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Characters / The Mask of Zorro

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Character page for The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro.

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    Alejandro Murrieta (later de la Vega) / The new Zorro
Click here to see him pre-grooming

Played by: Antonio Banderas, José María de Tavira (as a child)

Dubbed by: Pierre-François Pistorio (European French), Seongho Shin (Korean)

Appears in: The Mask of Zorro | The Legend of Zorro

A thief who swore vengeance against Captain Love for decapitating his brother. He ends up being trained by Don Diego de la Vega to be the next Zorro, and eventually meets, and falls in love with, Diego's daughter Elena, while helping to bring down Don Rafael Montero's newest scheme.

  • Action Dad: He and Elena have a child at the end of The Mask of Zorro. Said child also appears in the sequel.
  • The Alcoholic: Drinks when bad things happen to him and was willing to sell his silver pendant for more alcohol after his brother was killed before Don Diego intervened. Don Diego gave that pendant to Joaquin and Alejandro many years ago.
  • Changing of the Guard: He becomes the new Zorro after Diego and takes on the same kind of duties as such.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He first appears in the prologue with his brother, when they save Zorro's life from a group of soldiers when they try to snipe Zorro.
  • Combat Pragmatist: His incarnation of Zorro fights dirtier than most but this is, of course, a staple of the character. He's not afraid of taking Captain Love hostage to fend off multiple guards (followed by kicking them out a window) and didn't hesitate to cut Elena's nightgown off her during their fight.
  • Confusion Fu: A necessity when up against multiple opponents, Zorro's mixture of swordsmanship, acrobatics and clever usage of the environment means he's incredibly unpredictable in a fight. How else do you describe a guy who makes his escape by dropping a gigantic map the size of a wall onto some guards?
  • Crimefighting with Cash: After going from Rags to Riches.
  • Dashing Hispanic: He's played by Antonio Banderas. This is inevitable. Though it takes him some time (and some grooming) to get there.
  • Destructive Savior: His first action as Zorro involves destroying an entire fort. By accident.
  • Duel of Seduction: In the first film. Zorro sword fights with Elena. While the latter was taking things seriously, Zorro went into the duel with the intention of seducing her.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: This is what he's doing when Diego first meets him, right after his brother was killed.
  • Expy: Of the 1940 Mark of Zorro Don Diego de la Vega himself. Alejandro employs sleight of hand, conversational misdirection, flirting while posing as a clergyman, superior dance moves and a wealth of charm under the mask, all traits displayed by Tyrone Power's Diego. Even without direct continuity to that film, the spirit of Power's Zorro seems to take hold of Banderas' incarnation (these touches approach invokedFridge Brilliance, given Anthony Hopkins' Diego schooled him in nearly every respect).
  • The Gadfly: When masquerading as a nobleman, he takes every chance he can to irritate Love.
  • Guile Hero: A trademark of Zorro. Instead of using brute force alone, Alejandro mocks and fools his opponents, goading them into making mistakes in his civilian identity and as Zorro. The above entry under the The Gadfly is a perfect example of this.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: He begins the film as a shabby, bearded, depressed alcoholic, but after Don Diego bathes and grooms him, he looks a lot more dashing.
  • Historical Character's Fictional Relative: Alejandro is a fictional character, but his brother Joaquin was a real Mexican bandit.
  • Hope Bringer: As the new Zorro.
  • Idiot Hero: He's in this territory during his first venture as the new Zorro, until his sophistication catches up with his swordsmanship skills.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Alejandro's vendetta is with Captain Love, not Don Rafael Montero.
  • Kiss of Distraction: Done twice to Elena.
  • Legacy Character: Diego trains him to be his successor as Zorro. (Also shares a first name with Diego's father.)
  • Master Swordsman: Under Diego's tutelage he becomes one of the greatest swordsmen in the world. He even dual wields when he takes on two of the film's principle villains.
  • Mock Millionaire: He poses as a Spanish aristocrat, with Diego pretending to be his valet.
  • Nice Guy: Evolves into a straight example through Character Development. While he never was a jerk and has always been a kind man at heart, he once was a thief and a bit of an Anti-Hero, but thanks to Don Diego he becomes a straight-up heroic and selfless character.
  • Rags to Riches: After Don Diego took him as his protegee. Furthermore when he marries Elena.
  • Reformed Criminal: Started the film as a thief. Ends it as a hero.
  • Sarcasm Failure: When he realizes that Captain Love carries severed body parts in jars and actually drinks from them, he reacts with dumbstruck horror.
  • Secret Identity: His disguise as "Don Alejandro del Castillo y Garcia" at Don Montero's party. He flawlessly bluffs his way into Rafael's graces with an unaffected air of pomposity and formality, even adding the flourish of making fun of Zorro among the other Dons in attendance.
  • Smooch of Victory: Plants a vehement one on Elena after out fencing her.
  • Sword Cane: He has one when he poses as a Don. He doesn't use it though. In fact, the only reason we know it's a swordstick at all is that he checks it briefly before attending the banquet.
  • Take Up My Sword: Literally. Despite being a badass, Don Diego feels he’s way too old to continue his heroics, so he made Alejandro his Legacy Character. Needless to say but he proves to be more than worthy by the end of the film.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In a comical scenario he does this to Elena after their duel; throughout the film we learn of her being kidnapped, orphaned, raised to oppress and stifle her wild heart — then we see her being belittled and mocked by the male elite, disrupted on the dance floor and accidentally disclose her crush on Zorro to him mistaking him for a priest. Finally, she valiantly faces Zorro with only victory on her mind...which so doesn't happen. In fact her defeat is so embarrassing it's gained notoriety and when including the aforementioned, she clearly needed a good day. Therefore claiming some victory smooching for himself could've been Zorro cheering her up.
  • Tranquil Fury: Learns to never lose his temper and doesn't fall for any of Captain Love's taunts, especially in their final duel. He keeps his cool throughout even when Love is losing it, makes good use of all his training, and only lets his anger show after he's finally killed his nemesis.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Cheerfully mocks his opponents whenever coming to grips with them.
  • You Killed My Brother: To Captain Love.

