Cinema: Poloney

Marco the Magnificent looks great on paper. It has a big budget, seven famous names (Anthony Quinn, Horst Bucholz, Omar Sharif, Elsa Martinelli, Orson Welles, Akim Tamiroff, Gregoire Asian), and a hero who was one of history's great adventurers: Marco Polo. On film, unfortunately, it looks terrible.

The script is a riddle. Why eliminate practically all of the exciting events described by the 13th century Venetian in the chronicle of his travels in Cathay, and introduce instead 100 minutes of substandard horse operatics that resemble polo more than Polo? What's more, the cutting looks as though it had been done by a...

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