She thinks her father BS Don Rafael Montero and that she was born in Spain. But at the age of 21, Elena has grown into a gorgeous woman and returns with Don Rafael to Las California's (since Don Rafael plans to steal some gold from a mine to buy California from General Santa Anna).
Due to Rafael's strict parenting, raising her as vestal, Elena had never experienced non-platonic interaction with a man. There, in Las California's, Elena encounters in some occasions the young and masked hero, the new Zorro “.
The next day, after sending their son, Joaquin to school, Elena is confronted by the Pinkerton's (who work for the United States), who disclose their knowledge of her husband's identity. So she has to divorce Alejandro, and to seduce the villain nobleman Armand to obtain his plans against California.
Sometime later, Alejandro is captured by the Pinkerton's who inform him of their blackmailing Elena into divorcing him and getting close to Armand to discover his plans; since California isn't yet a state, they couldn't conduct a legal investigation. At the mansion, Armand is informed by his butler, Error about Elena's deception and, showing her the bodies of the Pinkerton agents, brutally confronts her with his knowledge.
He takes her and Joaquin hostage on to the 10 car train, forcing Zorro to stop his own sabotage and getting himself captured. Unexpectedly, Felipe arrives and helps Alejandro overpower Givens, who is killed when a drop of nitro lands on his head.
Felipe then reveals that the crucifix around his neck shielded him from Givens' bullet, and Alejandro goes to save Elena and Joaquin. Alejandro apologizes to his son for not telling him the truth, and he admits that Zorro's identity is a family secret rather than just his own.
Catherine Zeta-Jones portrays Elena as a sweet, tender, strong and upstanding young lady. She is innocent but has a hidden passion for justice and adventure, something that doesn't seem rightful for a woman in the society she's living in.
But this adventure and justice passionate yearnings are a legacy from her father the original Zorro. While arriving to Las California's she falls in love with the new Zorro and considers him a true hero.
In addition to sexual attraction, Zorro personified passion, danger and gallantry, everything that Elena loved and wanted. Elena did not keep her fascination with him secret, even in the presence of her father's misogynistic, anti- Zorro comrades, but disguised it as admiration.
Elena really gave Zorro a run for his money, slicing his coat, disarming him and holding him at sword point. Initially uncomfortable Elena relaxed, even smiled, when Zorro amorously flirted with her.
Elena then experienced her first kiss, letting Zorro pull her into a long, full-hearted, vehement make-out session. However, Zorro took this chance to escape before Rafael arrived, but discarded Elena's sword and retrieved his hat first.
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The Mask of Zorro is a 1998 American swashbuckler film based on the character of the masked vigilante Zorro created by Johnston McCully. It was directed by Martin Campbell and stars Antonio Band eras, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Stuart Wilson.
The film features the original Zorro, Don Diego de la Vega (Hopkins), escaping from prison to find his long-lost daughter (Zeta-Jones) and avenge the death of his wife at the hands of the corrupt governor Rafael Montero (Wilson). He is aided by his successor (Band eras), who is pursuing his own vendetta against the governor's right-hand man while falling in love with DE la Vega's daughter.
The Legend of Zorro, a sequel also starring Band eras and Zeta-Jones and directed by Campbell, was released in 2005, but did not fare as well as its predecessor. In 1821, Don Diego de la Vega, a Spanish-born California nobleman, fights against soldiers in the Mexican War of Independence as Zorro, a mysterious masked swordsman who defends the Mexican peasants and commoners of Las California's.
Don Rafael Montero, the corrupt governor of the region, learns of De La Vega's alter ego and attempts to arrest him. DE la Vega's wife Esperanza, whom Montero was in love with, is killed during the ensuing scuffle.
Montero imprisons DE La Vega and takes his infant daughter, Elena, as his own before returning to Spain. Twenty years later, Montero returns to California as a civilian, alongside Elena who has grown into a beautiful woman and resembles her late mother.
Montero's reappearance motivates DE La Vega to escape from prison. He encounters a thief named Alejandro Marietta, who, as a child, saved Zorro's life during his last fight.
DE la Vega decides that fate has brought them together, and agrees to make Alejandro his protégé, grooming him to be the new Zorro. Alejandro agrees to undergo DE La Vega's training regimen in Zorro's secret cave underneath the ruins of his family estate in order to be able to take revenge on Captain Harrison Love, Montero's right-hand man, who was responsible for killing Alejandro's brother, Joaquin.
While still being trained, Alejandro steals a black stallion resembling Zorro's steed Tornado from the local garrison. De La Vega scolds Alejandro, claiming that Zorro was a servant of the people, not a thief and adventurer.
Alejandro poses as a visiting nobleman named Don Alejandro del Castillo y García, with DE la Vega as his servant “Bernardo”, and attends a party at Montero's hacienda. At the party, he gains Elena's admiration and enough of Montero's trust to be invited to a secret meeting where several other noblemen are present.
Montero hints at a plan to retake California for the Dons and proclaim it as an independent republic by buying it from General Santa Anna, who needs money for the upcoming Mexican–American War. Montero takes Alejandro and the noblemen to a secret gold mine known as El Dorado, ” where peasants and prisoners are used for slave labor.