    Don Diego de la Vega / Zorro
"When the pupil is ready, the master will appear."

Played by: Anthony Hopkins

Dubbed by: Bernard Dhéran (European French)

Appears in: The Mask of Zorro

A nobleman who fought oppression in Spanish California for years as his secret alter ego, the masked hero known as Zorro. Just as he was about to give up on his life of heroics, he was unmasked, his family was destroyed and he was imprisoned after the fall of New Spain. He escaped from prison after twenty years to seek revenge against the man who destroyed his family, Don Rafael Montero, and decided to train a young thief, Alejandro Murrieta, to succeed him as Zorro.

  • Action Dad: He's at the twilight of his career as Zorro after fathering Elena, and goes on one last heroic action against Montero.
  • Beneath Notice: When Diego is masquerading as Alejandro's manservant, he tells Alejandro that Don Rafael will not recognize him since he would not look a servant in the eye.
  • Big Good: He's the leader among the protagonists, and the one who actually plans out their assault on Rafael's regime.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Kills Don Rafael, but dies from a bullet wound he took during the fight.
  • Clark Kenting: When he assumes the guise of Alejandro's manservant "Bernardo". Lampshaded/Hand Waved with this bit of dialog:
    Alejandro: We'll never get away with this... What if [Rafael] Montero realizes who you are?
    Diego: Montero thinks of himself as a true nobleman; he will never look a servant in the eye.
  • Cool Old Guy: Don Diego may be getting along in years, but he has lost none of his skill with the sword.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: He's a very rich man who works as a Vigilante Man.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In spades.
    Don Diego (speaking about Alejandro's sword): Do you know how to use that thing?
    Alejandro: Yes. Pointy end goes into the other man.
    Don Diego (blank stare on his face): This is going to take a lot of work.
  • Determinator: Diego has learned to put his emotions away in order to focus his attention and not let those emotions make him sloppy. He teaches this to Alejandro.
  • Feeling Their Age: Which motivates him to retire at the beginning of the film.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Suffers a huge one (nearly crossing over the Despair Event Horizon) for 20 years after he is imprisoned after his wife, Esperanza, is killed in front of him and Elena (who was an infant at the time) is taken from him by Rafael. He gets over it twenty years later when Don Rafael returns to California.
    • Shortly after his escape, he freezes his attempt to kill Rafael during his welcoming ceremony when he sees Elena.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: He gradually cleans up as Alejandro's training progresses. By the time he assumes the guise of Bernardo, his hair is pulled back, he's clean-shaven, and he looks elegant even in servant's garb.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: When Don Rafael holds Elena at gunpoint, Diego drops his sword without hesitation. Rafael, who turns out to be bluffing, is enraged that Diego thought he would go through with it and fatally shoots him.
  • I Owe You My Life: In the intro, he gifts his silver pendant to the Murrieta brothers for saving his life. 20 years later, he saves a drunk and broken Alejandro in turn, stopping him from rushing after Captain Love, and giving him the skills needed for his revenge.
  • Master Swordsman: The best swordsman in the movie, even into his old age.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Killed by Don Rafael during their final duel. He lives long enough to exchange some last words with Alejandro and Elena before he dies.
  • Mutual Kill: He and Rafael mortally wound each other during their climactic duel.
  • Nice Guy: A very good mentor figure, kind, heroic and selfless, nothing else to add. No surprise Alejandro becomes a straight-up hero thanks to him.
  • The Old Convict: He becomes one of these, after he gives up hope when he is arrested, his home destroyed, and his wife and child apparently killed. After twenty years, though, he finds the strength to break out.
  • Old Master: Fits this role when he trains Alejandro to be the next Zorro, and he can still very much kick ass at this stage.
  • One Last Job: He was planning on leaving his identity of Zorro behind after rescuing the three innocent men in the prologue. Then Don Rafael arrests him and Esperanza is killed.
  • Passing the Torch: He trains Alejandro to be his successor. Incidentally, he is holding a literal torch to announce Zorro's return.
  • Say My Name: Screams “Rafael!” as he’s carted off to prison at the end of the prologue.
  • Self-Proclaimed Knight: As the mysterious black-clad rider who fights injustice in Spanish California. Alejandro takes up this role, continuing it to The Legend of Zorro.
  • Tragic Hero: He lost his home, his wife, his child and his freedom on his last day as Zorro. He foiled Rafael's plan but dies in the process.
  • Weapon Specialization: Used a whip in addition to a sword in the prologue.

    Elena Montero (born Elena de la Vega)
"I have had the proper instruction since I was four."

