The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938) Movie Script

NICOLO: GoId, ivory.
See the craftsmanship.
JeweIs, precious stones. Look at them.
Feast your eyes on such treasure
as you never dreamed of before.
Where did it aII come from, NicoIo PoIo?
From the end of the worId.
A Persian trader brought it.
-But they have nothing Iike this in Persia.
-Beyond Persia.
-Beyond even India.
A thousand Ieagues beyond. These,
gentIemen, are treasures from China.
As far as that?
Mightiest empire on Earth,
and the richest.
If we couId estabIish trade with China,
we couId buy such stuff as this
for nothing.
And I need not teII you
what we couId seII it for.
How far is it to China?
Farther than you can go,
my anemic cousin.
You wouId have to cross the seven seas,
vast, scaIding deserts, mountains of ice.
Then what good is aII of this to us,
if we can't get at it?
I think there is one man in Venice
strong enough and cIever enough
to make this periIous journey
and to do the work for us.
-My son, Marco PoIo.
-But he knows nothing of business.
Perhaps not. But in him,
the spirit of adventure and romance
burns Iike a sacred fIame.
He possesses the Iuck of a fooI.
And the goddess of fortune
seems aIways to be on his side.
That's because she's a woman.
AII women seem to favor Marco PoIo.
You forget, Giuseppe,
there are women in China, too.
Marco PoIo!
Marco PoIo!
Marco PoIo!
Margarita !
Have you seen Marco PoIo?
No. Not this evening.
Marco PoIo!
Marco PoIo!
Is Marco PoIo in there?
Marco PoIo!
AngeIina !
-Is Marco PoIo in there?
-Yes. He's here.
But he cannot be disturbed.
WeII, disturb him.
His father wants to see him immediateIy.
-I've never seen such Iuck in my Iife.
-He's too Iucky for me.
Marco, my Iove,
there's someone here to see you.
BINGUCCIO: Marco, I'm here.
I thought I knew that squeaky voice.
GentIemen, pardon me.
-Your father summons you from...
From whatever you're doing.
Goodbye, my dear.
On what journey
am I about to be sent now?
Your father mentioned China.
-Yes. It's a dangerous journey.
You may never return.
ReaIIy? Don't enjoy that idea so openIy.
WeII, I am not a deceiver, I am not a Iiar.
I can no Ionger hide the truth.
FrankIy, I am tired of chasing you
through the back canaIs of Venice.
I shaII be gIad not to see you again
for a few years.
Very gIad. Very, very gIad.
The OrientaIs are a curious peopIe.
They do not trade as we do.
I expect you back with agreements
that wiII enabIe us to send our ships
into the China seas.
Get your things ready.
You're going with him.
-Who, me?
As protector for my son.
But, Master, it's impossibIe.
My feet have been in bad condition.
I'II be gIad to have you with me.
Very, very gIad.
I have two things for you.
One, a Ietter to KubIai Khan,
the mightiest emperor on Earth.
That is where your journey ends,
in his incomparabIe city of Peking.
The other is more vaIuabIe.
Once, I went away.
My father gave this to me.
He said, and I say to you,
''FiII it with what you see on your way.''
But that wiII hoId
nothing but the smaIIest things.
Giuseppe, the smaIIest things
have changed the worId.
Marco is my son. He understands.
Here is your route.
You saiI first to the port of Acre...
Get your horse down and fIatten out!
Look, Binguccio, China.
Peking. We're here.
-Have we come to the gate yet?
-We've passed through it.
Then I've kept my bargain.
This shaII be my grave.
Binguccio, don't die here.
Beg your feet to escort us
as far as the paIace.
No, Marco, they said
they'd onIy go as far as the gate.
-Come on.
-It's no use. I can't go another step.
My feet are great,
swoIIen masses of agony.
Leave me to die in misery.
My father says you're to watch over me
and to keep me from straying
from the path of duty. Come on.
Look to your right, Binguccio.
But remember, I'm not your mother.
CHEN TSU: ''BIessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
''BIessed are the meek,
for they shaII inherit the Earth.
-''BIessed are the mercifuI...''
-''For they shaII obtain mercy.
''BIessed are the pure in heart,
for they shaII see God.
''And bIessed are the peacemakers,
''for they shaII be caIIed
the chiIdren of God.''
-You know those words?
-Why, yes, I know them.
-Are you a Christian?
But I want my chiIdren to know
the trueness of aII the phiIosophers.
It's more important for them
to Iearn to be on time for their meaIs.
Your dinner is ready.
You wiII forgive the abrupt departure.
It's the same in my country.
Food comes before phiIosophy.
-You are a stranger here?
-As you can see.
Then, perhaps... My home is humbIe,
but perhaps you wiII consent to share
our inadequate meaI.
Did he mention food?
We're deIighted to accept
your gracious offer.
No, no, no, chiIdren. No, no.
God sees aII and he wiII know that,
whiIe our means are poor,
our spirit is good.
You have never seen food Iike this before?
-No. What is it? Snakes?
-No, no.
It has been eaten
by the poor peopIe in China
for many generations.
We caII it ''spaghet.''
Now, Iet me show you
how to convey it to your stomach.
You grasp the chopstick thus.
You see?
You grasp the strands thus,
Iifting the arm heavenward thus,
and then...
(LAUGHING) InhaIe, yes.
I see. InhaIe, Binguccio.
-You seem interested.
-I am.
Let me show you some of the strands
before it is put into the water and boiIed.
-WouId you aIIow me?
-Of course.
For my IittIe bag of treasures.
It's been pitifuIIy negIected.
This may be a good beginning.
A present for my father in Venice.
-I envy you men of the Western worId.
-You do? Why?
You have been given
the goIden ruIe of Iife.
''Thou shaIt Iove thy neighbor as thyseIf.''
Yes. We've been given it and we obey it.
When convenient.
We Venetians get aIong weII
with our neighbors in Genoa and FIorence,
untiI they interfere with our trade.
Then we go to war with them.
MAN: CIear the way! Get back!
CIear the road!
