Marco Polo travels from Venice to Peking, where he quickly discovers spaghetti and gunpowder and falls in love with the Emperor's daughter. The Emperor Kublai Khan is a kindly fellow, but ... See full summary »
Marco Polo travels from Venice to Peking, where he quickly discovers spaghetti and gunpowder and falls in love with the Emperor's daughter. The Emperor Kublai Khan is a kindly fellow, but his evil aide Ahmed wants to get rid of Kublai Khan so he can be emperor, and to get rid of Marco Polo so he can marry the princess. Ahmed sends Marco Polo to the West to fight barbarians, but he returns just in time to save the day. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
John Cromwell began directing on June 15th, 1937 but soon left the project after just five days of shooting, due to "differences of opinion on story treatment," according to a press release. The film's producer Samuel Goldwyn then attempted to rope in William Wyler for the job. Wyler wanted nothing to do with it, so Goldwyn persuaded John Ford to take over for a few days until he could find a permanent replacement for Cromwell. Archie Mayo was eventually brought in to finish the picture. See more »
When Marco crosses a bridge, his party is attacked and his horse is driven over a cliff. A safety wire is clearly visible on the rider. See more »
Unjustifiably maligned; fun goofy adventure with Cooper at his best
THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO is an unjustifiably maligned film. Yes, it has a lot of problems with it, including the miscasting of the Chinese characters (Sigrid Gurie was a mistake), the sluggish middle part and somewhat insulting plot points concerning Chinese culture in general (they don't know what a kiss is?) but if you overlook this (yes, it might be much for some), there's actually a fun film here with Gary Cooper at his most relaxed and handsome, Basil Rathbone being wonderfully evil, some cool vintage Hollywood sets, an exciting climax all done with an amiable goofy tone to it which makes you forget the film's obvious weaknesses.
The best thing about ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO is Gary Cooper. I've seen several films with Cooper, including Morocco with Marlene Dietrich, DESIGN FOR LIVING with Miriam Hopkins and Fredric March, and HIGH NOON with Grace Kelly, etc. Always thought he was fine in those films but a bit of a stiff but in MARCO POLO he's never been more at ease and fun here. With his wavy hair and 6'3" frame, he's sure cuts a striking figure. The camera loves him. The worst thing in this film is Sigrid Gurie. This was her first major role and the poor girl drags the whole film down several notches. Not only she doesn't look Chinese at all but her voice is horrible. I feel sorry for her, having been put in such an awkward role. Thankfully, Basil Rathbone is there to bring balance to the uneven film with a control and yet knowingly campy performance.
So to recap, a fun old fashioned adventure film with Gary Cooper at his most enjoyable.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?