IMDb > Quo Vadis (1951)
Quo Vadis
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Quo Vadis (1951) More at IMDbPro »

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Quo Vadis -- Returning to Rome after 3 years in the field, General Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia and falls in love with her...
Quo Vadis -- US Home Video Trailer from MGM

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   8,108 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
John Lee Mahin (screen play) and
S.N. Behrman (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Quo Vadis on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1951 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
Three Years in the Making! Thousands in the Cast! Filmed in Rome! See more »
Plot:
A fierce Roman general becomes infatuated with a beautiful Christian hostage and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emporer Nero. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Colossal and profound spectacle that indeed has its place in movie history! See more (87 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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
Nicholas Hannen ... Seneca
D.A. Clarke-Smith ... Phaon (as D.A. Clarke - Smith)
Rosalie Crutchley ... Acte
John Ruddock ... Chilo
Arthur Walge ... Croton
Elspeth March ... Miriam
Strelsa Brown ... Rufia
Alfredo Varelli ... Lucan
Roberto Ottaviano ... Flavius
William Tubbs ... Anaxander
Pietro Tordi ... Galba
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marika Aba ... Dancer - Assyrian Dance at Nero's Banquet (uncredited)
Adriano Ambrogi ... Wine Bibber (uncredited)
Anna Arena ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Alfred Baillou ... Christian Prisoner in Arena (uncredited)
Giacomo Barnas ... Senator (uncredited)
Scott R. Beal ... Fisherman (uncredited)
John Binns ... Officer (uncredited)
Francesca Biondi ... Slave Girl (uncredited)
Alice Bishop ... Serving Woman (uncredited)
Carlo Borelli ... Noble (uncredited)
Leslie Bradley ... Hasta - 2nd Praetorian (uncredited)
Alfred Brown ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Phyllis Brown ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Valentino Bruchi ... Mirmillon (uncredited)
Rosemary Burt ... Banquet Lady (uncredited)
Dante Ciriaci ... Wine Bibber (uncredited)
Frank Colson ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)

Adrienne Corri ... Young Christian Girl (uncredited)
Luca Cortese ... Old Man (uncredited)
David Craig ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Maurice De Bosardi ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Daniel De Jonghe ... Apostle (uncredited)
Michael De Krasny ... Banquet Man (uncredited)
Liana Del Balzo ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Jack del Rio ... Apostle (uncredited)
Lia Di Leo ... Pedicurist (uncredited)
Eduardo Di Persis ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Mildred Dudzik ... Girl (uncredited)
Gabriella Fabrizio ... Child (uncredited)
Franco Fantasia ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Cesare Fasulo ... Noble (uncredited)
Al Ferguson ... Apostle (uncredited)
Enzo Fiermonte ... Mounted Captain (uncredited)
Enrico Formichi ... Man with Wine Cup (uncredited)
John Fostini ... Young Unbaptized Man (uncredited)
Lydia Fostini ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Dino Galvani ... Senator (uncredited)
Richard Garrick ... Slave (uncredited)
Gianni Gazzoti ... Lydia Guard (uncredited)
Jack George ... Fisherman (uncredited)
Carlo Ghisini ... Guard (uncredited)
Trudy Glassford ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Joan Griffiths ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Evelyn Guignard ... Girl (uncredited)
Robin Hughes ... Christ (voice) (uncredited)
Adam Jennette ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Philip Kieffer ... Apostle (uncredited)
Gipsy Kiss ... Slave Girl (uncredited)
Lee Kresel ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Richard Larke ... Guard (uncredited)

Sophia Loren ... Lygia's Slave (uncredited)
Giovanni Lovatelli ... Banquet Man (uncredited)
Helena Makowska ... Older Woman (uncredited)
Anna Mancini ... Nubian Slave Girl (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Fisherman (uncredited)
Clelia Matania ... Parmenida (uncredited)
Richard McNamara ... Legionnaire (uncredited)
Harriet Medin ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Dario Michaelis ... Lydia Guard (uncredited)
Ernesto Molinari ... Fisherman (uncredited)
John Myhers ... Guard (uncredited)
Vincent Neptune ... Apostle (uncredited)
Attillio Olivo ... Servant (uncredited)
Riette Osborne ... Banquet Lady (uncredited)
Anna Maria Padoan ... Young Unbaptized Woman (uncredited)
Riccardo Pantellini ... Guard (uncredited)
Louis Payne ... Apostle (uncredited)

Walter Pidgeon ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Aldo Pini ... Headkeeper (uncredited)
Alberto Plebani ... Steward (uncredited)
Michael Proben ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Dino Raffaelli ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
George Restive ... Apostle (uncredited)
Kenneth Richards ... Guard (uncredited)
Alfredo Rizzo ... Hairdresser (uncredited)
Giuseppe Rodi ... Schipio (uncredited)
Leonardo Scavino ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Joseph Sebaroli ... Marcus Guard (uncredited)
Alessandro Serbaroli ... Officer (uncredited)
Jurek Shabelewski ... Faun (uncredited)
John Sleeter ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Lujo Sostarich ... Charon (uncredited)
Armando Spaccarelli ... Guard (uncredited)

