Where would a tour of film essentials be without Woody Allen? Zelig (1983) covers a lot of ground, but I can't officially include it because, like a lot of Woody, I haven't actually seen it. So I have to go with Zorro, as in The Mask of Zorro (1998) and The Legend of Zorro (2005), the two rounds of the legendary pulp character Antonio Banderas has appeared in, not to mention, unofficially, Puss in Boots (2011), the Shrek spin-off released last year that finally brought that role full-circle and made its inspiration official, allowing Banderas to make another Zorro (and/or El Mariachi movie). Mask of Zorro was a minor sensation upon its original release, thanks to the firecracker presence of Catherine Zeta-Jones, who although having appeared in films prior to it, notably The Phantom, found the role that helped propel her as a cultural bombshell. There was also some controversy in having Anthony Hopkins appear as a Spanish-American icon, though I personally thought it was a signature role for him regardless of what he was supposed to be. A modern swashbuckling adventure, the film was an instant classic for me. The followup isn't as fantastic, and came maybe five years too late, but it's certainly worth viewing.
Star Trek bonus!
Z is for Zimmerman, Lewis
(from Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine)
Eccentric and egotistical creator of the Emergency Medical Hologram, Lewis Zimmerman was also played by Robert Picardo and managed to make a number of appearances, first as a delusion and then in the flesh, thanks to Voyager's increasing links to home (in one episode, "Life Line," The Doctor gets to actually save him), not to mention a fun little visit to Deep Space Nine, in one of the franchise's most welcome bits of continuity. Perhaps one of the best-known bits of trivia was that "Zimmerman" was also going to be The Doctor's name until the producers scrapped the idea and instead made a running joke of the fact that he could never bring himself to choose one (until an alternate future timeline in the final episode, in which he anticlimactically goes with, simply, "Joe").
That's it! Thanks again to everyone who stopped by during the challenge, and who may continue to do so afterward. The A-to-Z Challenge has been fun!