Three centuries before Christus. Young Cabiria is kidnapped by some pirates during one eruption of the Etna. She is sold as a slave in Carthage, and as she is just going to be sacrificed to... See full summary »
Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia in Rome and falls in love. But she is Christian and doesn't want anything to do with him. Marcus decides to kidnap her but Ursus, her bodyguard, catches Marcus. ... See full summary »
While caring for his sick daughter, a doctor is called away to the sickbed of a neighbor. He finds the neighbor gravely ill, and ignores his wife's pleas to come home and care for his own daughter, who has taken a turn for the worse.
"Quo Vadis?" (1913) was a landmark in early Italian historical epic films and certainly Herr Enrico Guazzoni's grand scale masterpiece laid the foundations for what genuine kolossal Italian spectacles should be. It had a great deal of influence on Herr Giovanni Pastrone's "Cabiria" 1914) and D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance" (1916).
It is easy to see why "Quo Vadis?" shocked early silent audiences because even today to watch this astonishing oeuvre is like visiting an archaeological delicatessen and is a pleasure for silent fans. The film is a larger-than-life picture that was based on a Polish historical novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. The book was adapted for the silent and talkie screen many times but the story is so complex that it is hard to summarize in film form. There are a lot of Romans, an incendiary Caesar, many Christians and a horde of extras. Sometimes this Herr Graf got a little confused trying to remember who loves who and who is conspiring against whom.
"Quo Vadis?" is typical of Herr Guazzoni with his eye for details and his skill in using his big budget to maximum effect. The film is well paced and of course there are many great set pieces: Rome in flames, a chariot race and a coliseum full of gladiators, helpless Christians and very hungry lions. Besides the grand spectacle, the film includes also more prosaic subjects like morality and faith in reference to the early Christians and the struggle of this new religion and its human values in the face of Roman decadence and barbarism.
In technical aspects, "Quo Vadis?" is a surprising oeuvre for its detailed framing wherein the depth of field works very effectively in focusing the viewer' s attention right where it needs to be when some much is happening on screen.
Unfortunately "Quo Vadis?" hasn't had the well-earned praise of other similar Italian historical epic films; that's what usually happens with the pioneers. These early and innovative masters have their work copied by advanced pupils who end up with the fame and glory. As the German saying goes: "raise crows, and they'll gouge out your eyes" And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must throw some servants into the Schloss' Coliseum arena.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com
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