Friday, April 15, 2011
Alain Delon plays Zorro in a stand alone film that's loved by many and hated by others.
If you want to know if you've ever seen the film all you need to do is think of the ear worm of a theme song which goes in part:
Here's to being free
Here's to you and me
Here's to living free
La la la now that Zorro's back.
The plot of the film has Delon meeting a friend who is to be governor of a far off province of Spain. He is a good, honest man who is going to change things for the better. However the corrupt general and land owners want no part of it so they kill him. Delon promises his dying friend to take his place and he heads off to do right by him. He pretends to be ineffectual all the while riding off as Zorro to right wrongs. (Some of this lifts bits from Delon's earlier The Black Tulip and were then lifted in turn by George Hamilton in Zorro The Gay Blade)
It's a wonderful adventure film that is unjustly hated. Okay, if you don't like the theme song, which drives much of the picture, there is no way you're going to like the movie; but if you can get past that this film is a blast.
There is however a HUGE problem with being able to SEE this, as none of the US versions are the complete film. Sure you can get versions of this film in the bargain bin for a buck, but the trouble is that those versions run anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes shorter than the full version. The full version of this film is over two hours long. None of the copies I have ever picked up in the US has been the full version.
The only way you can get the complete version is to order the Region 2 PAL DVD from France. It has the film in both French and English (both dubbed and subtitled). Outside of that you can't get a copy of the full film. Strangely the edition from France is from MGM. Why they don't release it in the US is beyond me, though I'm guessing the flood of piss-poor copies makes them think they'll be throwing good money after bad.
If you want to see a great adventure film see if you can get a copy of the version from France. (Amazon France does have it)