The Mask of Zorro

  • Directors: Martin Campbell
  • Producers: David Foster, Doug Claybourne, Executive Producers, Steven Spielberg, Walter F Parkes
  • Writers: Screenplay, John Eskow, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Story, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Randall Jahnson, Characters, Johnston McCulley
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Stuart Wilson, Matt Letscher

In 1821, the Mexican Army is on the verge of liberating its country from Spanish colonial rule. In Las Californias the ruthless Spanish Governor, Don Rafael Montero, is about to be overthrown. In a final effort to trap his nemesis, the masked swordsman Zorro (Anthony Hopkins), Montero prepares to execute three innocent townspeople. With assistance from two orphan brothers, Joaquin and Alejandro Murrieta, Zorro releases the prisoners. Zorro rewards the Murrieta brothers with a medallion he wears, and escapes on his horse, Toronado, after cutting a “Z” into Montero’s neck as a warning.

Montero deduces that Zorro is really Don Diego de la Vega, a Spanish nobleman married to Esperanza, the woman Montero loved. Attempting to arrest Diego, a fight ensues. Esperanza is killed while trying to protect Diego. Diego’s house is burned and his infant daughter, Eléna, is taken by Montero to be raised as his own. Diego is imprisoned.

Twenty years later Montero returns to California, looking for Diego in the old prison. Although de La Vega is there, Montero does not recognize him, while several prisoners claim to be Zorro. Diego escapes, intent on killing Montero at a public ceremony for Montero’s return. Diego restrains himself when he sees Eléna (Catherine Zeta-Jones), now a beautiful young lady. Eléna is presented with a bouquet of flowers – Romagnas, native to California – the scent of which she recognizes, although she believes she has never been to California.

The one moment that captured all the advertising and viewer’s attention: When Eléna (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is undressed by the slashing sword of Mexican thief Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro (Antonio Banderas); the view of her opened dress caused his sword blade to pop up, followed by his taking her for a sensuous kiss.[1][2] The scene has been called one of the most erotic film moments of the 1990s.[3][4] In fact, both Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas have admitted to sexual arousal during the filming of this scene,[5] Banderas being aroused by Zeta-Jones’s beauty,[5] and Zeta-Jones being aroused by the very fact that Banderas could strip her by using only his sword and not his hands.[5]

Lethal Weapon 3

  • Directors: Richard Donner
  • Producers: Richard Donner, Joel Silver
  • Writers: Screenplay, Jeffrey Boam, Robert Mark Kamen, Story, Jeffrey Boam
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Stuart Wilson, Steve Kahan

L.A.P.D. Sergeants Riggs and Murtaugh respond to a bomb threat. Riggs convinces Murtaugh – who is working his last week before retirement – to enter the building before the bomb squad arrives, claiming that he can defuse the bomb himself, and that the bomb squad is always late. They have an argument about which wire to cut. He convinces Murtaugh that they should cut the blue wire using the toilet bomb incident that occurred three years ago as an example, but instead he cuts the red wire. When he cuts the red wire, however, the bomb’s timer accelerates, and the partners barely escape before the bomb detonates and destroys the building. To add insult to injury, the bomb squad arrives a few seconds later. Although they save a cat, the partners are demoted to patrol officers.

During their first patrol, Riggs and Murtaugh foil a routine armored car robbery; surprisingly, the robbers are found to have pistols loaded with armor-piercing bullets which Murtaugh refers to as “Cop Killers”. They order one of the robbers brought in for interrogation, but arrive to find someone has infiltrated the police station and killed him. A hidden camera shows the killer to be former LAPD Lieutenant Jack Edward Travis, legendary for both his brutality and his corruption. Riggs and Murtaugh are eager to investigate, but they are shunted to the side by Internal Affairs Sergeant Lorna Cole.

Riggs declares his love for Lorna after her near death experience as she waits to be transported to the hospital. Lorna is reluctant as she fears she will lose Riggs like all the others did. But Riggs claims that it is “not likely” to happen and the two kiss before Lorna is airlifted to hospital. On his retirement day, Murtaugh reconsiders and decides to enlist again, preserving the Riggs/Murtaugh partnership.