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3 items from 2011

The amazingly inaccurate Adventures of Marco Polo

9 December 2011 5:53 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

While 13th century China remains a mystery, we learn a lot about 1930s Hollywood through this fictionalised romp

The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938)

Director: Archie Mayo

Entertainment grade: C–

History grade: D

Marco Polo was the first European to document travel to China in his Description of the World. Whether or not he actually visited China himself is a subject of dispute among historians.


The opening title cards state that Marco Polo (Gary Cooper) was the first European to visit China and "the first travelling salesman". Even if you do believe Marco went to China, he himself claims that his father Niccolò and uncle Maffeo Polo went first. He was blatantly not the first travelling salesman. The first evidence of long international trade routes dates them to at least 3,000 years earlier. But the movie had to get 1930s American audiences to identify with a 13th-century Venetian merchant somehow – hence the claim. »

- Alex von Tunzelmann

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John Garfield Movie Schedule: Pride Of The Marines, The Postman Always Rings Twice

4 August 2011 3:28 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

John Garfield on TCM: Humoresque, Four Daughters, We Were Strangers Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Four Daughters (1938) A small-town family's peaceful life is shattered when one daughter falls for a rebellious musician. Dir: Michael Curtiz. Cast: Priscilla Lane, Claude Rains, Jeffrey Lynn, John Garfield. Bw-90 mins. 7:45 Am Blackwell's Island (1939) A reporter gets himself sent to prison to expose a mobster. Dir: William McGann. Cast: John Garfield, Rosemary Lane, Dick Purcell. Bw-71 mins. 9:00 Am They Made Me A Criminal (1939) A young boxer flees to farming country when he thinks he's killed an opponent in the ring. Dir: Busby Berkeley. Cast: John Garfield, Claude Rains, Gloria Dickson. Bw-92 mins. 10:45 Am Dangerously They Live (1942) A doctor tries to rescue a young innocent from Nazi agents. Dir: Robert Florey. Cast: John Garfield, Nancy Coleman, Raymond Massey. Bw-77 mins. 12:15 Pm Pride Of The Marines (1945) A blinded »

- Andre Soares

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Douglas Fairbanks' Robin Hood Academy Screening

27 June 2011 4:11 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Enid Bennett, Douglas Fairbanks, Robin Hood Long before Errol Flynn, Russell Crowe, and Kevin Costner — and their Men in Tights — there was Douglas Fairbanks and his Men in Tights. Robin Hood, aka Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood will be screening tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The Robin Hood screening is part of the Academy's "Summer of Silents" series, which features winners of the Photoplay Medal of Honor for Best Picture of the year, as chosen by the magazine's readership. In the case of Robin Hood, the year was 1922. Financed by Douglas Fairbanks himself, Robin Hood was the actor-producer's biggest box-office hit. Though hardly on a par with the Errol Flynn version of the legend, this Allan Dwan-directed historical romp looks appropriately grandiose; as explained in Jeffrey Vance's Douglas Fairbanks, the film's sets were »

- Andre Soares

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