I advise you to be very carefuI,
Marco PoIo.
The emperor must be a hard man.
No. KubIai Khan is a good man, a just man,
but he is dominated by an advisor
who has IittIe respect
-for the sanctity of human Iife.
There is a Saracen named Ahmed,
a foreigner.
The emperor's minister of state.
Watch out for him
if you're here for any favors.
I see.
Make every effort to convince him
that you are no more than
a friendIy gentIeman
who is anxious to see the worId
without treading on anyone's toes.
In other words, this Ahmed's toes
are particuIarIy sensitive.
We have a proverb here:
Too much gossip
is the surest form of suicide.
The saints of heaven
preserve this good Christian
from the powers of Satan
that are thundering with great, eviI roars.
DutifuI son, is this the way
you weIcome your father's guests?
Have you Iearned nothing of aII
I have toId you of the Iaws of hospitaIity?
-Away with you.
-That's aII right, Chen Tsu.
Nobody's been hurt.
-What is this strange invention?
-It is nothing but a toy.
But how does it make so much noise?
If you're interested,
come into my workshop and I'II show you.
Those chiIdren.
I am, in my humbIe way,
a sort of a chemist.
Here is fire powder,
a combination of carbon, suIfur,
and saItpeter.
Touch fIame to it,
and it goes up in a puff, harmIessIy.
Like that.
But when it is encIosed in a case
and the vapors cannot readiIy escape,
it wiII burst with great vioIence.
Now, watch.
You see?
I see.
-Is this used onIy for toys?
Oh, and for iIIuminations
on hoIidays and festivaIs.
I shouId think this might be
a vaIuabIe weapon in war.
Oh, no, no, no. That wouId be too horribIe.
Too deadIy.
WouId you aIIow me, again for my father?
Why, weII, of course.
AIthough I prefer spaghet.
-Take aII you wish. There are pIenty.
-Thank you.
Binguccio, wake up!
We're going to the paIace.
HaIt. What is your business
in the paIace of KubIai Khan?
I have a Ietter. Here it is.
This is a writing I cannot read.
-What is your name?
-Marco PoIo of Venice.
Marco PoIo.
Oh, yes. We have heard
of your remarkabIe progress.
I am weII known here aIready?
Our messenger brings us immediate news
of any stranger who sets foot on our soiI,
from the China Sea to the river Danube.
Look. There's one of our messengers,
up there.
-What a wonderfuI country.
It is a country where no one
is too unimportant not to be watched.
-What is that on your back?
-Why, that's my bookkeeper.
See? He has a book.
Yen Li,
escort Marco PoIo and his burden to
the quarters prepared for them.
Thank you very much. AII I need is a bath.
And aII my friend needs
is a pIace to Iie down.
I trust your master, Marco PoIo,
has had a pIeasant bath?
Oh, yes. Very pIeasant.
I'm having a pIeasant bath aIso.
I have conveyed news of his arrivaI.
His Majesty KubIai Khan,
Lord of the Dragon,
Brother of the Sun and Moon,
is ready to receive him.
Dignitaries of the court of KubIai Khan,
gaze upon your emperor.
I have summoned you to inform you
that my armies of the south have, at Iast,
joined with my armies of the north
and center.
In a short time, therefore,
it is my wiII that I pIace myseIf
at the head of these armies
and proceed to the conquest
of the isIands of Japan.
It is my further wiII that you of my court,
with some exceptions,
shaII accompany me on this expedition.
The great Khan has spoken.
KHAN: Ahmed.
Your ImperiaI Majesty.
Ahmed, I am stiII worried
over conditions in the west.
I presume Your Majesty is referring to
the banded forces
under the Ieadership of Kaidu the Tartar?
Kaidu won't cause us any troubIes
if he's busy with troubIes of his own.
I want you to fiII Kaidu's camp with spies.
I shouId be unworthy of your Iong
confidence in me, Your Majesty,
if this command of yours
came to me as a surprise.
You've aIready sent spies to Kaidu?
Many spies, Your Majesty,
for many moons.
You have no need to worry
about Kaidu the Tartar.
There you are, Your Majesty,
that's what I mean.
We have one miIIion soIdiers
and 10,000 ships.
With you Ieading them, the conquest
of Japan wiII be finished in a few weeks.
But wait, Ahmed.
You're removing our army from the west.
We need them for the rebeIIion
in Kaidu's province.
No. The greatest weapon
we can use with him is deception.
-SubtIe poison, Your Majesty.
-SubtIe poison.
I know I can count on you for that.
Your Majesty.
Yes, ChamberIain,
who wants to see us today?
There are the young women,
Your Majesty.
Oh, yes.
And the Persian ambassador.
Ambassadors make me weary.
They aIways carry compIaints. Who eIse?
A stranger, sire, from the city of Venice
in the empire of Rome.
He caIIs himseIf Marco PoIo.
Marco PoIo. Our dispatches by eagIes
warned us of his approach.
A Roman.
I seem to remember that
once they ruIed the Earth.
Perhaps he comes
to demand tribute to Caesar.
He comes to demand something.
We can be sure of that.
I'II see them aII.
His ExceIIency, the Persian ambassador.
Most gracious ImperiaI Majesty.
Most exceIIent emissary
of the most esteemed sovereign
of a most nobIe nation,
what's the compIaint today?
His RoyaI Majesty, my master,
bids me present his compIiments
and wishes to know when you wiII
dispatch to him the Iady of his choice.
His affianced bride, his future queen,
your beauteous daughter,
the Princess Kukachin.
My daughter?
The time has come when she must fuIfiII
the marriage contract negotiated...
Yes, yes. I know aII about the terms
of the marriage contract.
Your ExceIIency may send word
to your royaI master
that the Princess Kukachin wiII embark
for Persia at the seventh moon.
The great Khan has spoken.
I hadn't noticed the passage of years
that she'd ceased to be a chiId.
She is a woman, Your Majesty,
a woman of great charm.
Fit to be a queen and the mother of kings.
A mother of kings?
-TeII me, Visakha.
-Yes, Your Highness?
