Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Walt Disney Treasures Zorro - The Complete First Season|
Actors: Guy Williams, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon, George J. Lewis, Don Diamond
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Kids & Family, Television
Out of the night, when the full moon is bright, comes the horseman known as Zorro. Debuting October 10, 1957, Walt Disney's thrilling series about the masked avenger was so successful, it made Zorro a household name -- and... more »
Disney Brings Back The Past
L. A. WALZ | Burlington, Iowa United States | 05/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Zorro, a half-hour Walt Disney Productions TV series based on the well-known Zorro character, premiered October 10, 1957 on ABC. The final network broadcast was June 2, 1959. Seventy-eight episodes were produced, and 4 hour-long specials were aired on the Walt Disney anthology series between October 30, 1960 and April 2, 1961. Don Diego de la Vega (portrayed by Guy Williams) is depicted as a former University student, newly recalled by his father from Spain to his home outside El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles sobre El Rio Porciuncula (later shortened as Los Angeles). Just before reaching California, Diego learns of the tyranny of Captain Monastario, and realizes that his father, Don Alejandro, summoned him to help fight this injustice. Although he won medals for his fencing back in Spain, Diego decides that his best course of action is to conceal his ability with a sword, and to affect the demeanor of a milquetoast intellectual rather than a decisive man of action. His alter ego, Zorro, operates primarily at night, taking the direct action that Diego cannot. This deception does not always sit well with Diego, especially as it affects his relationship with his disappointed father. In reality, Diego relies heavily on his wits, both with and without the mask on. Later in the series, Diego emerges as a respected figure in his own right, a clever thinker and loyal friend who just happens to be hopeless at swordplay. The character's name in Johnston McCulley's writing and previous adaptations was Diego Vega; the Disney version expands the name to Diego de la Vega, an innovation retained in some subsequent versions of the story. Diego's singing voice is supplied by Bill Lee of the Mellomen. For most of its brief run, Zorro's episodes were part of continuing story arcs, each about thirteen episodes long. The first of these chronicles the arrival of Zorro / Diego and his battle of wits with the greedy and cruel local Commandante, Captain Monastario. After Monastario's final defeat, in the second storyline, Zorro must uncover and counter the machinations of the evil Magistrado Galindo, who is part of a plot to rule California. The third story arc concerns the leader of that conspiracy, the shadowy figure of the Eagle, revealed as vain and insecure José Sebastian Varga. Season one concludes with Varga's death.
Season two opens with Diego in Monterey, the colonial capital, where privately collected money to bring a supply ship to California is consistently diverted to a gang of bandits. Diego stays to investigate, both as himself and as Zorro, and becomes interested in Ana Maria Verdugo, the daughter of the man organizing the effort. Once Zorro defeats the thieves, he enters into a rivalry with his old friend Ricardo del Amo, a practical joker who is also interested in Ana Maria. Ana Maria in turn is in love with Zorro. While in Monterey, Zorro and Sergeant Garcia also get involved in a dispute between the peons and a repressive Lieutenant Governor. Diego is on the verge of giving up his mask to marry Ana Maria, but Don Alejandro talks him out of it. Zorro (and Diego) says goodbye to Ana Maria and returns to Los Angeles, where he gets involved in a series of shorter adventures. In one three episode story arc, guest starring Annette Funicello, Zorro must solve the mystery of Anita Campillo's father, a man who does not seem to exist. Other storylines late in the series involve Diego's ne'er-do-well uncle (Cesar Romero), a plot against the governor of California, an encounter with an American "mountain man" (Jeff York, reprising a role from The Saga of Andy Burnett), and outwitting a greedy emissary from Spain.
No disappointment here; a 1st class treat for Zorro fans!
Dave | San Diego, CA | 10/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Complete First Season is the definitive version that Disney Zorro fans have waited years for. Covering all 39 episodes that comprise season #1 (1957-1958), this limited edition (and numbered) 6-disc set of 30,000 includes a Certificate of Authenticity, a collectible pin (showing two crossed silver swords with Zorro's mask superimposed on top), as well as a black-and-white photo postcard showing Guy Williams in character as Don Diego. A booklet outlining the contents of the set can also be found here. The set comes handsomely encased in a black metal tin, fitting of this B&W series where the hero wears an all-black costume.
