Don Q gives Fairbanks a chance to play a double role, as the youthful Don Q and as Zorro, the father of the dashing young Californian who is completing his education in Spain. His adventures there form the basis of the picture. He becomes involved with royalty, is accused of the murder of a visiting archduke, feigns suicide, almost loses the girl, but in the end emerges triumphant.
Mary Astor plays opposite the star. She appears to beautiful advantage in the little that she has to do, while Donald Crisp as the heavy scores, although the supporting cast honors of the picture must be divided between Jean Hersholt and Warner Oland. Hersholt gets rather the better of it. His role isn’t as strong as the one he had in Greed , but it shows him capable of intense characterization that registers heavily.