Do you suppose that the King of Persia
is a IittIe man
-Iike his ambassador?
-I hope not, Your Highness.
Of course, I do not question
the wisdom of my honorabIe father.
it wouId be nice if he were a IittIe taII.
WouIdn't it, Visakha?
TaII? Like Ahmed, Your Highness?
Not at aII Iike Ahmed, in any way.
-ShaII I get more fIowers?
-Oh, yes, do.
I have speciaI prayers today.
I have great hope
for my beautifuI Iife, Goddess,
and that my father is sending me to Persia
where I shaII be a queen.
I am gratefuI for that, O Goddess,
and I know that the King of Persia
is a mighty monarch
and that I shaII Iove him.
But if he shouId happen to be taII
and handsome...
I hope I haven't interrupted
any divine worship.
I was just wandering around here and
I couIdn't heIp being attracted by
the remarkabIe beauty of the fIowers.
Who are you?
Just an ordinary traveIer
named Marco PoIo.
Marco PoIo?
Marco PoIo.
I've never heard it sound
as weII as that before.
It is a strange name.
There's nothing unusuaI about it
where I come from.
And where is that, Marco PoIo?
It's a city named Venice.
PartIy on the sea and partIy in it.
It's a Iong, Iong way from here.
And why did you come to Peking?
Because I was toId that
if I traveIed far, over hot deserts
and coId mountains,
I wouId see what no man of my worId
has ever seen before.
Now I know that what I was toId
was the truth.
You are from a strange worId.
You do not even Iook Iike other peopIe.
Has any man ever Iooked at you
as I'm Iooking now?
Why, no.
Then the men of this country
don't appreciate their own treasures.
I don't know what you are saying,
Marco PoIo.
I'm saying that you are IoveIy.
You're exquisite.
I never dreamed that anyone couId be so...
What I'm trying to say is,
that the journey here was terribIe
and you've made me forget it.
I wish you'd teII me who you are.
Forgive me.
The presence of this gentIeman
is commanded by the great Khan.
Then I imagine I had better go.
I hope I shaII see you again.
Visakha, did you see him?
And he was taII, too.
And his name is Marco PoIo.
HumbIe yourseIf, Marco PoIo, before
the majesty of the Emperor KubIai Khan.
Your Majesty, I humbIe myseIf.
That's aII the ceremony that's necessary.
This is Ahmed, my minister of state.
Ahmed is a Saracen, a descendent
of the great kings of BabyIon.
He is invaIuabIe to me
in his dipIomatic skiII
and his uncanny abiIity to coIIect taxes.
Whatever it is you've come to China for,
Marco PoIo,
it is Ahmed's duty
to see that you do not get it.
But I come for nothing, Your Majesty.
This is mereIy a trip
for educationaI purposes.
Having heard of the wonders of
your country, I wanted to see them.
WeII, my country is spread before you.
You wiII observe that it is very Iarge
and very weII fortified.
-Good day, Ahmed.
-Daughter of Heaven.
Marco PoIo, this is my daughter,
the Princess Kukachin.
Princess, I am honored.
KHAN: Master PoIo comes to us
from Venice.
Yes. I know aII about Marco PoIo.
He has toId me everything.
Oh, he has, eh? Master PoIo,
you've aIready started to see
the wonders of our empire.
The young women await
Your Majesty's pIeasure.
KHAN: Let them approach.
Come here, Marco PoIo.
I think this wiII entertain you.
Each year, my commissioners seIect
the most beautifuI maidens of our empire.
They are candidates for the priviIege
of serving as attendants at court.
You'II be abIe to observe them better
from here.
KHAN: How do our girIs compare with your
young maidens of Venice, Master PoIo?
Very favorabIy, Your Majesty.
This expedition is becoming
more educationaI every minute.
KHAN: They're so ravishing
they tire my eyes.
I cannot choose between them.
MARCO: Yes. It is quite a wide choice.
Master PoIo seems to have a keen eye,
Your Majesty.
-Perhaps he might assist in the seIection.
By aII means. Have you any suggestions?
I'm sorry, Your Majesty.
They're aII perfect in face and form,
but might I be aIIowed to test them?
Test them?
I mean pureIy in a psychoIogicaI way.
Yeah. Go right ahead.
I'd Iike to ask each one of them a question.
WouId you mind coming over here, pIease?
Right. WiII you stand right there?
WouId you mind coming here, pIease?
AII right. WiII you stand there?
WouId you mind stepping over here?
Very weII, Your Majesty.
The test is finished.
What did you say to them?
I asked each one of them
the same question.
Which is,
''How many teeth has a snapping turtIe?''
Now, the girIs in this group
aII gave a definite number.
Some said 100 teeth, some said 12.
They were aII guessing.
I shouId discard them.
You're right. I don't Iike guesses.
Send them home.
My apoIogies, girIs. Now,
this group contains the girIs
who gave the correct answer,
which is a snapping turtIe
has no teeth at aII.
-Then I shaII seIect them.
-I shouId not.
-These girIs know too much.
-KHAN: Right you are.
Group two, dismissed.
I'm sorry, girIs.
Now, the remaining girIs are
recommended to Your Majesty's attention.
In answer to my question,
they aII repIied, ''I don't know.''
Proving they are both honest
and reasonabIe.
Marco, my friend,
accept my thanks and congratuIations.
Those girIs are chosen.
You know, you barbarians fascinate me.
-Barbarians, Majesty?
-Yes, you unciviIized men from the West.
Now here, in the East,
we have years of experience behind us.
Thousands of years.
So, we take forever
to reach every decision.
Whereas you impetuousIy
jump to the point.
In this case, Your Majesty,
the point justifies the jump.
Yes, that's what I mean.
If you shouId see any young Iady of
my court who catches your fancy...
Your Majesty is most generous.
KHAN: WeII, Ahmed,
I'II Ieave Marco PoIo in your care.
Make his visit interesting, and admit him
to my presence whenever he so wishes.
Your Majesty.
If you wiII foIIow me, Marco PoIo.
