The Mark of Zorro is a tour de force for writer-producer-star Douglas Fairbanks and was a primary factor in establishing United Artists as a major Hollywood studio. Showcasing Fairbanks' trademark comic charm as well as his solid sense of physical performance, the dual-personality role was a runaway hit with 1920s audiences. As the writer, Fairbanks supplied himself with plenty of opportunities to cavort around lavish sets; as the producer, he made sure that the sets were appropriately grand. Director Fred Niblo was best known for not interfering with a film's producer or star. The film's creative decisions belonged to Fairbanks, who, as co-owner of the studio, shared appreciatively in the results.