Played by: Catherine Zeta-Jones

Dubbed by: Rafaele Moutier (European French)

Appears in: The Mask of Zorro | The Legend of Zorro

Don Rafael Montero's daughter, later revealed to be the daughter of Don Diego de la Vega. While she loves her adoptive father, she is aware that something is not quite right about her life, a feeling that only intensifies when she comes to California.

  • Action Girl: Elena can keep up with Zorro in swordplay.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: OK, Zorro is really a nice guy and a gentleman, but when she sees him for the first time, she mistakes him for a bandit or someone dangerous, and it's because of this that she is instantly smitten by him.
  • All Women Are Lustful: There aren't many women in the film, but Elena represents how they're expected to be chaste products of her time. Elena's deepest nature is of salacity, however and she can only pretend for so long.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Downplayed. She's always poised and graceful, but is more friendly than aloof actually.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Parodied; neither Elena nor Zorro hurt the other in their fight, but Elena's clearly trying and getting more furious with each kiss stolen from him. When he beats her, Elena's crush overtakes her senses and she gives in to her urges.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: In combat, Elena's compassion is replaced by a fiery temper.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Downplayed; Elena was only okay with Zorro kissing her once she'd officially lost the duel.
  • Big Damn Kiss: With Zorro, slightly exaggerated; Elena was largely infatuated with Zorro, thus their kiss was very intense.
    • Played with on other levels; raised chaste and kept away from men so far, her first physical experience was with her crush whom she hero-worships, she's half naked and only not wrapping her arms around him due to her hands covering her nudity.
    • Furthermore, she went into the fight with every intention to win and retrieve her dad's map. Instead she was defeated, stripped and disarmed, so the kiss is also rather funny.
    • Fooled by Zorro's priest gimmick when they first met, Elena had inadvertently informed Zorro of her "lustful" urges. She'd practically set herself up for this from that moment; of course Zorro would exploit this to escape and indulge his own attraction to her.
    • Even the music builds up with Elena's anticipation and bursts with rapture once the kiss starts.
  • Clothing Damage: Initiated this on Zorro with one cut to the shoulder. Zorro, in return, inflicted so much of this on her in their duel that she was left topless by the end.
  • Combat Stilettos: Downplayed as her sexy combat boots aren't burlesque stiletto design.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: She didn't find it funny but Zorro and audience members sure did
  • Defeat by Modesty: She pretty much lost the will to fight after Zorro cut her clothes off her.
  • Defiant to the End: When Zorro has her defeated, she refuses to verbally admit defeat...but her physical actions couldn't make it more obvious she's yielded.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: Played with as removing her gown was to distract and arouse Zorro but it just helped him do both to her.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: She removed her gown to achieve this with Zorro, but ended up trapped in his sexual charisma and let him escape.
  • Epic Fail: Played for laughs; in Elena's mind, she will defeat Zorro in fencing and retrieve what he stole. Moments later, she's toyed with and defeated, gets her clothes sliced off by her own sword likely taking away some dignity too, she uses his hat to cover herself, gets kissed with the passion of a thousand suns and subsequently, too hopelessly flabbergasted to act, lets Zorro walk away... with his hat. To add insult to injury, he rejects her attempt to kiss him again, and her enormously strict father enters a second after.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: Everything on Zeta Jones was aesthetically flawless in the film (more so), teeth included.
  • Eye Take: After getting caught nude by Rafael, Elena describes Zorro as "vigorous" twice. When an unimpressed Rafael enquires the description again, Elena's eyes almost pop out of her skull as she validates.
    • There are multiple points where, if freeze framed during her eye take, she looks slightly deranged if not evil and it's very funny.
  • First Kiss: Heavily implied with Zorro at least.
  • Fully-Clothed Nudity: Elena's reaction of being in just her underpants is (intentionally) overdone as she remained covered.
  • Gaussian Girl: Somewhat justified during her first fight with Zorro in a dusty, pre-dawn barn.
  • Good Bad Girl: It's no secret Elena has an incredibly good heart and moral center. Her sexual desires, however, are more akin to 21st century sorority. In of itself that's not bad, but her time period looked on it as such.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Downplayed where she has no reservations of her bouncing cleavage when fighting Zorro or dancing with his alter-ego, but doesn't go further.
  • The Ingenue: Downplayed, Elena is very proper, but the aristocratic depths is her act and upbringing. However, while she does have her sexual desires, she's essentially very pure-hearted.
  • Love Before First Sight: Elena falls for Zorro immediately despite him being masked, describing his eyes as having caught her interest.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Downplayed pre-kiss; Elena's attraction to Zorro leads to her condescending to many noblemen regarding his worth, embarrassing Rafael and earning some scornful misogyny
    • She confessed feeling randy for him in a confession booth, going into avid, almost fleshy detail. However, she didn't realize she was confessing to Zorro who was conveniently hiding in the booth. Rather than notice his familiar voice or question how a priest had such little knowledge on the commandments, she accepts Zorro's "advice" to follow her urges. Clearly her rationality sat back for her desires this time.
    • Having been training since childhood, she was more confident than crazy assuming she could out fence Zorro but gravely overestimated herself, and clearly wanted a chance to meet him again
    • After losing her clothes and getting magnetized in Zorro's gaze, she makes no effort whatsoever to escape, call for backup or even fight back. Then she makes the mistake of turning her back on her "opponent" and excluding the use of her hands in a flimsy (albeit ingeniously funny) attempt to cover her exposed breasts, enabling herself to be cornered
    • Despite knowing what all Rafael's goons are after is at stake, Elena doesn't even attempt to use her and Zorro's snogfest to retrieve it or her sword