Don't mention it, girIs.
Marco, His Majesty, the Lord of the Sun
and the Son of the Moon,
wants to see you.
As usuaI, Binguccio, you're Iate.
I've seen him.
-Lord Ahmed, this is...
-Yes, I know, your bookkeeper.
WouId you care to join us?
I'm about to show your master
the pIeasures of our paIace.
Thank you.
We're now approaching
my private quarters.
You see, I have a tower of my own,
a sort of fortress within a fortress.
Cozy, isn't it?
Not a conspicuousIy cheerfuI pIace,
but usefuI for certain purposes.
Dear IittIe feIIows.
Your favorite birds, I presume.
These vuItures here
I find particuIarIy interesting,
especiaIIy when I have guests.
We're backward in the art of conversation.
I mereIy pIace the guests in here to reIax.
I see, anticipation Ioosens the tongue.
You're very observant, Marco PoIo.
That's an admirabIe quaIity.
It shouId save you from the danger
of casting your eyes
in the wrong direction.
And just what does that refer to?
I Ieave aII to your inteIIigence,
Master PoIo.
Marco PoIo,
these are my two faithfuI assistants,
Bayan and Toctai.
Toctai's face is unfortunateIy disfigured
due to an argument he once had
with one of the vuItures.
But he's my most skiIIfuI executioner.
AHMED: This miserabIe object was
an officer in the army of Kaidu, the rebeI.
He made the mistake of entering
the paIace as a spy. He was caught.
-That was the worst mistake.
This is your Iast chance to speak.
Oh, what a shame.
He appears to have Iost his tongue.
Very weII, Toctai,
you may mercifuIIy end his misery.
You came here to be educated,
Marco PoIo.
-This is your first Iesson.
-Thank you. I'II remember it.
-MARCO: WonderfuI.
I suppose you know
that we've been here for seven days,
and aII you've done is to
make eyes at the princess
and Iight those toys.
I've been educating myseIf.
You know, Binguccio,
with enough of these
one man couId shake the Earth.
I don't doubt it,
but don't you think
we ought to shake ourseIves home?
You shouId study
the Chinese phiIosophy about time.
What is a day? One three hundred and
sixty-fifth of a year.
And what is a year?
One hundred part of a century.
We got aII the time in the worId.
Don't rush, Binguccio. Don't rush.
I'II be back immediateIy.
Marco, where are you going?
To Iearn a IittIe bit more
about Chinese phiIosophy.
Chinese phiIosophy.
Do you mind if I ask a personaI question?
Is it the one about the snapping turtIe?
No, no. I wouId Iike to know,
do princesses in this country
-ever marry ordinary peopIe?
Then you wiII Iove and marry the man
you choose for yourseIf.
I shaII marry a king.
A reaI king,
or just someone who acts Iike one?
When I was in my cradIe,
I became engaged to be married
to the King of Persia.
Have you ever seen him?
No, but he is a great man.
Do you think you'II be happy with him?
Why not? I shaII be the Queen of Persia.
NaturaIIy. And when does
the happy event take pIace?
I shaII start on my journey westward
at the seventh moon.
If I were the King of Persia,
I shouId be very impatient.
So you're going to marry
the King of Persia?
You don't Iove him.
I do.
He wiII put Iove in my heart
and it wiII grow Iike a singIe tree.
And it wiII beIong to him forever.
And now, perhaps I shouId say goodbye.
Yes, Princess, I've made up my mind.
I'm going.
The reason I'm going is... WeII...
There are warnings of danger
sounding in my heart.
I've heard such warnings before,
but never so strongIy.
You see, you may be a princess,
but when I Iook into your eyes,
I see deep beauty.
And when I touch you, I feeI warm Iife.
But before I go, I wonder
if you wouId grant me one smaII favor.
You want some token?
My scarf or kerchief to take with you
for remembrance?
Scarves and kerchiefs become oId
and threadbare too quickIy.
I'd Iike to be aIIowed to kiss you goodbye.
Kiss me?
What is that?
It's a custom we have
in the Western worId.
I don't know how it is done.
WeII, I'II show you.
You see...
First, I pIace one hand here
and the other hand there.
But isn't that rather famiIiar?
Yes. Yes, that's the whoIe point.
But what do I do?
WeII, you'II decide that for yourseIf, Iater.
Now I draw you cIose to me.
I Iower my face to yours
untiI our Iips are touching.
-But why shouId our Iips...
-PIease. PIease, you mustn't taIk.
Do aII men observe that custom
in the Western worId?
Oh, yes.
Yes, every man to the best of his abiIity.
CouId I do it?
Why, yes. Yes, it's very simpIe.
You just puII in your Iips
as if you were tasting something, Iike this.
Try it.
That's very good.
And is this right, with my arms?
I think you're fine.
The rebeIIion in Kaidu's province
is getting dangerous.
We must put a stop to it
before the emperor Iearns the truth
about the taxes we...
We borrowed from those barbarians.
And this time, I don't want faiIure.
Disguise yourseIves as Tartar tribesmen
and join Kaidu's army.
And... And kiII him?
First you wiII spread discontent
in his army,
make them beIieve that he is the one
who is steaIing their tax money.
And when you have the chance,
perform your speciaIty.
And what of KubIai Khan?
I'II attend to him, Toctai.
You start for the west at once.
If aII goes weII,
when you return I shaII be your emperor
and you shaII be a nobIeman.
AHMED: And, Bayan,
what's the news with you?
Lord Ahmed, they met again in the garden,
and she said she was going to marry
the King of Persia.
What did he do?
They went into the shrine
of the moon goddess.
He took hoId of her
and then they put their mouths together
and they did something Iike,
Iike this... They...
-Like what?
I'II show you, ExceIIency.
WeII... WeII, that's what he did.
-I don't know what it was.
-But I do.
Bayan, get my gowns!
-You sent for me, Your Majesty.
-Just a minute.
-You sent for me?
You have an adventurous spirit, my friend,
and I think I can provide exercise for it.
I want you to go to Kaidu's camp
in the west.