DE la Vega, as the servant “Bernardo”, uses this opportunity to become closer to Elena, and learns that Montero told Elena that her mother died in childbirth. DE la Vega sends Alejandro, now officially wearing the mantle of Zorro, to steal Montero's map leading to the gold mine.
Zorro duels Montero, Love, and their guards at the hacienda. When Zorro escapes, Elena attempts to retrieve Montero's map from the swordsman, but he seduces her, leading to a passionate kiss before he flees.
Terrified of Santa Anna's retribution if he discovers that he is being paid with his own gold, Montero, at Love's urging, decides to destroy the mine and kill the workers. DE la Vega tells Alejandro to release the workers on his own so that DE La Vega can reclaim Elena.
Alejandro sets off, feeling betrayed by Diego's vendetta. DE la Vega corners Montero at the hacienda and reveals his identity, but Montero captures him by threatening to shoot him in front of Elena.
As he is taken away, DE la Vega tells Elena the name of the flowers, Romney, that she recognized upon her arrival in California, convincing her that he is her father. She releases DE la Vega from his cell, and they proceed to the mine, where Alejandro and DE la Vega respectively defeat and slay Love and Montero, avenging both Joaquin and Esperanza.
Elena and Alejandro free the workers before the explosives go off, and then find the mortally wounded DE la Vega. Some time later, Alejandro and Elena are married, and Alejandro tells stories to their infant son, Joaquin, whom he named after his brother, of his grandfather's heroic deeds and legacy as Zorro.
The character of Alejandro Murrieta was conceived as the fictional brother of the real-life Joaquin Murrieta, making the character either Mexican or Chilean. To prepare for his role, Band eras practiced with the Olympic fencing team in Spain for four months, before studying additional fencing and swordsmanship with Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The three were trained by Bob Anderson during pre-production in Mexico, spending 10 hours a day for two months specifically on fight scenes from the film. “We used to call him Grumpy Bob on the set, he was such a perfectionist,” director Martin Campbell reflected.
“He was incredibly inventive, and also refused to treat any of the actors as stars. Anthony Hopkins as Don Diego de la Vega / Zorro : Hopkins was cast in December 1996, one month before filming began.
Hopkins, known for his dramatic acting, took up the role over his enthusiasm to be in an action film. Catherine Zeta-Jones as Elena Montero: The actress signed on in November 1996, when Spielberg saw her performance in the Titanic miniseries and recommended her to Campbell.
Despite being a Welsh actress portraying a Latina character, Zeta-Jones discovered similarities between her “volatile” Celtic temper and the Latin temperament of Elena. Isabella Scorpio, who worked with Campbell on Goldener, and Judith Porsche both screen tested for the part.
Zeta-Jones credits The Mask of Zorro as her breakthrough in entering A-list recognition. María and Mónica Fernández Cruz portray Elena de la Vega (infant).
Robert Rodriguez (pictured) cast Antonio Band eras as Zorro before dropping out as director. He was replaced by Martin Campbell one month later. In October 1992, Tristan Pictures and Steven Spielberg's Ambling Entertainment were planning to start production on Zorro the following year, and hired Joel Gross to rewrite the script after they were impressed with his adaptation of The Three Musketeers.
At the time, Spielberg was producing Zorro with the potential to direct. Gross completed his rewrite in March 1993, and Tristan entered pre-production, creating early promotion for the film that same month at the Slowest trade show.
By December 1993, Brando Lusting was producing the film with Spielberg, and Mikael Salomon was attached as director. In August 1994, Sean Connery was cast as Don Diego de la Vega, while Salomon stated that the rest of the major cast would be Hispanic or Latino.
Pre-production proceeded even further in August when Salomon compiled test footage for a planned April 1995 start date. Connery and Salomon eventually dropped out, and in September 1995, Robert Rodriguez, fresh from the success of Desperado, signed to direct with Antonio Band eras, who had also starred in Desperado, playing the title role.
Tristan and Ambling had been surprised by Rodriguez's low-budget filming techniques for his action films, El Mariachi and Desperado, and shifted away from their initial plans with Salomon to make a big-budget version of Zorro. Spielberg had hoped Rodriguez would start filming in January 1996 for a Christmas release date, but the start date was pushed back to July.
Rodriguez pulled out of the film' in June 1996 over difficulties coming to terms with Tristan on the budget. Band eras remained with the production, and Martin Campbell signed on later that month, turning down the chance to direct Tomorrow Never Dies.
The finished screenplay would be written by John Show, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossi, based on a story by Elliott, Rossi, and Randall Johnson. The principal photography for the film began in Mexico on January 27, 1997, on a $60 million budget.
The Mask of Zorro was mostly shot at Studios Churubusco in Mexico City. Production stalled for four days in February when the director, Martin Campbell, was hospitalized for bronchitis.
