The holiday: Cinco de Mayo
The movie: 'The Mark of Zorro' (1920)
In a sentence: A wealthy Spanish landowner dons a mask and becomes Zorro to defend the people against an oppressive government in California.
Why it captures the holiday: For most in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is an excuse to get together with friends at a Mexican restaurant and drink margaritas. But its true purpose, especially in Mexico, is to commemorate the victory of the Mexican army over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Same thing with "Zorro." The film, which is set during that same war for independence, is usually remembered by its 1940 remake, shown here, with Basil Rathbone. But Douglas Fairbanks' silent film not only helped define the swashbuckler genre, but was the first release from the historic United Artists studio.