The Mark of Zorro (1940) is a 1941 American adventure film based on the Zorro character created by writers Rouben Mamoulian and David Belasco.
It was directed by William McGann and produced by Hal Roach and William Sargent, who brought the original story to the screen. It stars George Sanders as The Man with the Iron Mask. The film is considered a lost film, as no print of it is known to have survived. The film's reputation suffered even further because of several reasons.
One is the script, which is a knock-off of Belasco's play The Masquerader, and is filled with dated Englishisms and dialog. Many of the actors had only minimal experience with the Spanish language. The cast has an all-white cast, which is not common in American films of this time. Many of the extras speak with accents, such as Puerto Rican and Cuban. Production design by Charles D. Hall, Jr., who later designed the sets for the film The Big Sleep.
A second factor was the fact that the film was made in 1940, as the United States was at war with the Axis Powers. Many Americans looked askance at the depiction of a masked vigilante, not to mention several (and not all) of the characters being shown fighting in an outdated and violent way. In the final analysis, this is a film about a masked vigilante, not a movie about Zorro.
MGM paid a reported $1 million to adapt The Man with the Iron Mask for the screen. Producers were hoping to cash in on the success of The Mummy. All in all, this was a pretty ineffectual film.
Mystery Man with the Iron Mask is a 1941 American adventure film. It was directed by William McGann and produced by Hal Roach and William Sargent, who brought the original story to the screen. The film stars George Sanders as The Man with the Iron Mask, Ralph Graves as Captain Armand, Mark Daniels as Alejandro, Robert Edeson as Josef, Don Terry as Friar, Joe DeGrasse as Isaac, Mary Lee as Madeline and the "Three Little Pigs" as a highway patrol officer.
The film was a spin-off and re-working of a 1941 French film of the same name, directed by Henri Decoin and starring Roger Legris as The Man with the Iron Mask and Ursula Theuerkauff as La Montagne.