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UPDATE: Tyrone Power: Zorro: Swashbuckling Essentials: The Clinch! Part 1 …

16 Oct

Right after I claim my prize for the Longest Title in Blog history!
I’ll get to posting  !


Eagles / Hotel California

OK!!! back a ways I posted Essential Swashbuckling : Candle Slashing.
(I’m sure you remember *Coff*)

We now move to another Swashbuckling Essential :

The Clinch !!!

I’m not sure you’ve noticed (pay attention!), but in most any Classic Cinematic Climactic Sword Fight
the combatants at some point come together in what we call
The Clinch !
(Indeed!)

The Clinch: a Definition:

When two fighters grapple or come together at close quarters.
Whereby, in film, the combatants often exchange pithy taunts, insults or threats!

In The Mark of Zorro (1940 ) we see Zorro (Tyrone Power)
and antagonist Capt. Esteban Pasquale (Basil Rathbone) engage in 2 Clinches:

Clinch #One

(In a Gentleman’s Duel the opponents often start off in a courteous exchange):

But shortly things will likely degrade to Insults, Taunts, Threats, Spitting, Biting, Pinching, Kicking, etc …

Shameful .. but often effective.
Always entertaining.

Clinch #Two

Let’s watch that Classic Sword Fight again:

Keeping Score?:

3 Candle Slashes
Clinches
8 Threats
6 Taunts
5 Insults

Conclusion:

One dead badguy 
Zorro’s Rapier from the Mask of Zorro
(Sweet)
A Swiss Sabre
(Lethal)

“En Garde!”

Next: 

The Clinch: Part 2

 

 

 

 

Tyrone Power Westerns continued …

11 Aug
The Prince of Foxes soundtrack by Alfred Newman

The Prince of Foxes (1949)

Nine years after The Mark of Zorro, Tyrone Power was still wielding a Sword.

But he hadn’t entirely chased the Fox.

Hard to believe the Fox reference isn’t intentional, but it isn’t.
Wikipedia says: “Prince of Foxes is a 1947 historical novel by (American) Samuel Shellabarger,”

Not Tryrone’s best work, but still worth a watch.

Welles doesn’t ‘chew the scenery’, he kind of steamrolls it.
Amazing.

Love this pic Wanda.

Tyrone Power Westerns continued … Candle Slashing 102

31 Jul
Long as I can see the Light / Arbouretum

“At night a candle’s brighter than the sun.”
– Sting

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!

Awesome stuff!
(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.

But …
… 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.

Upcoming:

Tyrone Power Westerns continued …
Zorro

Tyrone Power Westerns continued … Candle Slashing 101

28 Jul
Hotel California / Beatbakers Remix

“Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.”
– Confucius

The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Candle Slashing 101

  Ingredients: 
One Sword
One Candle
One Hero
– Taunting Villain is optional

Instructions:
1. Light the Candle
(Unlit Candles may be used to prevent a fire)
2. Measure the Candle with your sword.
(Hero Tyrone Power demonstrates:)

Next: (Not recommended!) if you are a Ruthless Villain just slash away!
Ruthless Villain Basil Rathbone demonstrates:

Though demonstrating excellent form, note that the lit Candle just flies off!
To who knows where!!!??
This is irresponsible Candle Slashing.
Hero Tyrone Power demonstrates the proper technique:

Note the short backswing.

A simple swish …

… follow through …

… impeccable form!
Optional taunt from the foolish Villain …

… but the true Master is revealed!:

VOILA!

Next: Candle Slashing 102
We explore the origins of Candle Slashing …

Tyrone Power Westerns continued … The Mark of Zorro (1940) The Fight / Part 1 …

25 Jul
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)

ZORRO FOR CHRISTMAS 1940 – PLUS A COLOR CARTOON!

The Fight!

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.
It is.

Basil Rathbone

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
https://crossedswords2013.wordpress.com/page/3/

“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.”

 

Upcoming:

Tyrone Power Westerns continued …
The Mark of Zorro (1940) The Fight / Part 2 …

Tyrone Power Westerns continued … The Mark of Zorro (1940) Part 4

17 Jul
ZORRO / Evivva

The Mark of Zorro (1940)

On most any Saturday, in 1954, myself and my 3 older brothers, would each be given a Quarter (25 cents!) and off we’d go to the Saturday Matinee at the local Movie Theatre (in Mission, British Columbia). A Quarter would get us in plus buy a bag of popcorn and a pop! Amazing!

In those days kids could walk around freely, with no fear. We never locked our doors. Never had to. Churches were open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

That was a different time. Not so long ago.

I was 6 years old

Then we’d breathlessly watch our Heroes of the day!

 14 years earlier, in 1940 – Tyrone Power had Starred in The Mark of Zorro.
I don’t recall seeing this movie until TCM showed it recently.
I loved it.

Tyrone Power – The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Obviously there is a Colorized version of The Mark of Zorro (1940).
Haven’t seen that one yet.

Basil Rathbone – The Mark of Zorro 1940

Linda Darnell was ‘Sweet 17’ when she Starred in The Mark of Zorro.

On the Screen, Gale Sondergaard was billed 4th. 

Reviews

Ratings were pretty high – for both Critics and the Public.

Upcoming:

Basil Rathbone ! Prince of FIends !

Tyrone Power Westerns continued … The Mark of Zorro (1940) Part 3 / Zorro Anomalies?

11 Jul
Fernando / Abba

The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Zorro Anomalies?

If I said to you that Zorro never used a gun, but only a Sword (rapier) and his Bullwhip,
would you challenge that?

Probably not.

And if I also said that Zorro only uses his famous black Eye Mask for his disguise,
would you disagree?

Likely not.

BUT …
… in The Mark of Zorro (1940) we see transgressions to both of these modern images of Zorro persona!

Observe:

Zorro pulls a pistol!

Zorro wearing a bandana!

Later Zorro uses a pistol again.

But at least he’s wearing the eye mask.

It seems that Zorro’s image has continuously changed and evolved over the years
– from creator (Johnston McCulley) original vision.

Zorro (Douglas Fairbanks Sr.) apparent master of disguise – silent movie (1920)

Guns? Bandanas? Masks? Bullwhips?

The Mark of Zorro (1920) – Douglas Fairbanks Sr.

“What’s all this nonsense about Zorro using a gun?”

Zorro (Fairbanks) using a gun.

Zorro’s Fighting Legion (1939) Movie Serial Starring Reed Hadley
(below)

Zorro using 2 guns.

Zorro using a machine gun !!!

The Mask of Zorro (1998) Starring Antonio Banderas
(below)

You call that a gun?”

Zorro’s Dilemma

I also noticed that in the Mark of Zorro (1940) Zorro doesn’t use a bullwhip?

While Reed Hadley in Zorro’s Fighting Legionserial (1939) surely does.

OK … I’m finding I don’t know much about Zorro!!!
But I’m learning quickly.
It’s all good.

Next:

Tyrone Power Westerns continued …
The Mark of Zorro (1940) Part 4
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