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The Adventures of Marco Polo

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Director  Archie Mayo, John Ford
Initial DVD release  May 22, 2007
Country  United States
5.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Adventure, Biography, Romance
Producer  Samuel Goldwyn
Language  English
The Adventures of Marco Polo movie poster
Writer  N.A. Pogson, Robert E. Sherwood
Release date  April 15, 1938 (1938-04-15)
Cast  Gary Cooper (Marco Polo), Sigrid Gurie (Princess Kukachin), Basil Rathbone (Ahmed), George Barbier (Kublai Khan), Binnie Barnes (Nazama), Ernest Truex (Binguccio)
Similar movies  They Died with Their Boots On, Young Bess, The Adventures of Mark Twain, Christopher Columbus, Bogie, J. Edgar
Tagline  HE Came, HE Saw, HE Conquered

Hugo friedhofer the adventures of marco polo 1938 suite

When Venetian explorer Marco Polo (Gary Cooper) and his assistant, Binguccio (Ernest Truex), travel to Peking to locate Chinese treasures, they meet Emperor Kublai Khan (George Barbier) and his beautiful daughter, Princess Kukachin (Sigrid Gurie). The emperors adviser, Ahmed (Basil Rathbone), sends Marco away from the palace in order to overthrow Kublai Khan and marry Kukachin. It is up to Marco to stop the plot, defeat the villain and win the hand of the princess.


The Adventures of Marco Polo movie scenes

The Adventures of Marco Polo is a 1938 drama-adventure genre film, and one of the most elaborate and costly of Samuel Goldwyns productions.

The Adventures of Marco Polo movie scenes

The Venetian traveler (Gary Cooper) meets Kublai Khan and foils a plotter (Basil Rathbone) with fireworks in medieval China.

The adventures of marco polo


Nicolo Polo shows treasures from China and sends his son Marco Polo (Gary Cooper) there with his assistant (and comic relief) Binguccio (Ernest Truex). They sail from Venice, are shipwrecked, and cross the desert of Persia and the mountains of Tibet to China, to seek out Peking and the palace of Chinas ruler, Kublai Khan (George Barbier).

The Adventures of Marco Polo movie scenes The film is directed by Archie Mayo who just two years earlier gave us the Bogart breakthrough The Petrified Forest and would retire from directing duties

The philosopher/fireworks-maker Chen Tsu (H. B. Warner) is the first friend they make in the city, and invites them into his home for a meal of spaghetti. Children explode a fire-cracker, and Marco thinks it could be a weapon. Meanwhile, at the Palace, Ahmed (Basil Rathbone), the Emperors adviser, harboring dubious ambitions of his own, convinces Emperor Kublai Khan that his army of a million men can conquer Japan.

Kublai Khan promises Princess Kukachin (Sigrid Gurie) to the King of Persia. Marco, arriving at the palace, sees Kukachin praying for a handsome husband. Marco is granted an audience with the emperor at the same time as a group of ladies-in-waiting arrive; Kublai Khan lets Marco test the maidens to find out which are the most worthy. Marco tests them all with a question ("How many teeth does a snapping turtle have?"), and he sends off the ones who had incorrectly guessed the answer, as well as those who had told him the correct answer (none), retaining those saying they did not know. His reasoning behind this is that they are the perfect ladies-in-waiting, not overly intelligent, and honest. Kublai agrees and Marco immediately becomes a favored guest. Ahmed shows Marco his private tower with vultures and executes a spy via a trapdoor into a lion pit. Kukachin tells Marco that she is going to marry the King of Persia, but, having fallen in love with her, he shows her what a kiss is. A guard tells Ahmed, who vows to keep Marco out of the way. Ahmed then advises Kublai Khan to send Marco into the desert to spy on suspected rebels. Kukachin warns Marco of the deceiving Ahmed.


  • Gary Cooper as Marco Polo
  • Sigrid Gurie as Princess Kukachin
  • Basil Rathbone as Ahmed
  • George Barbier as Kublai Khan
  • Binnie Barnes as Nazama
  • Ernest Truex as Binguccio
  • Alan Hale as Kaidu
  • H.B. Warner as Chen Tsu
  • Robert Greig as Chamberlain
  • Ferdinand Gottschalk as Persian Ambassador
  • Henry Kolker as Nicolo Polo
  • Lotus Liu as Visakha
  • Stanley Fields as Bayan
  • Harold Huber as Toctai
  • Lana Turner as Nazamas Maid
  • Similar Movies

    Marco Polo (2007). Marco the Magnificent (1965). Basil Rathbone and Alan Hale - Sr appear in both. In the Footsteps of Marco Polo (2008). Basil Rathbone and HB Warner appear in The Adventures of Marco Polo and A Tale of Two Cities.


    Critical consensus for The Adventures of Marco Polo was mostly negative back in 1938. In reviewing the Warner Archive Collection DVD release of the movie, Paul Mavis of wrote, "Frequently amusing comedy/romance masquerading as a big-budget swashbuckler....[I]ts an agreeably light, silly adventure, beautifully mounted and briskly handled, with a bemused, cynical sense of humor to its sexual bantering thats quite charming (thanks in no small part to the pro cast)."


    The Adventures of Marco Polo Wikipedia
    The Adventures of Marco Polo IMDb The Adventures of Marco Polo