The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938)

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    There are 2 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by chester7777.

    • The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938)



      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

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: John Ford- The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938)

      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
      8 March 2002 | by Dr. Barry Worthington

      This is one of the oddest films to be made in pre-war America. Gary Cooper plays the Venetian explorer, and the film opens in a Venice seemingly constructed of cardboard. Here he is pursued by his comic servant, a sort of cross between a midget and a hyperactive gondolier.

      In no time at all, we are in the mysterious realm of Cathay, where the streets are exotic, but seemingly made of cardboard as well. Marco is attracted by a strange voice - these medieval Chinese (or Mongols?)speak with impeccable Oxbridge accents. And this one, oddly enough, is reading to his children on some sort of verandah facing the street. This public recitation is from the New Testament, and Marco immediately completes the phrase, as it were. The placid mandarin figure takes this in his stride, and happens to mention that he is treating his son to a crash course in both eastern and western wisdom - which is not bad for a place that has not yet been visited by a European.

      Soon our Gary (er, Marco) is served a mysterious oriental dish called 'spaghet', which he thinks he will introduce to Venice when he returns.

      At the royal palace (made of a superior form of cardboard), he is soon immersed in the intrigues of the court of Kublai Khan. After some swashbuckling and some overacting, he falls for a beautiful princess. Alas, she is pledged to another, but our hero is given the task of escorting her to her intended.

      And so they sail away into the sunset on a large sea-going junk (!), and he states that he will at least have her to himself for the year long voyage. The film ends on this morally dubious note, and the implication is that he eventually returned with his spaghetti to Venice and opened a restaurant.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().