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"Marco Polo" More at IMDbPro »

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22 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Something Wondrous to Behold

9/10
Author: Keith F. Hatcher from La Rioja, Spain
27 October 2001

Soon after finding out what IMDb was, only about a year ago, one of the first things I did was to look up Marco Polo in an attempt to find out something about this series on video. How surprised I was to find various contributors bemoaning the fact that they had not been able to track down any version of this magnificent production. For this is what Marco Polo – beware! 1982 version – is. A wondrous work of art; a beautiful piece of story-telling based on this medieval traveller's experiences as he followed the silk route caravans deep into Persia, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and reaching China.

Although nearly twenty years old and with no way of seeing it again since then, memorable scenes from this tremendous production still come to my mind, accompanied by that glorious music – one of Ennio Morricone's crowning achievements. Haunting, exciting scenes, so beautifully filmed by Pasqualino de Santis you could almost smell the thronged streets and cooking turms, the obstinate camels and ragged beggars, and through it all one of the best scores to have ever been written for any TV series.

Oh, how I wish I had had VHS back in those days!

Superb directing by Giuliano Montaldo, who for me is a complete unknown, such that the acting is of the best to be seen anywhere. And what a surprise to see further down the list names such as Anne Bancroft, Sir John Gielgud, Burt Lancaster, Leonard Nimoy and even F. Murray Abraham, could you ever believe that?

Marco Polo in this production was a gigantic production by the Italian RAI. This superb work should be repeated, like any other great work of art; it should be made available on VHS and DVD; it should be shown in cinemas; this fine epic is not like Kleenex – to be used once and thrown away.

Some paltry excuse of copyright would seem to be the problem. But I argue that if other TV mini-series are repeated, why not this one? The only other magnificent TV mini comparable to Marco Polo that I can recall was 'Nostromo' (1996), another European co-production, based on Joseph Conrad's exquisite novel of the same name.

At last, now in 2005 I have managed to get this wonderful series on DVD: more than twenty years waiting for it!

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21 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely loved it

10/10
Author: (maggiej@doglover.com) from Farrell, PA
19 December 2000

This movie kept my interest throughout every single last minute, from the opening credits the night of the first episode, to the closing credits the night of the final episode. One might think that somewhere in there, your attention would wander, but not with this movie. It was absolutely wonderful and the way it combined all aspects of the story and the characters - love, adventure, compassion, greed, war, in-fighting, etc. - was marvellous. It seems that nearly all of the TV mini-series are available on video, but I can't find this. The highest compliment a movie can get from the viewer is their time and I will say that I would watch this over and over and over again. I give it a 10!!!

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21 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

A lavish spectacle

10/10
Author: Edouard Baissier Mesert from Phoenix
17 December 2002

This is one of the most beautiful mini-series ever filmed. The script was good, the casting was beautiful, the music was wonderful. When TV is good, it is very, very good! This is a jewel, savor it, play it again, and marvel at the wondrous world of Marco Polo.

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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Filmmaking at its best -- positively excellent

Author: Angela Davis (nonames_left@yahoo.com) from Metairie, LA
24 February 1999

Filmed on location, the 1982 version of "Marco Polo" must certainly be the most authentic representation ever made of the travels of Marco Polo. While viewing, it is ever so easy for one to astrally project into the film, thus becoming part of history. The cinematography was second to none. The score was hauntingly beautiful. The casting for each part was perfectly matched to each character, and each role was played at the peak of perfection. The mini series was evenly paced and seemed to hold the viewer spellbound for the next adventure. This film would certainly qualify as an educational tool for kids in junior high and above. I would love to purchase the series, but after years of searching, I have not located a seller.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

One of the best miniseries produced - ever.

10/10
Author: jkniemann from United States
19 January 2006

This DVD needs to be produced in DVD format. This epic story line is excellent and well written. There can not be enough said about this production as the all-star cast weaves the tale of the Marco Polo's life, the political and economic reasons began his journey, and the problems he encountered the from start to finish. Ken Marshall's portrayal of Marco Polo developing from young Marco beginning his journey to a more mature Marco through the friendships and experiences that he encounters is excellent. I remember Sada Thompson's great performance as Marco's Aunt Flora. The location shots will take the watcher round the world without ever leaving a seat. The richness of costumes and many locations thrust the watcher back into the time of Marco Polo. It has been a while since I have watched Marco Polo, but I still remember the pageantry, the great performances of each actor, and the the fact that this could also be a documentary -drama about Marco Polo. The watcher can truly develop a picture of the life and times of Marco Polo. NBC really needs to find this in its archives and re-issue this Emmy winning epic in DVD, perhaps for a 25 year anniversary!