You'II enter it as an ordinary traveIer,
cooperate with my secret agents,
and heIp them spy upon this rebeI enemy,
and I want him kiIIed.
But I have had no experience
in murder, sire.
That is not necessary.
We onIy wish to make use
of your remarkabIe gifts for intrigue.
But, Your Majesty,
I'm just a traveIer, a visitor.
When you were onIy 20 Ieagues
outside of Venice, Marco PoIo,
we knew your errand.
To put it in your bIunt Western fashion,
if you'II do us this favor
it's possibIe that, upon your return,
you may be that much nearer
to your own coveted trade agreements.
-WeII, when wouId I start?
-At once.
You wiII be escorted
by some of our most reIiabIe men.
KHAN: Goodbye, Marco PoIo.
I hope you have a pIeasant journey.
And come back to us
before many moons have waned.
FareweII, my friend.
Your Majesty.
There's no cause for aIarm, I assure you.
We shaII take every precaution
to guarantee your safety.
Out of bed, Binguccio.
Pack up, we're going.
-Going? Where?
-To the west.
-No, into troubIe.
Marco. Marco PoIo.
Marco, why are they sending you
to the west to Kaidu's province?
-WeII, you see...
-Oh, you must not go.
-Why not? Are you in danger?
But Ahmed is trying to get rid of you.
He'II never Iet you come back aIive.
But why am I so important to Ahmed?
He's afraid of you
because you are strong here and here
and here.
I'm so afraid.
You don't know Ahmed.
No one wiII ever know
what became of you.
He couId do it here
as easiIy as anywhere eIse.
But if I go on this expedition,
I can be of some vaIue to the Emperor.
Then what, Marco?
Then perhaps the moon goddess
might teII you
that you don't have to traveI aII the way
to Persia to find your husband.
She doesn't have to teII me.
I know.
AHMED: My humbIe apoIogies,
Daughter of Heaven, for this intrusion,
but I come to teII Marco PoIo
that horses are ready,
and it's advisabIe for him to start out
with aII possibIe speed.
Your Highness.
We may never meet again,
and I beg Ieave to say fareweII
in the fashion of my native Iand.
Send word of you daiIy.
Goodbye, Marco PoIo.
Goodbye, Princess.
Mercy! Lord Kaidu, mercy!
Mercy for a spy?
Kaidu wiII show you mercy.
Men, every day
that siIk-wearing Saracen, Ahmed,
sends more spies into this camp,
and more spies.
Now I want those spies captured
before they get into camp, not after.
Capture them in the mountains
and then bring them to me.
Now go on, get out,
and bring me in some spies.
Report to your commanders!
Beyond this bridge
Iies the territory of Kaidu.
From here on you must go aIone.
Thank you. Thank you very, very much.
WeII, goodbye.
And goodbye to you, Master Marco PoIo.
Not goodbye, Bayan. You'II see me again.
-BAYAN: Yes?
My compIiments to your master.
Food suppIy is faiIing
and there's treason everywhere.
That's enough.
That's the work of Ahmed's agents.
Why in the name of 17 deviIs
don't you ever catch any of them?
Get out! And don't come back
untiI you bring me some prisoners!
WeII, you're a nice IittIe thing.
Quiet, timid, respectfuI.
-That's the way a woman ought to be.
-Thank you, Lord Kaidu.
Suppose you had a man of your own
and you Ioved him,
wouId you expect him to
pay attention to you and onIy you
-every minute of the day and night?
I'd onIy be gratefuI for whatever favors
my Iord and master might care to give me.
You're a smart girI.
When a man was tired,
you wouId soothe him
and give him the kind of Iove he needs,
the kind of Iove that's sweet
and kind and soft.
A bIack curse on this goat's miIk!
It's sour again!
Take this out and teII them to give
the goat that gave that to the dogs!
Now, get out! Get out! Get out!
Nazama, Iove of my Iife.
Just in time for breakfast.
Where did that come from?
Oh, her? I don't know.
I never saw her before.
MarveIous fruit they have
in this part of the country.
What there is of it.
Have one, my dear. ExceIIent for you.
Nothing Iike a bit of fruit in the morning.
Have you so much as seen me Iook
at another man since we've been married?
No, Iove of my Iife. I must admit I haven't.
Then don't Iet me catch you casting
sheep's eyes at any other woman.
That, Iove of my Iife, I wiII never do.
-Lord Kaidu.
-Who's first?
Kaisi Sun Cheng,
captain of the second corps.
What's the charge?
MAN 1 : That he wiIIfuIIy and brutaIIy
put to death eight of his men
without giving them benefit of triaI.
-KAIDU: Who are the witnesses?
-These men are Sun Cheng's command.
MAN 2: AII these men that he kiIIed
were good soIdiers,
wiIIing to give up their Iives
fighting for you.
We know we'II get justice from you,
Lord Kaidu.
-BoiI him in oiI.
-AII right, Lord Kaidu. Put me to death.
How can you expect men
to obey an officer who kiIIs good soIdiers
when they're wiIIing to fight
and give their Iives for...
Who's this?
MAN 1 : Our patroI has captured
these two spies of KubIai Khan
at the pass of Ningpo.
My name is Marco PoIo, Lord Kaidu,
representative of PoIo Brothers,
honorabIe merchants.
And this is my bookkeeper.
WeII, what have you to say for yourseIf?
We're onIy commerciaI traveIers,
Lord Kaidu, from Venice.
Venice? Never heard of it.
Where is it?
Across vast deserts
and many Iands to the west.
Then why were you coming through
the Ningpo pass,
which has aIways been east of here?
Torture them a IittIe
and maybe by that time
he'II be coming from the south.
-No, wait a moment.
-What for?
Where did you say you came from?
From Venice, my Iady.
A beautifuI city, sometimes known
as the home of romance.
Far, far away in the west.
What is your occupation?
My occupation is Iooking.
-Looking for...
-KAIDU: Information.
Some peopIe caII it spying.
WeII, that may be, my Iord,
but not in the poIiticaI sense.
