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Quo Vadis (1951)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 25 December 1951 (USA)
1:47 | Trailer
Fierce Roman commander Marcus Vinicius becomes infatuated with beautiful Christian hostage Lygia and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero.


Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann (uncredited)


John Lee Mahin (screen play), S.N. Behrman (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Ralph Truman ... Tigellinus
Norman Wooland ... Nerva
Peter Miles ... Nazarius
Geoffrey Dunn Geoffrey Dunn ... Terpnos


Returning to Rome after three years in the field, General Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) meets Lygia (Deborah Kerr) and falls in love with her, though as a Christian, she wants nothing to do with a warrior. Though she grew up Roman, the adopted daughter of a retired General, Lygia is technically a hostage of Rome. Marcus gets Emperor Nero (Sir Peter Ustinov) to give her to him for services rendered, but finds himself succumbing gradually to her Christian faith. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Greatest Spectacle Ever Filmed...Three Triumphant Hours of Unforgettable Thrills! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Uncredited American movie debut of Bud Spencer (Imperial Guard). He had an equally uncredited part in the Italian movie, Quel fantasma di mio marito (1950). See more »


The fire in Rome seems to be near the Emperor's palace, yet when Marcus rushes out to try to save Lygia, it seems he has to drive his chariot several miles to get to Rome. See more »


Vinicius: And as for the women of Gaul... well, their hair is like the frazzled ends of rope. Not a soft, red-gold crown with stars in it. And their palm was the hide of a wild boar. Not like this soft...
Lygia: At least that proves they are diligent.
Vinicius: Yes, at building mud huts. But not in bringing a man's thoughts to life.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD release restores the original overture and exit music, which, up until that point, was only heard in the original roadshow release and in the 1964 roadshow re-release. See more »


Version of Quo Vadis? (1924) See more »

User Reviews

Grand visual spectacle, magnificent score and solid performances make this worth watching
7 June 2011 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Quo Vadis is a good movie, but I personally don't consider it a truly great one. I did find some of the religious aspects over-bearing, some of the script rather stilted(Petronious' philosophical lines excepted) and a little rambling and bloated in the story and pace. Problems aside, Quo Vadis is a film of visual spectacle and grandeur. You can never go wrong with sweeping cinematography, lavish scope, sets and scenery and colourful costumes and Quo Vadis succeeds in all these areas. Mervyn LeRoy directs excellently, while Miklos Rosza's score is absolutely magnificent. The performances are solid, Robert Taylor does a good job playing it straight and isn't too dull and Deborah Kerr is as ravishing as ever, but it is Leo Genn playing Petronious more than admirably and especially a superb Peter Ustinov as Nero that walk away with the picture. All in all, a solid film albeit not one without its flaws. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

25 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Qvo Vadis See more »


Box Office


$7,623,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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