Filming resumed in Tlaxcala, three hours east of Mexico City, where the production crew constructed the Montero hacienda and town set pieces. Sony sent David Foster to join the project as a producer to help fill the void left by Steven Spielberg, Walter F. Parks, and Laurie MacDonald, who were busy running DreamWorks.
Foster and David S. Ward, who went credited, re-wrote some scenes; the troubled production caused The Mask of Zorro to go $10 million over its budget. In December, the producers were frustrated by customs agents when some props and other items, including Zorro's plastic sword, were held for nine days.
During the post-production phase, Spielberg and Campbell decided that Diego de la Vega's death in the arms of his daughter was too depressing. On January 24, 2001, Sony Pictures Entertainment filed a lawsuit in United States District Court, Central District of California, Western Division, against Fireworks Entertainment Group, the producers of the syndicated television series Queen of Swords.
As to specific elements of The Mask of Zorro, the judge found that any similarities between the film and the TV series' secondary characters and plot elements were insufficient to warrant an injunction. Professional ratingsReview scoresSourceRating AllMusicEmpireFilmtracksSoundtrackNet The Mask of Zorro and its sequel The Legend of Zorro incorporates certain historical events and people into their narrative.
Antonio Band eras' character, Alejandro Murrieta, is a fictional brother of Joaquin Murrieta, a real Mexican outlaw who was killed by the California State Rangers led by Harry Love (portrayed in the film as Texas Army Captain “Harrison Love”) in 1853. The confrontation in the film takes place more than a decade earlier, in 1841.
The capture of Murrieta's right-hand man Three-Fingered Jack by Love was also historical; however, the real person was a Mexican named Manuel Garcia rather than an Anglo-American. As he did in the movie, the actual Harry Love preserved both Murrieta's head and Jack's hand in large, alcohol-filled glass jars.
The opening sequence is set during the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, and an original ending on the DVD includes an appearance by Antonio López de Santa Anna, who is only mentioned in the finished film. There was speculation within the media about whether Tristan changed the date in an attempt to avoid competition with Titanic.
In reality Zorro had encountered production problems that extended its shooting schedule. In addition, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Tristan's parent company, wanted an action film for its first quarter releases of 1998.
The release date was once again pushed back, this time to July 1998, when pick-ups were commissioned. The delay from March to July added $3 million in interest costs.
To market Zorro, Tristan purchased a 30-second advertising spot at Super Bowl XXXII for $1.3 million. Sony, who had been known for their low-key presence at the Slowest trade show, showed clips from the film, while actors Antonio Band eras and Anthony Hopkins presented a panel at the conference on May 10, 1998.
Internet marketing was an emerging concept in the late-1990s, and Zorro was Sony's first film to use VRML. Based on 69 reviews aggregated by Rotten Tomatoes, 81% of the critics enjoyed The Mask of Zorro, giving it an average score of 7.1/10.
The site's consensus states: “Band eras returns as an aging Zorro in this surprisingly nimble, entertaining swashbuckler.” Meta critic gave the film an average score of 63/100, based on 22 reviews.
Audiences polled by CinemaScope gave the film an average grade of “A-” on an A+ to F scale. Richard Chicken of Time magazine praised Zorro as a summer blockbuster which paid tribute to the classical Hollywood swashbuckler films.
“The action in this movie, most of which takes the form of spectacular stunt work performed by real, as opposed to digitized, people,” Chicken stated, “is motivated by simple, powerful emotions of an old-fashioned and rather melodramatic nature.” Zorro exceeded Roger Ebert's expectations, who was surprised by the screenplay's display of traditional film craftsmanship.
Todd McCarthy of Variety found the film's length to be “somewhat overlong” and lacking “the snap and concision that would have put it over the top as a bang-up entertainment, but it's closer in spirit to a vintage Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power swashbuckler than anything that's come out of Hollywood in quite some time.” In his review for Rolling Stone Magazine, Peter Travels criticized the casting choices for the Mexican roles, which included Band eras, a Spaniard, as well as Hopkins and Zeta-Jones, who are both Welsh.
Internet reviewer James Berardinelli compared the tone and style of The Mask of Zorro to producer Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark. “While The Mask of Zorro isn't on the same level, it's not an altogether ridiculous comparison.
Even though Zorro doesn't feature the non-stop cliffhanger adventure of Raiders, ” Berardinelli continued, “there's still plenty of action, tumult, and herring- do.” He was undecided whether the film would be a box office success, and that it would depend on the on-screen chemistry between Band eras and Zeta-Jones.
In one of the film's most popular scenes, Alejandro renders Elena topless with a flurry of sword slashes. One critic placed it on his list of “Erotic Scenes in the 90s”.
The Mask of Zorro was released in the United States on July 17, 1998, in 2,515 theaters, earning $22,525,855 in its opening weekend. The film dropped from its number one position in the second week with the releases of Saving Private Ryan and There's Something About Mary.
The Mask of Zorro eventually earned $94,095,523 within the US, and $156,193,000 internationally, coming to a worldwide total of $250,288,523. With the commercial success of the film, Sony sold the TV rights of Zorro for $30 million in a joint deal to CBS and Turner Broadcasting System (TBS).