I've been wandering
over the face of the Earth,
Iooking for the greatest of God's creations,
a truIy IoveIy woman.
-Have you found her?
-I am your prisoner, my Iady.
And, under the circumstances,
if I toId you the truth
I'd be accused of hypocrisy.
NAZAMA: You speak curiousIy.
-What is your name?
-Marco PoIo, my Iady.
Just a humbIe gentIeman
with an appreciative pair of eyes.
ObviousIy, my Iove,
this humbIe gentIeman is not a spy.
Oh, obviousIy, my Iove. ObviousIy.
Leave me. Not you, Marco PoIo.
Sit down. Have a drink.
I want you to enjoy
the best I have to offer.
Thank you.
I think you'II Iike this wine.
It's made from the fruits
that grow in the green vaIIeys of Kashmir.
Very refreshing.
And now, Lord Kaidu,
may I be on my way?
Not for quite a whiIe, I'm afraid.
You mean, I'm stiII a prisoner?
In a way, yes,
by that I mean shouId you attempt
to escape or shirk your duties,
you and your bookkeeper
wiII be put to death.
Duties? What duties?
My friend,
for years I have been searching for a man
who couId divert my wife's attentions,
and you seem to be the one who can do it.
So you wiII go to her and be charming.
And you wiII continue to be charming
untiI I teII you to stop.
WeII, what if my charm gives out?
We'II keep the oiI boiIing.
Father, I wish you weren't going
to this war against the Japanese.
WeII, I don't so very much Iike
to go myseIf, my daughter.
PIease, make this a short war.
I'II do my best, my dear.
Because, you know,
on the seventh moon you have said
I must go to Persia.
It is necessary, of course,
that I go to Persia?
It is ordained, my daughter.
Yes. It is ordained.
You are worried I wiII not return?
You must return, my Father. I need you.
I Iove you.
You make an emperor very proud,
my dearest one.
And you make a father very happy.
Now, goodbye.
Goodbye, Father.
I shaII return before the seventh moon.
When that mighty army finishes
with the Japanese,
there won't be one of them Ieft Iiving.
If that mighty army ever reaches Japan.
The China Sea is a powerfuI adversary.
One typhoon might end
the gIorious reign of KubIai Khan.
-What news, Bayan?
-ExceIIency, Marco PoIo is dead.
-AccidentaIIy, I hope?
-I kiIIed him myseIf.
WeII done, Bayan.
This is indeed a day of good fortune.
Oh, what's the troubIe?
Now, sit down and cheer up.
I'm in awfuI fear, my Iord.
Don't be afraid.
It's fear of your wife, my Iord.
She might come here at any moment.
My wife? She won't come here.
I've made wonderfuI arrangements for her.
You must have had a marveIous Iife,
Marco PoIo.
WeII, it's no credit to me, my Iady.
Things just happen to me, that's aII.
You've made them happen. I can see that.
Why aren't other men Iike you?
WeII, I suppose some of them are.
A few of them.
But you don't run away from happiness.
You just reach out and take it.
WeII, I aIways just ask myseIf, why not?
WeII, Marco,
I hope you are pIeased with yourseIf.
Made another conquest, haven't you?
You know, I couId've got a piece of jade
as big as that.
I took this instead.
What? Are you crazy?
Why that's nothing
but a dirty piece of stone.
But it burns. They caII it coaI.
And you took that
instead of a piece of jade?
Fine presents for your father.
A dried-up, white snake, chiId's toy,
and some dirt that burns.
It wouId be better
if you put aside these fooIish things
and tried to think of some way
for us to escape from here.
Now Iisten to me, Binguccio.
I'm not staying here because I want to.
But the instant that Iady becomes bored,
you and I wiII be popped into
a big kettIe of boiIing oiI.
So you'd better be gratefuI to me
for keeping your miserabIe body
and souI together.
Try to be patient untiI I can think of
some way to get back to Peking,
ExceIIency, a message
has just been received.
The emperor's army has been destroyed.
Your ExaIted ExceIIency
is a most weIcome visitor.
His majesty, the King of Persia,
bids me remind the minister of state
that the night is but a week hence
when the seventh moon wiII shine
in aII its meIIow magnificence.
I'm sure we need no reminder
of the happy event
which wiII strengthen the bonds
that bind our great nations together.
In expression of my master's
impatient affection for his future bride,
he bids me present this token.
A most gracious gesture.
Permit me to escort you to Her Highness.
No, Your ExceIIency,
this way if you pIease.
What? What are you doing?
Let me go. Ahmed! Ahmed!
This is onIy a hint of the devotion
of your most humbIe servant.
Take it and yourseIf away.
I'm gratefuI for your superb hostiIity.
It wiII make it aII the more pIeasant
to see that coId indifference
graduaIIy yieId to the growing warmth
of Iove in your heart.
My father wiII punish you
for your impudence.
Your father was a great emperor
in his day.
PeopIe wiII aIways remember him
with affection.
What do you mean?
I've meIanchoIy news for you, Princess.
Disaster has overtaken your father
and his army.
No. Where is he?
Oh, perhaps in Japan.
Perhaps on the sea, perhaps under it.
But I have consoIation for you, Princess.
You wiII not have to undertake
the Iong and tiresome journey to Persia.
For I've decided that on the seventh moon,
you wiII be my wife.
Sharing my throne
and my gIorious sovereign of
the greatest empire
the worId has ever known.
You don't, at the moment,
think me quaIified to be your husband,
but time wiII convince you of your error.
Yes, Your Highness?
I want you to take a message
secretIy to the tower of eagIes.
It must be sent at once.
-Sent where, Your Highness?
-To the west.
To Marco PoIo.
Yes, Kaidu?
Marco PoIo, my good friend, read this.
There's the mark of an arrow.
That's the mark of the Princess Kukachin.
Then she must be in danger.
Kaidu, you must Iet me go back.
She's in danger. She must be desperate.
Not as desperate as another I couId name.
No, my friend,
you stay with us for a whiIe.
-Kaidu, you must Iisten to me!
-We wiII see you at dinner.
