"Zorro" - the 1920 blockbuster hit!
Out of the night,
when the full moon is bright,
comes the horseman known as Zorro.
This bold renegade
carves a Z with his blade,
a Z that stands for Zorro.
Some may remember Disney’s version of this Robin Hood story that ran from 1957-59 and many will remember the most recent Zorro with Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins. However, few may know of the film that started the world wide Zorro film craze more than 80 years ago. The New York State Writers Institute will be showing that 1920 version -- the silent film, The Mark of Zorro on Friday Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Page Hall (135 Western Ave.) In the style of films of that era, there will be live piano accompaniment.
Based on a 1919 serial in All-Story Weekly, a pulp fiction magazine, The Mark of Zorro is regarded as the true grandfather of the action hero genre. In Old California in the 1830s, a masked avenger champions the rights of the common folk against a corrupt Mexican colonial administration. A blockbuster in its day, the film broke all previous box office records and transformed the 44-year-old Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.--in his very first swashbuckling role--into a superstar.
Piano accompaniment is provided by Mike Schiffer who accompanied his first silent film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari at Kenyon College in the late 1940's for the opening show of a fellow student's new film society. That student was Paul Newman. Thirty years later he accompanied Erich von Stoheim's Foolish Wives at the Berkshire Athenaeum. Since then he has been improvising scores whenever he gets a chance.
Admission to The Mark of Zorro is free and open to the public.
Students: This is a UAlbany Go2!Event. Students who have registered should be sure to place a Go2!Events ID card in the special Go2! Events box located at Page Hall. For information on how to register visit,
Directions to Page Hall Map of the Downtown Campus NYS Writers Institute