    • Exaggerated post-kiss and justified as Elena's completely overwhelmed by [1] now; She has a good thirty seconds to do...indeed anything before Zorro takes off but remains glued to the spot in a delirious state of mystification. She also remains there after he's left instead of fleeing or clothing herself, making the subsequent face to face with Rafael all the more comically inconvenient for her.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Letting Zorro steal from her dad in exchange for a smooch wouldn't have been deemed smart by her peers but was incapable of caring at the time. Later she discovers it's to stop Rafael's evil plans.
  • Lust: Being a regular church goer notwithstanding, Elena possesses a blisteringly uncommon sex-drive that Zorro boils to the brim. She tries to oppress it in honor of her "dad" but this proves futile. Elena's dialogue and actions towards/about Zorro indicate strongly that sex is far more prominent on her agenda than love.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Provides most of the Fanservice in the movie, either with her many elegant outfits and with her swordfight with Zorro.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Her humiliated reaction to Zorro stripping her clothes off with his sword is very much Played for Laughs.
  • Naked Freak-Out: Very justified considering the times and how vulnerable she'd just become. Thankfully, she takes it better than her peers might've.
  • Nice Girl: She's very kind, friendly, selfless, compassionate and polite, as well as one of the most morally upstanding individuals here.
  • Nipple and Dimed: An averted blink and you'll miss it example; the shot after grabbing Zorro's hat to cover her breasts, Elena spins around and her right breast, nipple and all, is fully visible for a split-second.
  • Oblivious Adoption: She has no idea that Don Rafael stole her from her birth parents.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Comically obvious; the steamy "Mmmmmmm!" Elena emits during the kiss foreshadowed this trope. She could not speak or move after Zorro had snogged her, had forgotten she was holding her hat (had possibly forgotten she was nude) and then, offering no resistance whatsoever, lets him throw her sword across the room and walk away with her father's map. When her adoptive dad hurriedly enters and demands an explanation, Elena's condition continued inhibiting her speech and focus.
    • Also justified as it's her first kiss and first sensual experience overall.
  • The Power of Lust: Elena's uncommonly strong passion and concupiscence defies typical behavior of her era's women and female characters of the films time. She's undeterred though, knowing she wanted Zorro and being fearless in going for him. She might've tried exploiting this trope when she fought Zorro, given her sultry approach to the situation. If so, it backfired quite hugely.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Played for laughs mostly; receiving a torrid make out session with Zorro cost her the duel, her pride, clothes and dads map... but she received a torrid make out session from Zorro.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: She didn't exactly enjoy being given a Shameful Strip by Zorro, despite being aroused, and resorts to grabbing his hat to cover herself. Zigzagged as she forgets it when kissing Zorro then returns to it afterwards.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: Downplayed. While her sexual attraction to Zorro is not evil by any means, as a nineteenth century woman, Elena was strictly raised as a "proper" young lady, believing and behaving on the surface the very idea of sex being sinful. Her upbringing clashed with her true nature however which were of intense animal desire. As such, once Zorro entered her life, her stifled desires bubbled to the surface yet she continued oppressing herself. In Zorro's company however she became less capable of self-restraint until finally succumbing. Elena doesn't get deflowered on screen but has her first kiss.
  • Shameful Strip: In a Played for Laughs example, this is how Zorro defeated her in their duel.
  • She Is All Grown Up; Elena's first appearance is as an infant, then she's twenty one years old and quite the stunner.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: She's very feminine yet tough.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Well, initially she's attracted to Zorro's outlaw image as well, and feels guilty of this. However, it ends up being played straight since he really is a noble man at heart.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Once Zorro got the upper hand in their fight, the rest was sword sword kiss multiplied by three. Luckily nothing was hurt except Elena's pride.
  • Smooch of Victory: Zorro steals this trope from Elena thus inverting it. Elena's victory being stolen in probably the most embarrassing way imaginable (at the time anyway), this is practically a Smooch Of Moral Support. She was far beyond enrapt to take it.
    • On the other hand, she'd practically abandoned her intention to beat him and might've considered the kiss a triumph.
  • Spicy Latina: In every sense. It's not hard to imagine she'd be incredible with machine guns and motorcycles had she lived in modern times.
  • Spin-Offspring: The daughter of a well-established pop culture hero.
  • Spirited Young Lady: She wants to keep the commandments and tries to behave the way her father would like her to but her heart is too wild. She can both dance gracefully with Captain Harrison Love or sword fight with Zorro. She also makes her view of politics known at dinner.
  • Spoiled Sweet: She's privileged, but nonetheless a good and nice person.
  • Starstruck Speechless: Zigzagged; She's not the typical tongue tied fangirl with the dashing Zorro, in fact she's perfectly confident around him initially. After their first kiss however, she was too thunderstruck to speak to him. She attempted comprehensible speech in Rafael's interrogation but her euphoric state made her little to no help.
  • Twinkle Smile: Zorro throws her sword into the wall like a dart, kicks his into his hand and re-scabbards it in three seconds, AFTER their kiss, so yeah, he warranted one from her.
  • Virgin in a White Dress: The bodice she dawns during her and Zorro's fencing match is strikingly white. Maybe it getting sliced off was symbolic...
  • Virgin Vision: Is subjected to a downplayed version by Rafael who finds her naked after having just made out with Zorro. Sex wasn't involved but the circumstances offer all composing evidence for an embarrassingly funny moment.
  • Worth It: After Zorro stole Rafael's map, Elena attempted to stop him. Zorro physically overpowered and stole her clothes, horrifying her. Zorro then blisteringly snogged Elena, leaving her in far too zonked a condition to act. All she could do was enjoy her high.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: She may not be Japanese, but she definitely fits this image. She's a very kind, polite, compassionate and graceful young woman, but also has a more fiery and tough side when the situation calls for it.