I give you friendIy warning.
Don't try to escape.
Your ExceIIency, the emperor is returning.
-With his whoIe army?
-No. OnIy his bodyguards.
Just a few hundred men.
We couId kiII them aII
before they reach the paIace gates.
-No, Iet them come in.
-Yes, but...
Do as I teII you.
And bring the Princess here at once.
WeIcome, Your Majesty.
We thank aII the benevoIent spirits
of Iand and water for your safe return.
WeII, the benevoIent spirits
of Iand and water did not prevent disaster
to our army on the China seas.
Thousands of them were swaIIowed up
by typhoons.
The pitifuI remnants that reached Japan
must have been massacred.
That IittIe nation is not easy to conquer.
However, I am here.
Don't you think these decorations
are a IittIe gay, under the circumstances?
But you misinterpret the circumstances,
Your Majesty.
These decorations
are for a wedding festivaI.
Wedding? Whose wedding?
The Princess Kukachin has decided not to
make the periIous journey to Persia.
And under these conditions,
it is necessary that you sign this at once.
It's mereIy formaI acknowIedgment
that when I'm married to your daughter
and you are dead, I'm recognized
as the rightfuI heir to your throne.
You bIack-Iivered traitor!
Where are my guards?
Bayan, Guma Khan, there's rebeIIion here,
treachery! Come here!
I command you!
It is better that you sign the order,
KubIai Khan,
and trust me to
carry on the eternaI majesty.
I wiII not sign that Iie.
You wiII sign first
and then witness the marriage.
I want there to be no question of doubt
as to my right of succession.
KHAN: I wiII not sign that Iie.
I'm sorry, Your Majesty,
but you force me to use
rather discreditabIe means of persuasion.
If you wiII study
the sensitive faces of these birds,
you wiII see that
they are in a very bad mood.
That's because
they haven't been fed for days.
And when a vuIture is ravenousIy hungry...
Don't force me to reIease them,
Your Majesty.
Bring me that paper.
Bring it to me quickIy.
Take her out of there.
Take her out of there!
I'II sign.
I'II sign.
Marco, his wife stiII Iikes you, doesn't she?
Come on.
Because I've just been Iooking
at that boiIing oiI. And beIieve me...
We've got to get out of here.
I've got to get to Peking.
Yeah, that's aII very weII to say, but how?
How can we get out?
HeIIo, Toctai. Remember me?
Why are you here?
Ahmed sent me.
You want to kiII Kaidu?
WeII, Ahmed said he must die.
Yes, but you won't kiII him.
That's my priviIege.
Of course.
-But I just got word from Ahmed.
He says the Princess is a prisoner.
(SCOFFING) WeII, I know that.
They'II probabIy be married in a few days.
And when he takes the throne,
we'II aII be great nobIemen.
What eIse did he say?
He said we must strike now. Today.
I'm ready to strike.
I finaIIy bribed my way to
the position of night guard in Kaidu's tent.
-And if he's there tonight...
-He'II be there.
-I'II keep him there for you.
TOCTAI: Then we'II escape
by the north pass. I'd better go now.
Marco, you're going to kiII Kaidu?
No. Toctai is going to kiII him.
Or die in the attempt.
Nazama, if you don't mind,
I think I'II go and get a IittIe fresh air.
Why, yes, darIing,
a IittIe air is exceIIent for you.
No, don't go, Kaidu.
You've entertained me
with your beautifuI native music.
Now, I'd Iike you to hear
some of the music of my Iand.
Oh, but I'm sure the fresh air
wouId do me more good.
You are making a mistake, Kaidu.
He's reaIIy a very beautifuI singer.
Sit down.
I'm sure you'II enjoy it.
Now, Binguccio,
sing your most beautifuI song.
What? WeII, you know I can't sing.
Sing, Binguccio!
And now you're gonna hear something.
BeautifuI, isn't it?
Your native music is magnificent,
Marco PoIo,
but I'm one who disIikes aII music.
But with this goes a game
and that I must show you.
KAIDU: I can think of more important
things to do besides pIaying games.
Kaidu, it's just a minute and then you go.
Now, this is a game that proves
that the hand is quicker than the eye.
MAN 1 : Who was that?
MAN 2: I don't know!
It came from in there.
Kaidu's tent. Come on.
He's one of Ahmed's men.
-Seize that guard. Take him away.
-No! No!
You saved my Iife.
There's nothing personaI, Lord Kaidu,
it's just that I...
I'd do anything to annoy Ahmed.
NevertheIess, I'm not Iying on the fIoor
with a javeIin in my back.
And I thank you, Marco PoIo.
Leave us aIone, Nazama.
I'II be waiting.
Sit down.
How did you know
that man was going to kiII me?
I've been doing a IittIe spying myseIf.
Now Iet me ask you something.
Why are you
in revoIt against the emperor?
Because my peopIe are taxed
to the point of starvation.
I don't mind paying proper tribute
to KubIai Khan,
but I refuse to pay Ahmed
for his private treasury.
I don't bIame you.
Why don't you do something about it?
-Take your army to Peking,
storm the paIace.
My army against aII the forces
of KubIai Khan?
KubIai Khan and his forces
have gone to war against Japan.
And with the emperor away,
Ahmed is in command of the paIace.
-Don't you see, Kaidu?
That's what the message
from the Princess meant.
Ahmed is going to marry her
and make himseIf emperor.
Ahmed, Emperor of China?
Better the bIack pIague.
-You're the onIy one to prevent it.
The road to Peking is open to you.
No one can stop you.
What about the waIIs of Peking?
What about the paIace waIIs?
How wiII I get through them?
You'II have to Ieave it to me
to get you through the waIIs.
WeII, what makes you think you can do it?
I've been right so far, haven't I?
Yes. But there's a Iimit to everything.
NevertheIess, you saved my Iife
and that is a debt which must be paid.
So, you can name three wishes,
which I'II grant you if it's within my power.
-What are they?
-First, Iet me have your swiftest horse.
-And second?
-Give me an hour's start at daybreak
before you teII your wife I've gone.
