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The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938)

Adventurer Marco Polo travels to China, where he finds the Emperor Kublai Khan, court intrigue, danger, and unexpected love.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (based on a story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Nazama
...
Binguccio
...
...
Chen Tsu
Robert Greig ...
Chamberlain (as Robert Grieg)
...
Persian Ambassador
...
Lotus Liu ...
Visakha
...
Bayan
...
Toctai
...
Maid
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Storyline

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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marco Polo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lana Turner later recalled in a Gary Cooper biography that her "fancy black oriental wig" had been glued around her face with spirit gum, while she felt extremely uncomfortable in her costumes, and worse yet, had her eyebrows shaved off, at the insistence of Samuel Goldwyn himself, and replaced them with false slanting black ones. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Featured in History Brought to Life (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Charming Eyes
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Sung by Ernest Truex twice
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User Reviews

 
Absurd version of Marco's adventures
4 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Worthless as biography and not even much of a Gary Cooper adventure film but on a camp level there is entertainment value here. You would think with a tale as rich as Polo's they wouldn't have to fabricate an almost entirely false one but such was Hollywood film making in the 30's.

All the obviously Caucasian women are made up with Jean Harlow eyebrows and dark makeup not for one instance being convincingly oriental. About those eyebrows: within the cast in a small role about an hour in is Lana Turner as a maid/concubine, to prepare her for the role the makeup department shaved off her eyebrows and they never grew back! It wasn't worth the sacrifice she is no more convincing than anybody else. Most absurd is the usually reliable Alan Hale who looks preposterous. There is nothing wrong with his performance except its one that would feel right at home in a western but he is supposed to be a Mongol warlord, so authentic it is not.

Sigrid Gurie, the Siren of the Fjords as she was billed but who was actually born in Flatbush, doesn't make much of an impression as the romantic interest. Binnie Barnes tries to inject some life into the picture and have some fun with her role as Alan Hale's wife but is likewise handicapped by her makeup. Gary Cooper does not look at all like a traveling merchant in the 13th century but like Gary Cooper of course, oddly that's one of the films strengths since even when faced with the unlikely sight of Basil Rathbone as Ahmed a Mongol villain Coop is there to remind you that this is a vehicle for its star and little else.


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