    Don Rafael Montero
"Our children should never see the things we have to do."

Played by: Stuart Wilson

Dubbed by: Bernard Alane (European French)

Appears in: The Mask of Zorro

The military governor of California, he deduces Zorro's secret identity as Don Diego de la Vega and arrests him. He returns to California twenty years later with an elaborate scheme to buy the state from the Mexican Republic. He also raised Diego's daughter Elena as his own.

  • Antagonistic Governor: A corrupt and ruthless governor whose actions set Diego against him.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Don Diego de la Vega. Alejandro even refers to him as Zorro's sworn enemy.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The posterboy for everything that was wrong with the Dons' rule of Mexico, being ruthless, self-centered and power-hungry.
  • Bad Boss: Runs one of his own men through when that man accidentally shot Esperanza.
  • Beard of Evil: He sports a classic villain beard and is the Big Bad.
  • Big Bad: The plan to buy California, and all the horrors that emerge from it are on him.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: He tries to play this straight, telling Diego that he "hasn't given him a second thought" since he had him imprisoned. The fact that his very first action on returning to California was to visit the prison to make sure Diego was dead, however, strongly implies that he was lying and was in fact quite afraid of him, even after twenty years.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Rafael will do anything to gain an advantage over an opponent in a fight, including threatening his own daughter (though he'd never actually follow through).
  • Cruel Mercy: Throws Diego in prison rather than killing him so that he can live with the loss of his family.
  • Disney Villain Death: Diego shoves a cart full of gold bullion off a cliff; the wagon's straps catch Rafael's leg and drag him off the cliff.
  • Entitled Bastard: He essentially kidnaps Elena as a baby just because he loved her mother and felt he deserved to be her father more than Diego. This attitude is still present even after she more or less disowned him as her father.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He loved Esperanza de la Vega, though she wanted nothing to do with him, and loves his adoptive daughter Elena as well. This is best expressed when he stops Love from firing through Elena to hit Zorro.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: His actions are far too heinous for him to be considered any sort of Anti-Villain but Don Rafael is still shown to adhere to at least a small modicum of morality. For one, he tries to prevent the children of Mexico City from witnessing the executions in the plaza and is slightly reluctant to murder all of the slaves inside the mine. He also would never shoot his adopted daughter, and is surprised that Don Diego expected him to.
  • Evil Is Bigger: He's noticeably taller than Diego and Alejandro.
  • Evil Old Folks: He can still fight evenly with either Zorro, despite being well into his sixties.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Rafael raised Elena to be a law-abiding, faithful member of the Church and generally good citizen who has no idea how he made his money.
  • Evil Plan: He's got a pretty good one. He plans to buy California from General Santa Anna and establish it as an independent state, which would not only put himself and the dons back in power but also fulfill his public pledge to the people, achieving Villain with Good Publicity status at last. He does this by mining gold ore from Californian mines – ore the general is unaware even exists – and marking the gold as Spanish in origin, essentially purchasing the general's land with the man's own money. Even Alejandro seems impressed despite himself.
  • Fatal Flaw: His need to be seen as true nobleman makes it easy for Alejandro to ingratiate himself into his graces and figure out his master plan.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He can act like a cultured gentleman and even talks a good game about how he wants to preserve the innocence of children by preventing them from seeing an execution or how he would never hurt his own daughter. But he won't think twice about executing as many innocents as he can just to draw out Zorro, ruining the life of his rival and stealing his daughter, or eliminating you if you no longer serve any purpose for him.
  • Genre Savvy: Before being ousted as California's governor, Rafael gave away the best land grants to the Dons thus making the new Mexican government indebted to them, and they to Rafael.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gets a "Z" carved into his neck by Diego during the prologue.
    Diego: Three men, three cuts. A small memento of your time in Mexico, Rafael, and a reminder never to return.
  • Hero Killer: He's the one who fatally shoots Diego in their final duel.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dragged to his death by a cart full of his own gold.
  • In the Hood: He wears a hood when he returns to California.
  • It's Personal: Diego was his rival for Esperanza. The original Zorro bedeviled his rule of Mexico. After learning they are one and the same, Rafael's hatred of Diego only intensifies and he sets out to ruin the other Don's life.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: He ruins Diego's life and steals his daughter to raise for twenty years. It's not until Montero comes back to California after all those years that Diego finally escapes prison and trains a successor, leading to Rafael finally getting what's coming to him.
  • Karmic Death: He gets caught in the straps of a wagon full of gold which then drags him to his death. For bonus points, the wagon load of gold slams into Captain Love on the way down.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • In his very first scene, he's having random people grabbed from the street to execute them as a bait to draw Zorro into an ambush.
    • Steals Elena (while she was an infant) away from Diego to raise her himself, and has him imprisoned just to spite him and make him suffer.
    • He kidnapped and enslaved scores of people to slave away in unsafe conditions in his mines and while the idea to blow up the mines along with the people was Love's idea, Rafael still agreed to the idea in the blink of an eye, with Rafael joining Love in fighting both Zorros tooth and nail to carry out the ruthless act.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: While he intended to swindle Santa Anna with gold from his own lands, Rafael fears the general and becomes very worried once he realizes that Santa Anna may find out about the true origin of the gold Rafael offers him, telling Love that Santa Anna will butcher them like cattle if he ever learn the truth. This fear is what prompts him and Love to try to destroy the mine and the slaves inside to destroy any evidence that Santa Anna could find.
  • Loving a Shadow: Heavily implied to have been the case with Esperanza, as he believed she was the epitome of his idea of proper nobility and deserved to be with him instead of Diego, while Diego later remarks to Elena, his note  and Esperanza's daughter, that her compassion for others and fiery attitude (or "wild side" as she calls it), traits that Montero, her adopted father, chides her for, were most certainly inherited from her mother.
  • Master Swordsman: One of the best swordsmen in the film, capable of matching Diego and Alejandro alike. In fact, if you observe the film carefully, Alejandro is "always" forced on the defensive every time he engages Rafael in his residence, in contrast to how he occasionally manages to get the upper hand on Love. This is in spite of Alejandro being younger "and" faster than Rafael!
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Downplayed. Rafael clearly saw arresting and humiliating Diego in front of Esperanza as a last-ditch means of getting her to transfer her affections to him. It fails when Esperanza is killed by one of Rafael's own men.
  • Noble Demon: He's an evil aristocrat, but he's also a loving father who refuses to harm children and expresses disgust at his Dragon's sadism. Even his Moral Event Horizon moment—holding Elena at gunpoint—is a subversion because it turns out to be a bluff.
  • Old Master: An evil version. While he doesn't train anybody onscreen (unless he personally trained Elena), Don Rafael has kept up his skills with the sword and can still deliver a good fight to either Zorro. As described above, Alejandro is "always" forced on the defensive every time he engages Rafael in his residence, in contrast to how he occasionally manages to get the upper hand on Love.
  • Pet the Dog: Coupled with Papa Wolf, he genuinely loves Elena, despite the fact that she isn't really his daughter. He takes her in, raises her well (to the point of distancing her from his dirty dealings), all without spoiling her. Two good examples of how genuine it is are when Captain Love takes an opportunity to try and shoot Diego, and Rafael, fearing that Love may accidentally shoot Elena, immediately pushes him away; and when he holds her at gunpoint to get Diego to drop his sword, then bluntly and angrily reveals that he never intended to shoot her.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: He's miles ahead of his Mooks in combat.
  • Royal Rapier: Fights with a rapier appropriately decorated for his rank in the aristocracy.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Rafael doesn't care a whit for legal procedure, and tries to execute three men without trial just to lure out Zorro.
  • Social Climber: Rafael was born poor but has pretentions of nobility.
  • Stupid Evil: Rafael leaves Diego in prison rather than killing him. He visits the prison 20 years later which inspires Diego to break out.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: The other Dons, his hired soldiers, and even Captain Love are all morons so far as Rafael is concerned.
  • Visionary Villain: Rafael pitches himself to "Don Alejandro" as a man with a vision.
  • Wicked Cultured: A cultured member of the upper class and only too happy to remind everyone of it.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Subverted. He goes out of his way to avoid harming children. Early in the film, he orders his men to remove all children from the execution plaza because he feels that children should not be exposed to the cruel acts he is willing to commit. He also adopts his archenemy's daughter and raises her well, and when Captain Love suggests killing the mine workers (many of them small children), Rafael is visibly disturbed...though, of course, he agrees to go through with it anyway, not to mention he was forcing them to work those mines in unsafe conditions to begin with, and even ordering the children out of the plaza might be more of a Faux Affably Evil moment for the veneer of his reputation than genuine kindness, given how ruthless he is otherwise.
  • You Have Failed Me: Stabs a Mook Lieutenant when the latter guns down Esperanza.

