MovieChat Forums > Zorro: The Gay BladeĀ (1981) Discussion > Originally released as 'Zorro And The Ga...

Originally released as 'Zorro And The Gay Blade'


At least in the U.S. of A., that's what it was originally called, both on the screen and in all the TV and print ads (and in the movie previews shown in theaters). It wasn't changed until several years later. I wonder what the product handlers were thinking when they decided to change the name. What bothers me about the new title is that it seems to be implying that Zorro **is** The Gay Blade, when that is incorrect -- it is his homosexual brother when he is, sort of, in the same guise. I can't understand this change -- what's the benefit?

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Where did you hear this? I was a projectionist when this movie came out and have the original one-sheet poster as well as the lobby cards. On everything from this original release, the title is Zorro, The Gay Blade. When running the trailer and the feature, the title was the same.

The title as I've always known it is a play on the term "gay blade," which has traditionally described a dashing young man, often handy with a sword. Inserting a superfluous "and" would negate that wordplay and make the title all too obvious, and considerably less clever. Implying they are one and the same works with the plot of the movie.

If you have any links to promotional materials with that supposed "original" title, I'd very much like to see them.

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Now I am confused. I specifically remember that which I have stated, with the one exception that I now see I incorrectly implied; I never actually saw the picture in the theater, so I can't be sure that the movie was actually shown with the title "Zorro And The Gay Blade." I am certain that I saw trailers with that title in the "coming attractions" shown in the theaters before other movies, and I specifically remember seeing ads on television for the movie with the title "Zorro And The Gay Blade."

I have no reason to doubt your own experience with this movie when it was in the theaters, so I'm wondering if it was a situation where they changed the title "on the fly," while it was in the theaters. Perhaps they made the change just prior to it being shown in the theaters" -- more likely the former, since you remember trailers in the title "Zorro, The Gay Blade," not to mention posters and lobby cards. Some theaters evidently got the movie with the earlier title, and some with the later title. In any case, I don'.t have any proof, except for a generally reliable memory (I tend to remember minutiae from decades ago, hence my posting about this movie).

This wouldn't be the first movie in which a mid-release change occurred, ones in which I distinctly remember that change for movies I **did** see, such as "Rooster Cogburn And The Lady," (1975), which was changed to "Rooster Cogburn" while it was still in first-release. "Emperor Of The North Pole" (1973) was changed to "Emperor Of The North" while still in first-run release. Even "Star Wars" was treated the same way. I and many other people witness that when we saw "Star Wars" in 1977, it was simply called that, and other people swear up-and-down that when they saw it in 1977, it was "Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope." Both groups are evidently correct -- its title was changed during the first-run release, but only on some prints and in some theaters.

Something of that sort must have occurred with "Zorro And The Gay Blade." I have no other explanation. I'd admit it to you if I was mistaken -- humility is a good thing to experience from time to time, and I embrace it when I'm wrong. In this case, I don't think I am wrong. We both must be right.

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As much as I like to rely on my own memory (which ain't no slouch, either), I find it helpful to support it with some kind of verification. In this case, contemporary issues of BOXOFFICE magazine would be most likely to have the original title. I might have issues from that time (and I think they're also online), but I don't have presently have time to research it, as ironically, I'm preparing for company to whom I'll be showing our 16mm print of Zorro, The Gay Blade.

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I still have a newspaper from 1981 that has my grandmother's obituary in it, and it has the ad in the movie section where it is "Zorro the Gay Blade"...and I used to have the novelization where it was "Zorro the Gay Blade."

Not to mention there is even a line spoken by "Bunny" where he says, "I want the world to recognize Zorro, the gay blade."

No offense, but I think the OP has incorrect memories.

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$(KGrHqIOKi!E3)BkPHU5BOD8N+WC7w~~_35.JPG

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/ZORRO-THE-GAY-BLADE-GEORGE-HAMILTON-PRESS-PHOTOGRAPH-1981-MINT-Condition-/00/s/MTYwMFgxMjgy/$(KGrHqV,!h8F!Fe2!,1,BQD43+vIfg~~60_35.JPG

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I know this has nothing to do with the discussion at hand, but I wanted to say that I saw Star Wars about 12 times at the theater back in 1977, and it was titled just that - Star Wars... anyone who thinks they saw "Episode IV, A New Hope" attached to the title is completely delusional!

~ the hardest thing in this world... is to live in it ~

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I'm getting here a bit late because my girlfriend and I watched this just last weekend, and I also remember this being released as "Zorro, The Gay Blade", and ShadowsGathered is also correct about Star Wars,the "A New Hope" subtitle was added after it was re released.

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MMMM Star Wars, I believe in the opening crawl up the screen, the first words at the beginning are, "Episode IV A NEW HOPE" since it supposedly was Episode IV of a pretend Saturday afternoon serial movie.
Those of us who remember going to the show and watching the short episodes week after week, get it.

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All right, I'm going to admit I don't remember everything about the "screen crawl up"... so perhaps you're right on that point... I was just saying that the title of the movie, at that time, was simply Star Wars :-)

~ the hardest thing in this world... is to live in it ~

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You were right the first time. "Episode IV: A New Hope" was added to re-release prints. The version I have on dvd of the non-special edition does not have "Episode IV: A New Hope" in the crawl.

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