The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938)

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    Plot 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

    Full Cast
    Gary Cooper ... Marco Polo
    Sigrid Gurie ... Princess Kukachin
    Basil Rathbone ... Ahmed
    George Barbier ... Kublai Khan
    Binnie Barnes ... Nazama
    Ernest Truex ... Binguccio
    Alan Hale ... Kaidu
    H.B. Warner ... Chen Tsu
    Robert Greig ... Chamberlain (as Robert Grieg)
    Ferdinand Gottschalk ... Persian Ambassador
    Henry Kolker ... Nicolo Polo
    Lotus Liu ... Visakha
    Stanley Fields ... Bayan
    Harold Huber ... Toctai
    Lana Turner ... Nazama's Maid
    Richard Alexander ... Ahmed's Aide (uncredited)
    Reginald Barlow ... Giuseppi - Venetian Business Man (uncredited)
    Granville Bates ... Venetian Business Man (uncredited)
    Ward Bond ... Mongol Guard (uncredited)
    Harry Cording ... Kaidu Officer (uncredited)

    Richard Farnsworth ... (uncredited)
    Leo Fielding ... Kaidu Officer (uncredited)
    Anne Graham ... Woman (uncredited)
    Greta Granstedt ... Kaidu Maid (uncredited)
    Hale Hamilton ... Maffeo Polo (uncredited)
    Eugene Hoo ... Chen Tsu's Son (uncredited)
    Mia Ichioka ... Court Girl (uncredited)
    Harry Kerus ... Kaidu Guard (uncredited)
    James B. Leong ... Tartar Warrior (uncredited)
    Diana Moncardo ... Court Girl (uncredited)
    Mrs. Ng ... Chen Tsu's Mother (uncredited)
    Helen Quan ... Chen Tsu's Daughter (uncredited)
    Dick Rich ... Kaidu Officer (uncredited)
    Jason Robards Sr. ... Messenger (uncredited)
    Evelyn Terry ... (uncredited)
    Diane Toy ... Kaidu Entertainer (uncredited)
    Theodore von Eltz ... Venetian Business Man (uncredited)
    Harry Wilson ... Guard with Chamberlain (uncredited)
    Joe Woody ... Kaidu Officer (uncredited)
    Soo Yong ... Chen Tsu's Wife (uncredited)
    Dora Young ... Court Girl (uncredited)
    Gloria Youngblood ... Court Girl (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    N.A. Pogson (story)
    Robert E. Sherwood (screenplay)

    Original Music
    Hugo Friedhofer

    Rudolph Maté
    Archie Stout

    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.

    This marked the screen debut of Samuel Goldwyn's protégé Sigrid Gurie, whom he publicly labeled "the Norwegian Garbo--even though she was born in Brooklyn, NY.

    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.

    The film was received poorly at the box-office, becoming the biggest flop up to that time for both Gary Cooper and Samuel Goldwyn; it was estimated that the picture lost close to $700,000.

    Mrs. Ng as "Chen Tsu's Mother" is in studio records/casting call lists, but the character did not appear in the movie. Because of period and location makeup, some of the other actors are difficult to recognize.

    Revealing mistakes
    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.

    Filming Locations
    Santa Clarita, California, USA
    Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California, USA
    Iverson Ranch - 1 Iverson Lane, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Lake Malibu, California, USA
    Paramount Ranch - 2813 Cornell Road, Agoura, California, USA
    Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park - 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Rd., Agua Dulce, California, USA

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Adventures of Marco Polo is a 1938 drama-adventure genre film,
    and one of the most elaborate and costly of Samuel Goldwyn's productions.
    Starring Gary Cooper, Sigrid Gurie, Basil Rathbone.
    It was Cooper's and Goldwyn's biggest flop to date.

    User Review

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().