    Captain Harrison Love
"Bury the body. Bag the head."

Played by: Matt Letscher

Dubbed by: Guillaume Orsat (European French)

Appears in: The Mask of Zorro

Don Rafael Montero's right-hand man during the main story, Captain Love is a former American cavalry officer with a number of perverse tastes. He earns Alejandro Murrieta's enmity after causing the death of (and decapitating) his brother Joaquín.

  • Arch-Enemy: To Alejandro.
  • Ax-Crazy: Underneath his dissonant calm, Love is, in Alejandro's words, "a very sick man." Violence is his first resort, he's prepared to open fire inside a Church or gun down Elena in order to get to Alejandro, and then there's his collection of body parts.
  • Baddie Flattery: Compliments Zorro during their final duel. Also a case of the Relative Button.
    Love: You're doin' well. Your brother would have shot himself by now.
  • Beard of Evil: He sports a very tough beard. Unfortunately, he is also very evil.
  • Blood Knight: He's clearly in search of a Worthy Opponent throughout the movie, and once he becomes convinced that Zorro is one, he tosses away a perfectly good chance to shoot Zorro in exchange for a sword-fight.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: He talks as if he believes this to an extent, a seeing through the eyes of your dead enemies sort of thing. Which is why he drinks from his trophy jars.
  • Cavalry Officer: Love's a cavalryman by training, and invokes most of the stereotypes associated with cavalry officers, if filtered through the evil of his personality.
  • Cold Sniper: An excellent shot and a thoroughly callous man.
  • Colonel Kilgore: Clearly became a mercenary because of how much he enjoyed the violence when he was in the American Army.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Keeps Joaquin Murrieta's head in a jar after killing him. He later does the same with Three-Fingered Jack's hand (the one missing fingers).
    • The real-life Love did, in fact, keep Joaquin and Jack's head and hand in jars of alcohol. He displayed them, rather than drank from them, however.
  • Disney Villain Death: While he was already impaled, he was most likely sent falling after the cart of gold Montero was tied to fell right on top of him, as it continued to fall afterwards.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Love maintains a near permanent calm while engaging in the worst kinds of violence and mind games, with the mask only slipping a few times over the course of the film.
  • The Dragon: To Montero.
  • Establishing Character Moment: For the first part of the movie, he appears to just be a snobby soldier who has no qualms about killing when he needs to. It's only later when we see that he drinks out of jars with human body parts in them, that we realize that he's actually crazy.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humour: Love's virtually humorless for most of the film, rarely smiling or responding to jokes from others, and proving highly vulnerable to "Don" Alejandro's mockery. The only thing that produces even mild amusement from him is when he realizes that he has twice shot Three-Finger Jack while he is flying through the air, and his amused smirk in reaction to "You're a very sick person, Captain Love" when he offers Diego his preserved body parts (one from Jack).
  • Fair-Play Villain: Subverted. Love repeatedly abandons advantages in order to engage Zorro in one-on-one combat, but always resorts to trickery or unfair tactics the moment the fight goes against him. He's motivated by ego, rather than an actual sense of fairness; if he can win on Zorro's terms he will, but if he can't, he'll win on his own instead.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Pretends to be cordial with "Don Alejandro" by asking if he wants something to drink, then shows him Joaquin's head in a jar and Three-Fingered Jack's hand in another jar.
    Love: How rude of me... Would you care for something to drink? (Pulls up the head of Joaquin)
  • Fluffy the Terrible: He's got "Love" in his name, and he's as ruthless and cruel as a henchman can be.
  • Going Native: Love claims to have picked up his habit of bottling, and even eating, his enemy's organs, from the Peruvian Natives.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Alejandro (as Zorro) carves an 'M' into his left cheek. It looks more like a 3, but it's the thought that counts.
  • Hand Cannon: His large revolver is able to reverse Three-Fingered Jack's momentum while the latter is in midair, spinning, and holding a heavy pickaxe.
  • The Heavy: Don Rafael may be the Big Bad and responsible for most of the bad things that happen onscreen, but Love is the one doing most of the dirty work. In addition, his responsibility for Joaquin's death is the reason Alejandro gets involved in the plot in the first place.
  • Hero Killer: Love's introduced gunning down Joaquin and Three-Finger Jack and he only gets more frightening from thereon out. Becoming a good enough swordsman to revenge himself on the Captain is the entire point of Alejandro's arc, and Diego himself acknowledges that Love is a very dangerous man.
  • Hired Guns: Love is an American mercenary, selling his services across the Mexican border.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: There was a real Captain Harry Love, who was responsible for killing Joaquin Murrieta (and Three-Fingered Jack, in fact) and preserving his head in a jar. However, the real Murrieta was a murderous bandit and the real Love was only doing his job by bringing him to justice, and only put his head in a jar as proof that he killed him, not so he could cannibalize it later; nor did he ever, you know, enslave and try to murder hundreds of innocent people. Of course, the real Harry Love wasn't a saint, either. He ended up dying after attempting to kill the bodyguard of his estranged wife (who had been hired specifically to keep him away from her). The bodyguard shot Love in the arm and he died on the operating table as doctors attempted to amputate it.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Stabbed by his own sword and crushed by the gold he helped mine.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Love tells Alejandro about how the Peruvian natives eat the eyes of their enemies, then displays his collection of trophies. The implications as to Love's own dietary inclinations are clear and distressing.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: With his own sword, no less.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Alejandro is gunning for Love, not Rafael.
