The life and experiences of the 13th-century explorer, who sought to connect the civilizations of China and Europe through trade.

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1983   1982  
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 7 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Ken Marshall ...  Marco Polo 8 episodes, 1982-1983
Denholm Elliott ...  Niccolò Polo 8 episodes, 1982-1983
Tony Vogel Tony Vogel ...  Matteo Polo 8 episodes, 1982-1983
David Warner ...  Rustichello 7 episodes, 1982-1983
F. Murray Abraham ...  Jacopo 6 episodes, 1982-1983
Mario Adorf ...  Giovanni 6 episodes, 1982-1983
Patrick Mower ...  Brother Damian 6 episodes, 1982-1983
Ruocheng Ying Ruocheng Ying ...  Kublai Khan 5 episodes, 1982-1983
Beulah Quo Beulah Quo ...  Empress Chabi 4 episodes, 1982-1983
Jun'ichi Ishida Jun'ichi Ishida ...  Prince Chinkin 4 episodes, 1982-1983
James Hong ...  Phags-pa 4 episodes, 1982-1983
Gordon Mitchell ...  Arnolfo 4 episodes, 1982-1983
Leonard Nimoy ...  Achmet 3 episodes, 1983
Bruno Zanin ...  Giulio 3 episodes, 1982
John Dicks John Dicks ...  Brother Philip 3 episodes, 1982-1983
Lin Lao Lin Lao ...  Bayan 3 episodes, 1983
Ian McShane ...  Ali Ben Yussouf 2 episodes, 1982
Sada Thompson ...  Aunt Flora 2 episodes, 1982
Tony Lo Bianco ...  Brother Nicholas 2 episodes, 1982
Soon-Tek Oh ...  Wang Zhu 2 episodes, 1983
Zaibao Yang Zaibao Yang ...  Yang Ku 2 episodes, 1983
Shaokang Yu Shaokang Yu ...  Caidu Khan 2 episodes, 1982-1983
Riccardo Cucciolla ...  Uncle Zane 2 episodes, 1982
Erkang Zhao Erkang Zhao ...  Nayan 2 episodes, 1983
Hesen En Hesen En ...  Bektor Khan 2 episodes, 1982-1983
Hal Buckley Hal Buckley ...  Brother William 2 episodes, 1982
Georgia Slowe ...  Caterina 2 episodes, 1982
Kathryn Dowling Kathryn Dowling ...  Monica 2 episodes, 1983
Agnes Chan Agnes Chan ...  Mai Li 2 episodes, 1983
Tetsurô Tanba ...  Saiamon 2 episodes, 1983
Bruno Corazzari ...  Agostino 2 episodes, 1982
Gino Santercole Gino Santercole ...  Giuseppe 2 episodes, 1982
Zhengyin Cao Zhengyin Cao ...  Governor 2 episodes, 1983
Terry Raven Terry Raven ...  Talib 2 episodes, 1983
Xiaolei Huang Xiaolei Huang ...  Chen Pao 2 episodes, 1982-1983
Renato Miracco Renato Miracco ...  Bartolomeo 2 episodes, 1982
Vernon Dobtcheff ...  Pietro d'Abano 2 episodes, 1983
Nanni Massa Nanni Massa ...  Messer Paolo 2 episodes, 1982
Shulin Sun Shulin Sun ...  Argan 2 episodes, 1983
Salvatore Puntillo Salvatore Puntillo ...  Messer Andrea 2 episodes, 1982
Renhua Na ...  Princess Kokachin 2 episodes, 1983
Giulio Gaslini Giulio Gaslini ...  Messer Lorenzo 2 episodes, 1982
Maria Pia Colonnello Maria Pia Colonnello ...  Caterina's Nurse-Maid 2 episodes, 1982
Ma Qiang Ma Qiang ...  Yeli Shue 2 episodes, 1983


The life and experiences of the 13th-century explorer, who sought to connect the civilizations of China and Europe through trade.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Italy | China | Japan | USA



Release Date:

1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Марко Поло See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(edited) | | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital (2.0 Stereo)



Aspect Ratio:

4:3 full frame
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Peter Firth, Michael Ontkean and Mandy Patinkin all turned down the lead role. See more »


Referenced in Biography: Leonard Nimoy: Spock and Beyond (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Something Wondrous to Behold
27 October 2001 | by Keith F. HatcherSee all my reviews

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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