“At night a candle’s brighter than the sun.”
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Candle Slashing 102
My detective work to discover origins of Candle Slashing in Zorro
and other depictions of the stunt will likely fail.
There are simply far too many movies that may have reprised the stunt between 1920 and today.
I can’t look through them all.
But it’s fun – and interesting to me.
Maybe The Mark of Zorro (1940)? was indeed the first instance of the stunt?
I can’t say.
I didn’t detect any Candle Slashing in Douglas Fairbanks Sr’s,The Mark of Zorro (1920).
Though he does momentarily grab a candlestick in the fight scene with Noah Beery Sr. (below)
But no candle slashing occurs. Over the years most of the re-enactments of the stunt have become spoofs.
But I still recognize them as paying tribute and homage to Zorro and his origins.
Below: 15 years after The Mark of Zorro (1940), Basil Rathbone reprises the famous stunt
in the wonderful The Court Jester (1955) Starring the amazing Danny Kaye!
(You can watch the whole fight on YouTube)
Later (1974) I found this instance of Candle Slashing in the TV movie The Mark Of Zorro, Starring Frank Langella fighting villain Ricardo Montalban,
(Pardon my Spanish)
In(1975)Alain Delon Starred in Zorro and slashed several candles against Villain Stanley Baker.
Nicely done – anyway you slice it.
… there’s more than one way to snuff a Candle!
If a sword is not at hand, simply grab your bullwhip.
Candle Lashing 101
Candle Lashing appears to have started with Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in Don Q Son of Zorro (1925)
I found this scene:
So says Don Q (Fairbanks):
*CRACK* he whips the candle flame out!
Fairbanks seemed to be talented in many ways.
Handling a bullwhip would have been one.
Fairbanks didn’t invent Zorro, but he sure put him in gear.
Duncan Regehr of Zorro TV Series (1990) tries his hand at Candle Whipping:
Candle Lashing/Whipping carried over to modern The Mask of Zorro (1998).
Anthony Hopkins handles the chores.