Quo VadisDirector: Mervyn LeRoy
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.
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- Warner Home Video
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Cast & Crew
|Robert Taylor||Marcus Vinicius|
|Sophia Loren||Girl applauding in Vinicius' court|
|Edward C. Carfagno||Art Director|
|Cedric Gibbons||Art Director|
|Arnold A. Gillespie||Special Effects|
|William Horning||Production Designer|
|Tom Howard||Special Effects|
|Hugh Hunt||Set Decoration/Design|
|Donald Jahraus||Special Effects|
|John Lee Mahin||Screenwriter|
|Herschel McCoy||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|William McCoy||Art Director|
|Miklós Rózsa||Score Composer|
|Ralph F. Winners||Editor|
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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.
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.
Quo Vadis is one of my all time favorite movies and when it became available as a DVD thru B & 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!
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.
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!