Bud Spencer ... Imperial Guard (uncredited)
Jane Sprague ... Banquet Lady (uncredited)
Raffaele Tana ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)

Elizabeth Taylor ... Christian Prisoner in Arena (uncredited)
William Taylor ... Guard Captain / Marcus Guard (uncredited)
Michael Tor ... Centurian (uncredited)
Giuseppe Tosi ... Wrestler (uncredited)
Carlo Tricoli ... Apostle (uncredited)
Renato Valente ... Guard (uncredited)
Scilla Vannucci ... White Slave Girl (uncredited)
Giuseppe Varni ... Hairdresser (uncredited)
Dianora Veiga ... Slave Girl (uncredited)
Harry J. Vejar ... Fisherman (uncredited)
Romilda Villani ... Slave Girl (uncredited)
Benjamin Wilkes ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Maria Zanoli ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
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Directed by
Mervyn LeRoy 
Anthony Mann (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
John Lee Mahin (screen play) and
S.N. Behrman (screen play) &
Sonya Levien (screen play)

Henryk Sienkiewicz (based on the novel by)

Hugh Gray  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Sam Zimbalist .... producer
 
Original Music by
Miklós Rózsa  (as Miklos Rozsa)
 
Cinematography by
William V. Skall (director of photography)
Robert Surtees (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ralph E. Winters (film editor)
 
Casting by
Mel Ballerino (uncredited)
Irene Howard (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Edward C. Carfagno  (as Edward Carfagno)
Cedric Gibbons 
William A. Horning 
 
Set Decoration by
Hugh Hunt 
Elso Valentini (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Herschel McCoy (costumes: recreated by)
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles recreator
Joan Johnstone .... hair styles recreator
Charles E. Parker .... makeup supervisor
 
Production Management
Mack D'Agostino .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Henry Henigson .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Peter Bolton .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sergio Leone .... second unit director (uncredited)
Anthony Mann .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Donald P. Desmond .... set construction (uncredited)
Mentor Huebner .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
Italo Tomassi .... set designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording supervisor
Piero Cavazzuti .... assistant soundman (uncredited)
Robert B. Lee .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special effects (as A.Arnold Gillespie)
Tom Howard .... special effects (as Thomas Howard)
Donald Jahraus .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Peter Ellenshaw .... matte artist (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Dennis Bartlett .... focus puller: third unit (uncredited)
Fenton Hamilton .... head electrician (uncredited)
Arthur Lemming .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Leo Monlon .... grip (uncredited)
George Pink .... camera operator (uncredited)
John Schmitz .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Rino Guidi .... casting assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Herschel McCoy .... costumes recreated by
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Hugh Gray .... lyric compositions
Eugene Zador .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Eddie Frewin .... unit driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Hugh Gray .... historical adviser
Henri Jaffa .... technicolor color consultant
Auriel Millos .... choreographer
Marta Obolensky .... choreographer
Howard Dietz .... director of publicity (uncredited)
Ben Goetz .... liaison: M-G-M British (uncredited)
Morgan Hudgins .... unit publicist (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
171 min | UK:166 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:12 | Finland:K-12 | Ireland:PG | Portugal:M/12 (PG-13) (re-release) | Portugal:M/12 (original rating) (censored) | South Korea:All | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (2009) | USA:TV-PG | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #15165) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Filmed at the new Cincecitta Studio in Rome, a long-delayed production complex originally conceived by Benito Mussolini and Hal Roach under their proposed R.A.M. ("Roach and Mussolini") Corporation, which was ultimately aborted. This fascist business alliance horrified 1930s' studio moguls and ultimately led to Roach defecting from his MGM distribution deal to United Artists in 1937. This new studio complex offered massive sets and cheap Italian labor. It would be later utilized by many producers, including Federico Fellini.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Audio anachronism: I seemed to hear at one of the scenes at the beginning, when Nero-Ustinov is entertaining guests at his palace, a sentence in French! He turns around to address one of the musicians, and says something like: Joue pour moi! (Play for me). This was an original soundtrack version showed in Spanish TV, on April 5th 2007. I don't know if this was a joke or an incredible anachronism, since French was derived from Latin many centuries afterward. Maybe a hint to Nero's snob-ism...See more »
Quotes:
Emperor Nero:[none of his closest men will die for him in light of the mob's anger over Rome's burning] I'm surrounded by eunuchs!See more »

FAQ

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20 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Colossal and profound spectacle that indeed has its place in movie history!, 2 August 2006
Author: Marcin Kukuczka from Cieszyn, Poland

