect himself.”
“I could have killed Errol Flynn any time I wanted to.”