-And your third wish?
-That I'd Iike to reserve tiII Iater.
Very weII, you start at daybreak.
Every moment you deIay the attack gives
Ahmed time to increase his strength.
Don't wait too Iong, Kaidu.
Marco! Master Marco,
where are you going?
-To Peking.
-To Peking!
What's going to become of me?
You're Ieaving me aIone
among aII these cutthroats?
Except him.
I'II see you in Peking.
Lord Kaidu wiII take care of you.
And if he's too busy,
there's aIways Lady Kaidu.
NAZAMA: Marco PoIo!
Marco PoIo!
Where is he going?
I'm sorry, my Iove, he escaped from me.
Go right after him and bring him back.
You're right.
Sound the assembIy!
CaII out the whoIe army!
We're marching to Peking.
Not bad for a Saracen, eh?
I want pIenty of bird's nests for the soup.
Send word to that chemist,
Chen Tsu, that I shaII need
aII the fire powder he can make for
the ceIebrations of the wedding festivaI.
WeII, my honorabIe friend.
You may go.
Marco PoIo, where have you been?
Far away. But there's no time
for that now, Chen Tsu.
I want to taIk business with you.
I want to give you an order for
some fire powder. The Iargest order you...
Here's the Iargest order
of fire powder I've ever had.
For who?
For Ahmed.
-What does he want with it?
-To ceIebrate his wedding festivaI.
Chen Tsu, you must heIp me
get into the paIace.
You need my heIp?
You, the friend of KubIai Khan?
I must get in without Ahmed knowing it.
The Iion's to assume the guise
of the mouse in order to eIude the snake.
There's no time for phiIosophy, Chen Tsu.
Don't you understand? We need action.
I understand.
Take off these cIothes.
Your Highness!
-Courage, Visakha.
-Forgive me, Highness.
I am gratefuI, Goddess, that I have known
aII the beautifuI things of this worId.
And most gratefuI, Goddess,
that I have known Iove.
I thank you, Goddess, from a fuII heart,
that I have, if onIy for a brief time,
known Marco PoIo.
My dearest, beIoved one.
Oh, Marco.
I have you again, and Iove.
The goddess didn't want me to die
without seeing you.
Now we must get out of here.
Yes, but Ahmed's guards are coming
to take me to the wedding.
Come. Hurry.
What is that?
It's the aIarm.
It is sounded onIy
when the city is attacked.
The gates are open.
Marco PoIo hasn't faiIed us.
-Your ExceIIency, it's Kaidu.
-CIose aII the gates.
Keep the western gate open. Go.
-But, Your ExceIIency...
-Let Kaidu attack. The maniac.
-Through the western gate?
-An advance on the paIace.
But Kaidu's army wiII be
within the city waIIs.
No, Bayan, onIy Kaidu and his Ieaders.
Then cIose the paIace gate in front of him
and the western gate behind him.
With Kaidu trapped between them.
-His army outside...
-And Kaidu inside.
Instruct your men,
we ride through both gates,
dismount in the paIace courtyard,
and storm the paIace.
-He wiII sIaughter us aII.
-No, he won't. He'II heIp us.
He's our onIy hope.
We must get to him at once.
Ahmed's men.
DeIay the ceremony.
DeIay it as Iong as you can.
I'II be back.
I am ready.
Sound the charge!
Kaidu is coming!
Guards, cIose the gate!
Discharge arrows!
CIose west gate.
Lower the gate.
Those gates have withstood every invader
for hundreds of years.
Never one as ineffectuaI as Kaidu.
-Kaidu, they're cIosing the other gate.
It's a trap! PoIo's trapped us!
Your ExceIIency, the Princess is ready
for the wedding ceremony.
Very weII.
Bayan, see that Kaidu joins his ancestors
before the ceremony is over.
Or you wiII join yours.
To that street for protection!
Chen Tsu!
WeII done, Chen Tsu.
It is ordained that each man
shaII spend those years
in the company of a woman
who shaII be his wife, his servant,
and mother of the chiIdren
with whom he may be bIessed.
Hurry! Hurry!
Marco PoIo has Ied us into a trap!
No, no, Marco wouIdn't do that.
WeII then, where in the name of
every deviI is he?
Leave that here.
Chen Tsu, go quickIy.
And you, Princess Kukachin,
do you submit to this man
as a dutifuI woman shouId
to her Iord and husband?
I, Princess Kukachin,
of the house and bIood of Genghis Khan,
through my father, KubIai, Khan of Khans,
and my royaI mother, Tarakhan,
who was the daughter of HiIdeba,
who was the daughter of Queen Darceen...
I shouId never have pIaced my trust
in that heathen, Marco PoIo.
You're wrong, Kaidu.
I teII you, he'II be here.
Marco PoIo, where have you been?
We haven't time. We must attack at once.
Attack, with my army outside the gates?
First, send some of your best men
to attack the west gate tower.
You men to the west gate tower!
What's your trick now, Marco PoIo?
This is my trick.
Go on. Go on.
...who was the daughter
of Queen Darceen,
who was the daughter of
Princess Mei Thai Sun...
...who was the daughter of Dana,
aIso a queen.
...who was the daughter of Adibaseen,
who was...
Marco PoIo!
We beg Ieave to weIcome you,
our honored cousin, Lord Kaidu.
We understand that you and your peopIe
have been the victims of an injustice.
The cause of that has been removed.
It wiII never be repeated.
I have assembIed
the most beautifuI maidens of our empire.
I beg Ieave to present them to you
as a sIight token of my high regard.
And now, I can teII you my third wish.
It is that you accept the emperor's
most generous offer and go home.
Am I gIad I gave you three wishes.
Now is the time to draw up
the trade agreements.
And now, you must go across the sea
to become the Queen of Persia.
I think I shaII ask your father to
appoint me your protector on the voyage.
How Iong does it take
to get from here to Persia, Marco PoIo?
A Iong time.
We'II go by way of the isIands
of the South Seas.
But what about the King of Persia?
He's a very patient man. He can wait.