  • Karmic Death: Zorro stabs him with his own sword.
  • Kick the Dog: He keeps the heads of his enemies in jars, including Alejandro's older brother. Also, it was his idea to blow up the mine with all the peasant workers (including children) inside.
    • Truth in Television, sort of... Captain Love was based upon a real life person named Harry Love - A member of the California Rangers - who did kill Joaquin Murrieta (Zorro's older brother in the film) in a fire fight; and history states that he did cut off Murrieta's head. However, it wasn't because he wanted the trophy, but because he needed the proof that the deed had been done.
  • Knight of Cerebus: His first scene shows Three-Fingered Jack and the Murrieta brothers on another thieving job (which involved leaving a group of soldiers tied naked around a cluster of cacti). When they run into Captain Love, the lively music abruptly stops, and the film takes a turn for the darker (though still comedic) tone it will employ from then on out.
  • Lack of Empathy: Love displays no empathy for anyone, treating his victims, his employer, and the woman he is ostensibly courting with the same cold indifference.
  • Leave No Witnesses: It's his idea to blow up the mine and the workers inside.
  • Master Swordsman: The only villain, other than Rafael himself, who can match swordsmen of Diego or Alejandro's calibre in combat. If his technique is somewhat shaky when compared to those of Rafael or the Zorros, he makes up for it by being brutally strong and pulling a few tricks of his own.
  • More Despicable Minion: While Don Rafael is a corrupt, ruthless and at times vindictive man, he's not without honor and he genuinely loves his adoptive daughter Elena. Captain Love has no such redeeming qualities, and is a cruel sadist who sinks to depths worse than Rafael's.
  • No Kill like Overkill: Impaled with his own sword, has a cart of gold dropped on him which knocked him off a high platform, then his body is no doubt caught in the mine explosion.
  • Off with His Head!: Decapitates Joaquin Murrieta. For what he does with it, see Creepy Souvenir.
  • Pet the Dog: Despicable though he is, Captain Love "aspires to heroism" and shows a few moments of one-sided decency. Before executing Joaquin, he tells him that it is his honor to do so, but the bandit takes his own life rather than give him the satisfaction. He is also unfalteringly polite towards and protective of Elena, with whom he is clearly infatuated, but she is uninterested in him.
  • Professional Killer: Love's a killer for hire with no particular ideological attachments or moral scruples and a willingness to do whatever it takes to earn a profit.
  • Psycho for Hire: Love doesn't care about Rafael's plans and is in it for the pay and the chance to collect trophies.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Like Don Rafael, Love is much more skilled than the Mooks.
  • Sadist: Love gets a definite kick out of psychologically tormenting Alejandro during the scene with the "drinks".
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: He does this a lot. The biggest one is just before the cart full of gold flattens him.
  • Sinister Scimitar: He's the most violent and evil character of the story, and has a cavalry saber to contrast the rapiers used by the Zorros.
  • The Sociopath: Standard parts that are present in most people are clearly absent from Love. He's totally void of empathy, enthused by violence, possessed of an entirely shallow affect, and cavalierly engages in antisocial and unbalanced behaviours, such as collecting his victims' body parts and displaying them to guests.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Love appears to have joined the army for the violence, and after his discharge, approaches his mercenary work with the same outlook.
  • Sword and Gun: Carries a revolver and a sabre, as would have been typical for a cavalryman at the time.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Not only does he get stabbed clean through by Zorro (with his own sword, no less), but he also gets piledriven by a wagon loaded with gold bricks.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: To Rafael Montero. While Rafael is already bad, he has at least some scruples. Love has none and pushes Rafael to be even worse.
  • The Unfettered: Rafael is evil but he has some scruples. Love has no such qualms; he will resort to murder without any hesitation and when Rafael warns him what will happen if Santa Anna learns they tried to pay him with money mined from his own land, Love suggests not only burying the mine but also workers along with it when Rafael questions their fate.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: A variation. Love's an experienced and highly trained killer, but he's a soldier and a mercenary, not a duelist, and is somewhat out of his depth when trying to engage either Zorro on their own terms. He's also a large, powerfully built man, however, and this mostly compensates for his lack of professional dueling talent.
  • Villainous Crush: He seems to have a thing for Elena and part of his initial dislike of "Don Alejandro" is him interrupting his dance with her.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: With his Blood Knight tendencies taking over, he gives away an opportunity to shoot Zorro just so he can engage in a sword fight.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Nearly shoots Elena when trying to get at Zorro.