A 5:21 intro by Leonard Maltin introduces the episodes and gives a brief history of Zorro and these particular episodes along with the extras on these discs. The remastering is evident on these episodes. The picture is clear and so is the sound; naturally, with the way it was originally recording, a digital surround experience is not possible, but the Dolby Digital recording is crisp, clear, and the score sounds better than it has in years. And no...there are no colorized versions here. Just the genuine black and white originals. The comedy, action, drama, and music combination that one expects from a Walt Disney production is all here, completed with a stellar cast. Guy Williams, Gene Sheldon, and Henry Calvin have fantastic chemistry. Williams' hero Zorro, who is a "bookish" Don Diego by day, becomes the black-caped & masked legend who rights wrongs in his "off hours."
Besides the 39 episodes (starting with "Presenting Señor Zorro", original air date of 10/10/1957 and finishing with #39 "The Eagle's Flight", original air date of 7/3/1958), there is a 6th disc of bonus material. Here you will find 2 hour long episodes:
1. "Zorro: El Bandido," original air date of 10/30/1960, from Walt's anthology TV series "Walt Disney Presents." Clocking in at 51:10, this episode features Gilbert Roland & Rita Moreno, not long before her breakthrough role in "West Side Story."
2. "Zorro: Adios El Cuchillo," original air date of 11/6/1960, from Walt's anthology TV series "Walt Disney Presents." This episode is 49:00 long and again stars Roland & Moreno.
An excerpt (3:17) is included here from "The Fourth Anniversary Show," which originally aired on 9/11/1957. Walt is surrounded by the Mouseketeers who anxiously want to hear more about Zorro. Walt finally relents, and the opening from the show rolls out. There is an "interaction" between the two sets, where Zorro talks to the Mouseketeers and then engages in a sword fight shown only in shadow (very effective!).
There is also a featurette entitled, "The Life and Legend of Zorro" (12:26) detailing the history of Zorro. Starting with the publication of Johnston McCulley's story in a pulp fiction magazine titled All-Story Magazine, "The Curse of Capistrano" came out in 1919. Swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks Sr. was the first to play Zorro in the movies (1920), followed by Tyrone Power over at 20th Century Fox in 1940. Disney purchased the rights to the property in 1952, but didn't get around to actual production until 1957. This marked the first time that a standing set was built on the Disney lot in Burbank at a cost of $500,000. Disney worked closely on this show to make everything authentic, and made sure it was helmed by a quality team. Each episode cost $78,000 to film and was shot on a 5-day schedule, which was very lavish for the day. Each installment also had original music and scoring written by William Lava. Today, the quality still shows and has paid off handsomely for the studio from its continued fanbase over the past 50 years. The documentary has many technicolor images of Guy Williams and the Zorro cast, along with interviews of Williams' son. Legal battles between ABC and Disney delayed Season 3, which resulted in a few hour-long episodes. It is ironic that one of the top rated shows (garnering an unheard of 40% audience share in season 2) was killed not by the ratings but by legalities and quibbling.
This is a sure-fire set that will please old and new fans of this quality program."
Walt Disney's Zorro: Just the way we remember it!
Glenn M. Schoditsch | Richmond, Virginia USA | 05/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally we have a complete restored series set, yes both season one and Walt Disney Treasures: Zorro - The Complete Second Season in pristine, remastered AND more importantly 'restored' Black & White! Packed with extras such as introductions by Lenard Maltin, the 4 hour-long Zorro episodes (two on each set), a Zorro pin & lithograph and packaged in Disney's tin metal cases, similar to Walt Disney Treasures - The Complete Davy Crockett Televised Series, complete with serial numbers.
This is THE news Zorro fans off all ages have been waiting decades for. I for one will be first in line at the pre-order page!"
50 years of Dreaming Come True
bjs | Los Angeles | 11/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just got my 2 package set of the whole of season one and two. I've never written a review before, but I want to try and share how special this packaged set is to me.
All the extras, even the episodes I'd only heard of but never seen that were on Disney's show, all the extras about Zorro, and Guy Williams (my first real love when I was 8 years old). I'd been dreaming of this collection, complete and whole since videotapes came out. And as a child, crying when Zorro disappeared from television, this collection makes that heartbroken child rest at peace at last. (I was so heartbroken, my parents had to call the television station to find out why it wasn't on, just to get me to go to bed.) The extras make this collection a dream come true. :) Thank You So Much Disney Company for Finally releasing this treasure."