Quo Vadis (1951)
Editor's NoteMGM turned Henry Sinkiewicz's Nobel Prize-winning novel into one of the most extravagant production in film history. The epic tale is set in the decadence and decay of Nero's Rome, where Christianity is just beginning to foment. Robert Taylor (BILLY THE KID, JOHNNY EAGER) stars as Marcus Vinicius, a Roman military commander who falls in love with Lygia, played by Deborah Kerr (KING SOLOMON'S MINES, THE KING AND I). Lygia has recently converted to Christianity, and Marcus follows suit. The conversion establishes a rift between Marcus and the emperor Nero (Sir Peter Ustinov), who blames the growing religion for the turmoil within his empire, going so far as to throw Christian converts to the lions. But the real appeal of QUO VADIS is the grand Technicolor spectacle of ancient Rome burning, of pagan orgies, of marching armies, and of man-eating lions. Combined with the stunning score by Miklos Rozsa, QUO VADIS is worth watching simply for the orgy of sound and vision it offers.
Cast & Crew
|Sam Zimbalist - Producer|
|Ralph E. Winters - Editor|
|Robert Surtees - Cinematographer|
|Miklos Rozsa - Composer|
|John Lee Mahin - Screenwriter|
|Cedric Gibbons - Production Designer|
|Mervyn LeRoy - Director|
Plot SummaryQUO VADIS is a fabulous saga that dramatizes a decaying Rome under the rule of an insipid, grandiose Nero. All the accoutrements of Ancient Rome are depicted here: chariot races, persecuted Christians battling lions in the arena, Nero's extravagant lifestyle, Rome going up in flames, and more. This was the biggest of the Biblical box-office blockbusters in its time. Peter Ustinov's performance as the lazy, debauched Nero is a standout.
|"Quo Vadis, Domine?" (Whither goest Thou, Lord?) are the words uttered by St. Peter (Finlay Currie) as he flees Pagan Rome|