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Excellent 20 years later a True Classic in 2002

Author: AAI (ajmessina@aaeg.com)
7 August 2001

I have seen this TV mini series when it first aired over WOR-TV in New York City in 1982, over one of the first home satellite TV receivers.

I was fortunate to record in VHS format this mini series on my Video Tape Recorder, although the quality is far from good. I still find this feature made for TV one of the greatest reenactments of Marco Polo ever. Even today with Hollywood relying on Computer Graphics and Blue Screen can't compare to the cinematography of Marco Polo of 1982. Why this feature was never released in Motion Picture Theaters or made available on commercial grade VHS or DVD or even re-aired over TV has me baffled. Yet this will always remain in my film library as a Classic film

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Extraordinary piece of work !

10/10
Author: Jorge Luis Ibarra (jorge-luis.ibarra@mx.cgeyc.com) from Mexico City
15 April 2002

It is a pity that after a great number of years this masterpiece has not been released (DVD-VHS)to be enjoyed by others. It is an extraordinary tell in regard of human nature, different cultures, traveling, adventure, friendship, love, loyalty. It should be taken into consideration for educational/historical purposes. It would be a real shame not to take additional advantage of this magnificent work.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Cinemagraphic feast of adventure and pageantry for the eyes

10/10
Author: jerphayes from Houston, TX
7 February 2002

This is one of the better Mini series to be put forth by made for t.v series, showing when t.v. studio production gets it right they get it right. If anyone knows where I can locate a video copy of this please let me know. It's a exquisite story based on the true life adventures and experiences of Marco Polo the Venetian explorer and traveler. It spell binds you to the true life adventures and times of Marco Polo. You are made aware of the intrigues both politcal and as well as economic that send Marco Polo on this long journey. You feel the horror, terror and devastation that the black plague brings to a Middle Eastern port city where death seems to abound around every corner. You feel the majesty and the pageantry of the Great Khan's court and the simple humanity of friendship, expressed between two human beings from different worlds, the Great Khan and Marco Polo. You see Leonard Nimoy in his in between days of Star Trek the t.v. series and the Star Trek bigscreen productions; as Ahmet the evil Muslim administrator in the court of the Great Khan who trys to destroy Marco Polo because he's a rising star in the court of the Great Khan. This is one panoramic, cinemagraphic feast for the eyes truly a miniseries masterpiece and I don't say that lightly. This production could easily serve as historic docu-drama of the life and times of Marco Polo it entertains as well as educates. NBC the originating broadcaster needs to dig into there vaults and dust this one off and let a new generation experience the passion, the majesty and the adventure that is Marco Polo.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A fine, ambitious mini-series that deserves a DVD Box Set.

Author: sekander from Thailand
18 September 2004

As a long-time history buff and Silk Road scholar, I've been enamored of the Marco Polo mystique for many years. I've had this on VHS since it first aired and finally replayed the whole thing last week for the first time in 20 years. While it holds up remarkably well, it is not without some major faults. While the international cast is fabulous, Ken Marshall in the lead role is adequate at best. The real problem lies in the stiffs in the Asian scenes. I mean horrendously badly read English by Asian actors who sound like they took their first English lesson last week. What was the director thinking in letting such amateurish work into the final cut? Or was this an attempt at cinema verite, where people are struggling with a tongue that is not their own? Whatever, it is actually painful to listen to some of this stuff. Apart from Ying Ruocheng, who is perfect as Kubilai Khan, and James Hong, as Phags-Pa, the rest of the Asian cast sounds embarrassingly inept. Maybe its just the dubbing, but this is a real obstacle to enjoying some of the scenes set in China. I'm thinking they should re-dub some of the parts if they decide to ever release a DVD of this in the States. But, that's the only negative to this fine, ambitious project that succeeds in telling the story of Marco Polo against the backdrop of some great, exotic locations and the fabled Forbidden City in Beijing. And what's the deal with that? Wasn't the Forbidden City built by the Ming Dynasty after the fall of the Mongols? Oh well, we need not split hairs here. That and the Great Wall look fabulous. There's a lot to enjoy over the many hours and Ennio Morricone's score is still beautiful. Its a shame it isn't as exalted as some of his other work. I consider it one of his best.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely hard to find!!!!!!

10/10
Author: (danijelaj@home.com) from Vancouver
24 October 2000

I have seen this mini series long time ago and I still can remember the impact it had on me. Its been 12 years now that I am looking to find it but no luck this should tell you about how great this mini series is, if someone knows someone who has this series please let me know.

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