The 1st century Roman Empire, the fire of Rome, early Christianity, martyrdom...this historical content was dealt with in many films before and after 1951. Yet, it is LeRoy's QUO VADIS most viewers associate with the infamous period of Roman history, the reign of Nero (A.D. 54-68). Why? There are, I think, several reasons. One is, definitely, the source, a Noble Prize winner novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz. The Polish writer, being an acknowledged historian, contained detailed historical facts and a vivid fictitious story in his novel. As a result, QUO VADIS is a universal masterpiece, absolutely worth reading for anyone. But, since the film, though an adaptation of the book, skips many events or even characters, we may treat Mervyn LeRoy's QUO VADIS as a separate Hollywood production. In this respect, the movie is also well known as a gigantic spectacle with great cast, lavish sets, crowds of extras, which constitutes a magnificent journey to ancient Rome, the Rome which was on the verge of becoming "Neropolis". Then, a viewer does not have to know the novel and will enjoy the film.

THE STORY: If we consider QUO VADIS? as an entertaining movie only (which is, of course, a limited view), then anyone more acquainted with cinema will find much in common with Cecil B DeMille's great epic THE SIGN OF THE CROSS (1932). Yet, comparison does not work that well concerning the perspective of QUO VADIS (1951). After deeper analysis of the films, a lot of differences occur. While DeMille's film based on Wilson Barret's play shows early Christianity in Rome, it foremost concentrates on the clash between the new religion and the Roman order being put in danger. LeRoy's movie, since based on Henryk Sienkiewicz's, focuses on the undeniable victory of Christianity. Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) at first finds a new faith meaningless. He has reasonable arguments from the Roman point of view (what about slaves, conquest, enemy treating, etc). Yet GRADUALLY thanks to love for Lygia (Deborah Kerr) and the courageous faith of the martyrs, he shouts out with confidence "Christ, give him strength!" The story of Nero and "the imperial companions" is also much more developed. Yet, Nero (Peter Ustinov) is not only the one who heads for delicious debauchery but also wishes the crowd to have one throat that could be cut. He is an artist who burns Rome in order to create a song. He is a coward who blames the innocent for his own guilts. He is a cynic who collects tears in a weeping phial after the death of his "best friend" Petronius (Leo Genn). Finally, he is a lunatic who praises his "divine ego" and screams at his death seeing no future for Rome without him.

CAST: Anyone who has seen ancient epics must admit that most of them can boast great performances. Nevertheless, I believe that QUO VADIS is one of the top movies in this matter. Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr are a gorgeous couple portraying a Roman leader and a Christian girl. Taylor naturally expresses a change of heart. Kerr appealingly portrays innocence, gentleness and true love. Leo Genn is excellent as Petronius, a man of art and elegance who is fed up with Nero's "secondary songs and meaningless poems." Peter Ustinov gives a fabulous performance as Nero combining all wicked features of his character. I also loved Patricia Laffan as lustful empress Poppaea with her two pet leopards. There is no milk bath of hers, she does not imitate Ms Colbert but Laffan's Poppaea is foremost a woman of sin, a woman of lust, and a woman of revenge. The Christians, except for a number of extras, are portrayed by very authentic-looking actors: Abraham Sofaer as Paul and Finlay Currie as Peter...not more to say than that they look identical to the old paintings.

SPECTACLE: The movie is a visually stunning epic that can be compared in its magnificence to BEN HUR (1959) and even GLADIATOR (2000). There are numerous breathtaking moments: arena scenes, lions, bull fighting, triumph in the streets, and foremost the fire of Rome. We see the real horror within the walls of the burning city. A moment that is also worth consideration is Vinicius hurrying to Rome on a chariot being chased by two other men. When he comes nearer, we see the red sky... The authenticity is increased by a lovely landscape of Cinecitta Studios near Rome where the film was shot. For the sake of spectacle, I went once to see QUO VADIS on a big screen in cinema and felt as if I watched a new film made with modern techniques. It was a wonderful experience.

All in all, I think that QUO VADIS by Mervyn LeRoy is a movie that has stood a test of time. Although it is 55 years old, it is still admired in many places of the world. It's one of these movies that are the treasures of my film gallery. Not only a colossal spectacle, not only great performances but a very profound historical content at which Henryk Sienkiewicz was best.

QUO VADIS DOMINE? Where are you going, Lord? These are the words that Peter asked Christ while leaving Rome. After the answer that Peter heard from his Lord, he turned back... in order to proclaim peace to the martyrs and to be crucified. Yet, where once stood decadent "Neropolis" now stands the Holy See where people yearly pilgrim to the tombs of the martyrs and where the blessing "Urbi et Orbi" is goes to all the corners of the world. Sienkiewicz writes about it in the touching final words of the novel. Yet, LeRoy changes it a bit in the film...

A small group of Christians who survived, including Lygia and Marcus, are on a journey. But after a short stop at the place where Peter met Christ, the journey seems to turn into a pilgrimage towards "the Way, the Truth and the Life"

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