Marco the Magnificent


1h 50m 1966

Brief Synopsis

Orson Welles plays the role of Akerman, a venetian savant, in this all star production of Marco Polo's adventures. Young Marco travels to China to help Kublai Khan fight against rebels, headed by his own son, with a new invention: gunpowder.

Film Details

Also Known As
L'Échiquier de Dieu, La fabuleuse aventure de Marco Polo, Le meravigliose avventure di Marco Polo, Lo scacchiere di Dio, Marko Polo
Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
New York opening: 14 Dec: Sep 1966
Production Company
Avala Film; Cinecustodia; ITTAC; Italaf Kaboul; Mounir Rafla; Prodi Cinematografica; S. N. C.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
Afghanistan
Location
Egypt; France; Yugoslavia; Afghanistan; Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

In 1271 a young Venetian, Marco Polo, answers a request of Pope Gregory X to bring the philosophy of peace to the followers of the Mongol Prince, Kublai Khan of China. Accompanied by his father, his uncle, and two Templars, Marco sets off on his mission, a journey which will take him to the Holy Land, across the mountains of Asia, and through the Gobi desert to China. En route they are captured by the cruel "old man of the mountain," who puts one of the Templars to death in an ingenious glass bell torture chamber. Only through the intervention of Sheik Emir Alaou is Marco able to regain his freedom. He reaches Samarkand, where he is reunited with his father. He then escapes an ambush by Mongolian bandits with the help of the "woman with a whip," who sacrifices her own life to save his. After crossing the Gobi desert, Marco escapes from the enemies of Kublai Khan by hiding in the river junk of Gogatine, a princess traveling to China to attend a ceremony at which a bride will be selected for Kublai Khan. Once in China, Marco learns of the dispute between the peaceful Khan and his war-minded son, Nayam, who threatens to usurp his father's power by force. Nayam's rebel forces are quickly routed in a battle in which gunpowder is used for the first time. Marco Polo remains in China for 17 years before returning home to write a book on his travels.

Film Details

Also Known As
L'Échiquier de Dieu, La fabuleuse aventure de Marco Polo, Le meravigliose avventure di Marco Polo, Lo scacchiere di Dio, Marko Polo
Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
New York opening: 14 Dec: Sep 1966
Production Company
Avala Film; Cinecustodia; ITTAC; Italaf Kaboul; Mounir Rafla; Prodi Cinematografica; S. N. C.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
Afghanistan
Location
Egypt; France; Yugoslavia; Afghanistan; Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

The film was started in 1962 by Christian-Jaque with Alain Delon, Dorothy Dandridge, Michel Simon and Bernard Blier. The filming was interrupted due to inadequate funding and was started again in 1963.

The film was started in 1962 by Christian-Jaque with Alain Delon, Dorothy Dandridge, Michel Simon and Bernard Blier. The filming was interrupted due to inadequate funding and was started again in 1963.

Notes

Filmed in Yugoslavia, Africa, and Asia. Opened in Paris in August 1965 as La fabuleuse aventure de Marco Polo. Released in Italy in 1966 as Le meravigliose avventure di Marco Polo; running time: 115 min. Yugoslav title: Marko Polo. Working titles: L'échiquier de Dieu and Lo scacchiere di Dio. The film began production in 1963 with Christian-Jaque as director. Only one source credits Albert Jurgenson as film editor.

Miscellaneous Notes

Christian-Jaque was taken off the production in 1962, after shooting had already commenced.

c Eastmancolor

Alain Delon was originally attached to play the title role.

Franscope