Quo Vadis

Quo Vadis

3.2 6
Director: Mervyn LeRoy

Cast: Mervyn LeRoy, Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn

     
 

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Originally advertised as "Colossal Quo Vadis," this opulent MGM production is far and away the most elaborate of the many versions of Henryk Sienkiewicz's novel. The plot, as always, concerns the romance between a beautiful early Christian woman (Deborah Kerr) and the initially agnostic Roman soldier Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor). This

Overview

Originally advertised as "Colossal Quo Vadis," this opulent MGM production is far and away the most elaborate of the many versions of Henryk Sienkiewicz's novel. The plot, as always, concerns the romance between a beautiful early Christian woman (Deborah Kerr) and the initially agnostic Roman soldier Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor). This love story is laid against the larger intrigues of the debauched emperor Nero (Peter Ustinov), who hopes to gain immortality by destroying Rome with a fire and remaking it in his own image. Part of Nero's master plan is the elimination of the Christian "threat," leading to the climactic lion picnics in the arena. In spite of the many more celebrated highlights (the burning of Rome, the rescue of Lygia [Deborah Kerr] from a rampaging bull, the upside-down crucifixion of Simon Peter), the scene that remains most vivid in the memory is the posthumous "final insult" delivered to Nero by his contemptuous former aide Petronius (Leo Genn). Sophia Loren can be briefly spotted as an extra during one of the crowd scenes.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Many critics found this MGM spectacular bloated and tedious; others found the magnificent sets and costumes, and the production's fantastic scale, a lustrous example of the Hollywood historical epic. The story, based on a classic novel by Henryk Siekiewicz, concerns the Roman emperor Nero and his persecution of early Christians. It centers on a love affair between a Roman commander (Robert Taylor) and a young Christian woman (Deborah Kerr). Peter Ustinov plays Nero with a thunderous, depraved, over-the-top bravado. The film contains scenes of horrible brutality and is never subtle. Quo Vadis? received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Ustinov, but won none. This is one of several films based on the novel, including silent epics in 1913 and 1925 and an update in 1985.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/17/2009
UPC:
0883929037476
Original Release:
1951
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:54:00
Sales rank:
19,733

Special Features

Commentary by Critic/film historian F.X. Feeney; Digitally remastered from restored picture and audio elements; Original roadshow overture and exit music; Rejoined to the film for the first time in 56 years; New featurette In the Beginning: Quo Vadis adn the Genesis of the Biblical Epic; Theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Taylor Marcus Vinicius
Deborah Kerr Lygia
Leo Genn Petronius
Peter Ustinov Nero
Patricia Laffan Poppaea
Finlay Currie Peter
Abraham Sofaer Paul
Marina Berti Eunice
Buddy Baer Ursus
Felix Aylmer Plautius
Nora Swinburne Pomponia
Ralph Truman Tigellinus
Norman Wooland Nerva
Peter Miles Nazarius
Geoffrey Dunn Terpnos
D.A. Clarke-Smith Phaon
Rosalie Crutchley Acte
John Ruddock Chilo
Arthur Walge Croton
Elspeth March Miriam
Strelsa Brown Rufia
Alfredo Varelli Lucan
William Tubbs Anaxander
Pietro Tordi Galba
Nicholas Hannen Seneca
Adrienne Corri Actor
Sophia Loren Girl applauding in Vinicius' court
Walter Pidgeon Narrator
Richard Miles Actor

Technical Credits
Mervyn LeRoy Director
S.N. Behrmann Screenwriter
Edward C. Carfagno Art Director
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Hugh Gray Consultant/advisor
William Horning Production Designer
Tom Howard Special Effects
Hugh Hunt Set Decoration/Design
Donald Jahraus Special Effects
Sonya Levien Screenwriter
John Lee Mahin Screenwriter
Herschel McCoy Costumes/Costume Designer
William McCoy Art Director
Auriel Millos Choreography
Marta Obolensky Choreography
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
William Skall Cinematographer
Robert Surtees Cinematographer
Ralph F. Winners Editor
Ralph Winters Editor
Sam Zimbalist Producer

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Quo Vadis 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Zoticus More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable film even if you're not very religious. How much actual "history" there is in this film is anyone's guess.  Petronius and Nero are  a great pair of characters.  The disc  has monaural sound, it was recorded that way (this was 1950) and there's no point to saddling the disc with a "5.1 surround soundtrack" as one reviewer complained below.  Additionally, there are plenty of chapters and the movie was shot in an aspect ratio of about 1:33 to 1, so it occupies the center portion of your widescreen TV. Beautiful sets, old-fashioned piety on display. If you like Bible movies or ancient history epics then you must  see Quo Vadis.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie like a few others is dubbed in Japanese (see The African Queen). It would be very nice if B & N would announce that loud and clear in it's description. This is the second "surprise" I've gotten. The only way to tell from the website is to take a good long look at the picture of the movie. If you miss that, you may end up with something other than what you think you are ordering.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Quo Vadis is one of my all time favorite movies and when it became available as a DVD thru B &amp N online, I couldn't wait to buy it! How disappointed I was to discover that the media format was such poor quality! It was not created with 5.1 or 6.1 digital sound, which should have been my first clue, there are no options to change the audio set-up at all, you cannot fast forward to the next chapter while running the movie and overall, it feels like I am watching my VHS recording but even that has better video detail than this DVD. I am very disappointed with this DVD. I should have been more careful to see that it was not put out by MGM in the first place. Don't be duped by this mistaken identity!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unforgettable, great actors, fictional story about real historical events, with some characters based on real historical people. Movies in that era were meant to provide a memorable evening of superb entertainment and this one exceedingly accomplishes that goal.
Patrisha More than 1 year ago
A cast of thousands! Stunning costumes and scenery! Christians versus Lions! Nero singing while Rome burned! [Do I sound like an advertisement?] This film has it all including the handsome Robert Taylor, the lovely Deborah Kerr, and an over-the-top performance by Peter Ustinov as Nero. Early Christianity is treated with reverence (note my high score for "inspiration") in this technicolor look at ancient Roman life - it's easy to see how other Hollywood filmmakers lovingly borrowed from it - "The Robe," "Ben-Hur," even "Gladiator" - while gently bending history just a bit in the process. Even if you're disinterested in the overall plot, just remember one thing: there were virtually no special effects and the sets were real making this the kind of epic movie no Hollywood studio could afford to shoot in today's dollars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago