The Mask of Zorro

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Template:Infobox Movie

The Mask of Zorro (1998) is an American action film directed by Martin Campbell, and stars Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

A sequel starring Banderas and directed by Campbell titled Legend of Zorro is scheduled to be released in 2005.

Plot summary

In the early 19th century, the Mexican army is on the verge of liberating its country from Spanish colonial rule. In the area of present day California, the cruel and ruthless Spanish Governor Don Rafael Montero is about to be overthrown by the advancing Mexican Army. In a last ditch effort to trap his arch-nemesis, the masked swordsman Zorro (Hopkins), Montero lays a trap. The trap is thwarted with assistance from the local peasant population who see Zorro as their champion. Particularly helpful were two orphan brothers, Joaquin and Alejandro Murrieta.

However, Montero is able to surmise that Zorro is really Don Diego de la Vega, a Spanish noble living in California whom the governor thought to be his ally. Montero attempts to arrest de la Vega at his home later that evening. In the ensuing fight, de la Vega's wife, Esperanza is killed, his house is burned and his infant daughter, Elena, is taken by Montero.

De la Vega remains imprisoned for the next twenty years until the day Montero returns to California and comes looking for him. De la Vega quickly escapes from prison, intent on killing Montero at the first possible chance but retreats when he sees Montero has brought Elena (Zeta-Jones), now a beautiful young lady, back also.

De la Vega soon encounters a grown Alejandro (Banderas) and recruits and trains him to become Zorro. Alejandro poses as a visiting Spanish nobleman and infiltrates Montero's inner circle. Alejandro learns that Montero has been operating a secret gold mine known as El Dorado using the peasants and petty criminals as slave labor. His goal is to buy California from Mexico (using gold that really belongs to Mexico) and establish himself as California's leader.

De la Vega convinces Elena that she is his daughter, not Montero's, and the two along with the new Zorro destroy Montero and his grandiose plan.

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