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The Mark of the Renegade (1951)

Set in 19th century California Marcos Zappa goes undercover as a pirate to expose the crooked Don Pedro Garcia.


Hugo Fregonese


Johnston McCulley (based on novel "Mark of Zorro"), Robert Hardy Andrews (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ricardo Montalban ... Marcos Zappa
Cyd Charisse ... Manuella de Vasquez
J. Carrol Naish ... Luis
Gilbert Roland ... Don Pedro Garcia
Andrea King ... Anita Gonzales
George Tobias ... Captain Bardoso
Antonio Moreno ... Jose De Vasquez
Georgia Backus ... Duenna Concepcion
Robert Warwick ... Colonel Vega
Armando Silvestre ... Miguel De Gandara
Bridget Carr ... Rosa
Alberto Morin ... Captain Cervera
Renzo Cesana Renzo Cesana ... Father Juan
Robert Cornthwaite ... Innkeeper
Edward C. Rios Edward C. Rios ... Paco


In 1825 Marcos Zappa is blackmailed by Don Pedro Garcia, whose ambition is to be emperor of California. Garcia schemes to have Marcos seduce and marry Manuella, the daughter of his rival, Jose De Marquez. Manuella, who is already engaged to be married to Miguel De Gandara, is attracted to Marcos but not sure if she should trust him. Written by dinamts

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure ... rules the outlaw coast of Old California.


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Release Date:

15 February 1952 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Don Renegade See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ricardo Montalban first appears in this movie bare-chested. He later has two more bare-chest scenes. See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Decent swashbuckler set in 19th century California , being well played by two great Latin Lovers : Ricardo Montalban and Gilbert Rolnad .
21 February 2018 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

It is set in 1825 in the Spanish California , an undercover pirate who has a facial scar called Marcos Zappa (Ricardo Montalban who usually appears bare-chested ) is blackmailed by the crooked Pedro Garcia (Gilbert Roland) to expose a tough rival . He plans to have Marcos seduce and marry Manuela (Cyd Charisse) , the daughter of his contender, Jose De Marquez (Antonio Moreno) . But Manuela is already engaged to be married to Miguel De Gandara (Armando Silvestre) . Meantime , Anita Gonzales (Andrea King) is jealous of the Marco's attentions for her , as she carries out a merciless vendetta . Later on , the cunning Pedro in order to facilitate his own ascension to power intends to expose Marquez in a scandal and implicating to shirtless Marcos in the mess .

Adventure movie plenty of noisy action , thrills , spectacular dancing and moving swordplay . Director Hugo Fregonese does a good job of capturing the sunny environment , including marvelous ccalifornia landscapes , as well as breathtaking duels , go riding and gorgeous scenarios . It is glossy and sleek ; in spite of efforts towards authenticity , the film falls short on a real recreation of the Spanish California . Stars Ricardo Montalban who plays a rugged pirate forced to a dangerous asignment and his nemesis , Gilbert Roland , as a traitor with extreme ambition whose schemes result to be emperor of California . Here Ricardo attempts to win the heroine's ,-gorgeous Cyd Charisse- , hand in marriage from her betrothed engagement . Cyd plays spendidly as Manuela who is attracted to Marcos/Montalban but not sure if she should trust him . Both of them perform an impressive and overwhelming dancing that turns out to be the highlight of the movie . The main star Ricardo was hired by MGM where he routinely ignited "Latin Lover" sparks opposite such prime female stars as Cyd Charisse, Shelley Winters, Anne Bancroft, Pier Angeli, Laraine Day and Esther Williams . Montalban starred a lot of films of all kinds of genres , Noir , Musical , Western , Wartime , thriller , such as : Mystery Street , Neptuno's daughter , Beyond the wide Missouri , Battleground . And adventures as : Semiramis, The Saracen blade , The Son of the Sheik, El Zorro , The Black pirate , among others . His most famous role was as Khan in ¨Star Trek 2 , the wrath of Khan¨ . Fine acting all around, especially from the support cast that included some of the best secondaries of the period as J. Carrol Naish , George Tobias , Antonio Moreno, Backus , Andrea King , Robert Warwick , Robert Cornthwaite , Armando Silvestre . It packs a colorful and shimmering cineenmatography in Technicolor by Charles P. Boyle . Thrilling and atmospheric musical score by Frank Skinner .

The motion picture ¨The mark of the renegade¨ was professionally directed by Hugo Fregonese , though ha some flaws and gaps . Direction by Fregonese maintains a steady pace and is partially as good in interiors as in outdoor action scenes . Hugo Fregonese is familiar remember the Argentine director for his Hollywood work , that began with One Way Street in 1950 and included some biggies such as Blowing Wild (1953), his biggest hit . Fregonese started in Argentina, and Pampa Bárbara , first version , is the first first film he directed he is listed as co- director with Lucas Demare . He had done his apprenticeship with Demare as assistant director in two previous films. Hugo was an Argentina director who emigrated to Hollywood, then became technical adviser on latino themes at Columbia Studios in Hollywood, and subsequently under contract at Universal from 1950 to 1952 filming ¨Man in the attic¨ with Jack Palance , ¨Blowing wild¨with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck , ¨Decameron Nights¨with Joan Fontaine , ¨Harry Black and the tiger¨with Stewart Granger . Spent the rest of the decade in Europe directing Euro-westerns as ¨Apache's last battle¨ , this ¨Savage Pampas¨ and potboilers as "The Death Ray of Dr. Mabuse" , Terror as "Dracula vs. Frankenstein" before finishing his career back in the country of his birth . Rating : 6.5/10 , acceptable and passable . Worthwhile seeing for luxurious scenarios and breathtaking outdoors along with the wonderful dance between Montalban and Charisse .

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