The Adventures of Marco Polo
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.Run Time: 100 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: NR UPC: 027616075116 Manufacturer No: M107513
Gary Cooper makes a dashing, flirtatious explorer-adventurer in The Adventures of Marco Polo, a twinkling account of Polo's 13th century travels from his home in Venice to China, where he established a new east-west trade route. Nothing comes easy, of course, so the film's script (by author Robert E. Sherwood) finds playboy Polo barely surviving his journey only to be sabotaged in his efforts to forge a relationship with emperor Kublai Khan (George Barbier). Polos rival for Khan's loyalty (and the affections of the emperor's daughter, played by the exotic Sigrid Gurie) is the scheming Ahmed (Basil Rathbone), who has the ruler's ear and is wont to punish enemies by chaining them down for the benefit of hungry vultures. The story's general outrageousness extends to Polos banishment to a tribe of rebels, led by a henpecked strongman (Alan Hale) whose shrewish wife takes a shine to the Venetian stud and saves him from execution. Directed by Archie Mayo (The Petrified Forest), The Adventures of Marco Polo is glossy fun, led by Cooper's charming, knowing performance and highlighted by the films unwillingness to take anything too seriously. Scenes in which Polo is introduced to two Chinese inventions--spaghetti and gunpowder--are priceless. --Tom Keogh
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
With producer Samuel Goldwyn's biggest box office star, Gary Cooper, in the lead, as a drawling, skirt-chasing Polo, the film opens with an opulent, Hollywood version of 13th century Venice, then quickly moves to the steppes of central Asia, and finally the equally opulent court of Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan (George Barbier), where Cooper and his groaning comic relief (Ernest Truex) encounter Khan's exotic, if not particularly Oriental-looking, daughter (Sigrid Gurie...who learns how to kiss from the obliging Polo), and Khan's ruthless adviser, Ahmed (another terrific villainous portrayal by Basil Rathbone), who has designs on both China and Gurie.
Screenwriter Robert Sherwood tosses in a bit of history (the Chinese inventions of spaghetti and gunpowder, introduced to Polo by H.B. Warner, channeling his "Lost Horizon" persona), but clearly treats the storyline as farce, adding a feared (but henpecked) tribal chief (a heavily made-up Alan Hale), and his jealous wife (Binnie Barnes, who also falls under Polo's spell). Also, watch for 17-year-old Lana Turner in a small but showy role as a most desirable Chinese handmaiden (this is the infamous film where Goldwyn's makeup department burned off her eyebrows, permanently).
Directed by veteran director Archie Mayo (who lacked Michael Curtiz' flair for epic period adventure), the action scenes are a bit flat, and Cooper's climactic fight with Rathbone is somewhat disappointing (truthfully, he seems out-of-place confronting a swashbuckling villain). Certainly, 1938 audiences weren't 'buying' Cooper as an Italian adventurer (it WAS a stretch!), and the film flopped, but if you're in the mood for pure escapism, from Hollywood's 'Golden' age, "The Adventures of Marco Polo" is certainly worth a look!
Maybe it's because I'm one of those folks who is completely willing to suspend belief and let the film makers take me into their world, but I thoroughly enjoy adventures like this one.
The transfer was good, the film making was technically satisfying, and the story.... well..... what could be more fun than traveling through strange foreign lands with your ever faithful servant by your side, partaking of the wonders along the way and battling the likes of the absolutely evil Basil Rathbone.
Ok, I'll admit that when I saw Alan Hale as the leader of the rebel tribe I had to laugh..... and yes, we was totally unbelievable, but hey, an actor has got to work, and he was in just about every other picture made during this time period so what the heck : )
As long as you don't take it to seriously, it's a fun Saturday afternoon adventure filled romp.
If you are looking for historical accuracy...try somewhere else. I am putting together a Cooper collection and this was one of the missing pieces.
But the purchase is worth it if you love old movies and enjoy seeing the stars of the past...entertaining and full of action...
Most recent customer reviews
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Action & Adventure
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Drama
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Romance
- Movies & TV > Indie & Art House
- Movies & TV > MGM Home Entertainment > All MGM Titles
- Movies & TV > Movies
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > MGM Home Entertainment > All MGM Titles