Zorro Home Video Information
Fortunately, most versions of Zorro are readily available on either VHS or DVD. Some versions are available in both formats.
Comments and Exceptions:
The Bold Caballero - The Republic Pictures VHS release from 1998 has excellent picture quality. There is a current DVD release, but I have no idea if the picture quality is good. Stay away from old VHS copies that are not from Republic Pictures; there are some very poor quality copies on VHS that are barely watchable. I once bought a copy in which the picture was so bad at times that nothing on the screen could be distinguished.
The Mark of Zorro - 1940 - A colorized special edition was released on DVD by 20th Century Fox in October, 2005. The disc is double-sided and contains both the original black and white film as well as the colorized film. The 1940 film has always had a number of scenes which are too dark and difficult to view. The colorized film completely solves this problem and makes the movie much more pleasant to watch.
Zorro Rides Again, Zorro's Fighting Legion, Zorro's Black Whip, Son of Zorro - Generally, I recommend the Republic Pictures Cliffhangers releases of these movie serials. I have the old VHS Cliffhangers releases from the 1990s, and each has good picture quality and is complete. There are some VHS releases that have edited out portions of the serials, but I cannot verify which ones. I believe that there are now DVD releases of these series which are complete, but again, I cannot verify this.
Ghost of Zorro - Only the 1959 edited movie release is available. The editing makes the production choppy and takes away all of the charm of the original movie serial. The original 12 chapter serial has never been issued on home video because the only print that Republic Pictures had was destroyed in a fire. There is one existing 16mm print from which unofficial copies have been made and circulated.
Walt Disney's Zorro - 6 videotapes were released of certain episodes in the original black and white format. The titles are "The Secret of El Zorro," "Zorro and the Mountain Man," "The Mystery of Don Cabrillo," "Invitation to Death," "The Gay Caballero," and "The Man from Spain." These videos were only released on VHS and are now out of print but can be located through online auctions such as eBay. Be aware that there are Asian bootleg DVDs of these VHS tapes.
The entire first season of the Disney series has been released on DVD in France. Be aware that the French release cannot be viewed on standard U.S. DVD players, and that a region-free DVD player is necessary. The series has not been released on DVD in the U.S. There are many, many bootleg DVD sets that are offered on eBay. Unless the set is the French release of the first season, it is a bootleg! Know what you are buying!
As of July 2006, there is news that Disney is releasing some of the first season episodes on DVD. Unfortunately, prospective buyers have to join the Disney Movie Club in order to purchase the DVDs and have to make a commitment to buy a certain number of additional Disney DVDs in order to fulfill the club commitment. It sounds as though the DVDs are going to be a bit expensive due to the club commitment.
The entire series has never been released on home video.
Zorro (1974) with Alain Delon - This movie has been readily available for years on cheap VHS and DVD copies, but the catch is that all of the videos have the highly-edited 90 minute version. The movie is viewable in the 90 minute version, but it is very difficult to follow the plot. The original movie is around 120 minutes long, and the missing 30 minutes contain all of the explanatory parts of the plot. It is no surprise that most people dislike this movie, since they have only seen the 90 minute version that is completely destroyed by the editing.
The good news is that in April 2006, the full 120 minute film was released by MGM on DVD in France. The DVD is Region 2, so a region-free DVD player is necessary for people in other regions to watch the movie. The DVD is of excellent quality, contains all of the missing scenes, has audio in both French and English, and has subtitles in both French and English. Click here to view the listing on Amazon.fr. I have been told (circa 2007) that the DVD is now out of print and may be difficult to acquire.
The Mark of Zorro (1974) - No released version. Any videos that come up for sale are bootlegs.
Zorro and Son - No released version nor has it ever been reaired on television. I suppose Disney must be ashamed of it. It is too bad, because I rather like it.
New World Zorro - 2 videotapes were released in 1996 called "The Legend Begins" and "Conspiracy of Blood." "The Legend Begins" contains the four part episode by the same name from the first season, and "Conspiracy of Blood" contains the final four episodes in the series. Both tapes are now out of print. They do come up for sale on eBay with "The Legend Begins" coming up for sale much more often than "Conspiracy of Blood." Be careful because the production quality of these tapes was not of the best, and some copies shake at the top of the screen. It is always best to ask the seller about the picture quality.
The entire series has never been released on video. Many hundreds of bootleg VHS sets and bootleg DVD sets have been sold over the years on eBay. All sets of this series that are sold are bootlegs!
Zorro: La espada y la rosa - So far there are no official DVDs of this telenovela. We are hoping that there will be a release at some point in the future. In the meantime, there are unofficial DVDs available on various telenovela websites. The problem is that the unofficial DVDs probably do not have the English captions. If you are wanting to purchase unofficial DVDs, please make certain that you determine that the source for the DVDs was the original airing on Telemundo in the United States and that the captions were successfully transmitted during the broadcast. Many people had caption problems with Telemundo. If you live outside of North America, the captions do not matter because you will be unable to view them, regardless of whether they are on the DVDs.
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