    Three-Fingered Jack

Played by: L.Q. Jones

Dubbed by: Marc de Georgi (European French)

Appears in: The Mask of Zorro

An outlaw and partner of Alejandro and Joaquin Murrieta.

  • An Arm and a Leg: Captain Love takes Jack's hand (the one missing fingers) and puts it in a jar of wine.
  • Bounty Hunter: The main portion of the film opens with him pretending to be one that's chasing Joaquin and Alejandro, only for them to reveal that all three are in on the same scheme.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He admits he's a common thief, but he's appalled by how Montero and Love steal people's lives.
  • Fingore: Lost two of the fingers on his left hand, hence the name Three-Fingered Jack.
  • Genre Refugee: This character looks and sounds like he belongs more in a Spaghetti Western.
  • Go Out with a Smile: He's initially shocked when he recognizes Alejandro among the Dons, but when Alejandro gives him a comforting smile, he responds in kind before dying.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted. After Captain Love shoots him, Alejandro approaches him. Jack is shocked to see Alejandro among the Dons before he dies.
  • Insult Backfire: When Captain Love calls him a "common thief", Jack laughs and remarks "as common as they come".
  • The Pig-Pen: He's never seen clean.
  • Powerful Pick: Attempts to use one against Captain Love. It fails miserably.
  • Race Lift: A Mexican in real life and an Anglo-American here.

    Joaquín Murrieta

Played by: Victor Rivers, Diego Sieres (as a child)

Dubbed by: Joël Zaffarano (European French)

Appears in: The Mask of Zorro

A thief and Alejandro's older brother. He gets decapitated by Captain Harrison Love after killing himself to avoid capture, and Alejandro swears to avenge him.

    Don Luiz

Played by: Tony Amendola

Appears in: The Mask of Zorro

Montero's fellow aristocrat and a potential investor in his mine.

  • Affably Evil: Luiz is a polite enough guy, who shows genuine concern for Rafael during the Revolution, but he supports Rafael’s exploitation of the lower class.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Luiz is engaged in the same political corruption as Rafael and shows no empathy for the enslaved mine laborers.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Luiz takes no part in the climax, and his final fate is unrevealed.

Alternative Title(s): The Legend Of Zorro