7.2/10
12,769
118 user 55 critic

Quo Vadis (1951)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 25 December 1951 (USA)
Trailer
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.

Directors:

Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann (uncredited)

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Robe (1953)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature
Quo Vadis? (1913)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An epic Italian film "Quo Vadis" influenced many of the later movies.

Director: Enrico Guazzoni
Stars: Amleto Novelli, Gustavo Serena, Carlo Cattaneo
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The death of Marcus Aurelius leads to a succession crisis, in which the deceased emperor's son, Commodus, demonstrates that he is unwilling to let anything undermine his claim to the Roman Empire.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness
Barabbas (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Barabbas, the criminal that Pontius Pilate induced the populace to vote to set free, so that Christ could be crucified, is haunted by the image of Jesus for the rest of his life.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Silvana Mangano, Arthur Kennedy
Cleopatra (1963)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt experiences both triumph and tragedy as she attempts to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison
El Cid (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When strongman Samson rejects the love of the beautiful Philistine woman Delilah, she seeks vengeance that brings horrible consequences they both regret.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1st century Rome, Christian slave Demetrius is sent to fight in the gladiatorial arena and Emperor Caligula seeks Jesus' robe for its supposedly magical powers.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Victor Mature, Susan Hayward, Michael Rennie
Ivanhoe (1952)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A knight seeks to free the captive King Richard and put him back on the throne.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine
King of Kings (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The temporary physical life of the Biblical Savior, Jesus Christ.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Moses (Charlton Heston), an Egyptian Prince, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter
Quo Vadis (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jerzy Kawalerowicz
Stars: Pawel Delag, Magdalena Mielcarz, Boguslaw Linda
Edit

Cast

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
Edit

Storyline

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THIS IS THE BIG ONE! The splendor and savagery of the world's wickedest empire! Three hours of spectacle you'll remember for a lifetime! [1964 re-release] See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Qvo Vadis See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$7,623,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$101,486
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie does not cover the death of Paul, although he is acknowledged to have been martyred in 67 A.D. It is unclear if he died the same day as Peter, and there is disagreement whether he was beheaded or crucified. Unlike Peter, Paul was a Roman citizen, and by law, no citizen could be crucified. See more »

Goofs

In a conversation between Marcus and Petronius, side shots show Petronius' arms in his lap, whereas front shots show him holding a goblet at chest level. See more »

Quotes

Poppaea: [as Marcus enters] As usual your entrance is proud and aloof.
Vinicius: I came proudly as fast as my hands and knees will carry me.
Poppaea: And as always, sardonic and unassailable.
Vinicius: So happily, so unassailable? I've never been so readily expertly vanquished in my life.
Poppaea: I believe everything except the word vanquished.
Poppaea: [Suggestively while taking wine] I should like to vanquish you Marcus.
Vinicius: Like the spider who eats her mate when he is no longer a necessity?
Poppaea: [Suggestively] Mmm-Hmmm - Something like that.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Ben-Hur (1959) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
How we missed having the city of "Neropolis"
3 December 2005 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

Henryk Sienkiewicz was one of Poland's great historical novelists, and one of the first recipients of the Nobel Prize for literature (1905). It has only been in the last decade or so that translations of other novels by him have appeared in English, but his major work, QUO VADIS?, has been known since it appeared over a century ago. It was a study of the early days of the Christians in Rome, and their first persecution by the Emperor Nero (54 - 68 A.D.) It concentrates on the burning of Rome and the persecution of the Christians (including the death by crucifixion of St. Peter). So the background is identical to Cecil B. DeMille's THE SIGN OF THE CROSS. Inevitably comparisons between the two films, their plots, and the performances of the two Neros (Charles Laughton and Peter Ustinov) result.

But the two stories are not the same. Sienkiewicz threw in far more of the history of the Rome of that period than the author of the play THE SIGN OF THE CROSS did. And because of his deeply felt commitment to his faith, Sienkiewicz showed the destruction of Nero's rotten regime and the first triumph of Christianity. THE SIGN OF THE CROSS does not do that - my comment there was that DeMille never made such a pessimistic and tragic film in his career, with all the good people being destroyed and Nero (at that time) triumphant. This does not happen in QUO VADIS, where the corruption and incompetence of the regime finally loses the support of the people (and ... ironically worse ... the army!).

There is also the addition of the leading poet-courtier of the day, Petronius Arbiter. A man of wit and taste, Petronius was one of several figures of literary note in Nero's court, and one of several to meet tragedy by being near that egomaniac. The others were led by Nero's original chief minister Seneca, the stoic philosopher and dramatist. Seneca's nephew Lucan was also a leading figure in the court. Both men were eventually turned into foes of the regime, especially as Seneca fell from his ministerial position after the murder of Nero's mother Agrippina. Petronius managed to avoid the political conflict that involved the other two, but the Emperor's irrational jealousy helped link the three. Lucan wrote a savage epic poem against the Imperial family (PHARSALIA) which signaled his rejection of the regime. Lucan joined a conspiracy against Nero led by a Senator named Piso. It was discovered, and Lucan and Seneca implicated. Both were forced to commit suicide (by opening their veins). Tigellinus, Nero's leading adviser, insinuated that Petronius was involved too (he wasn't). Petronius also committed suicide the same way, but wrote a witty and accurate denunciation to Nero which was given to the Emperor after the writer's death.

Petronius' major surviving work, THE SATYRICON, was a wonderful look at the rot at the center of the regime of Nero. It (by the way) was turned into a film by Fellini in the late 1960s.

Leo Genn brought Petronius and his delicate wit and taste out in the film, and merited the Oscar nomination he got for this - his best remembered role (aside from Dr. "Kick" in THE SNAKE PIT). Ustinov brings a degree of frailty to Nero - an uncertainty as to the acceptance of his public persona. He flails about between seeking the approval of the artists like Petronius and those who manipulate the tyrant in him (Poppeia and Tigellinus). Despite his vicious evil one sympathizes with him - he is a sick man. And his reconstruction program (he burns down old Rome to create "Neropolis") is on par to that of another tyrant of more recent vintage, who planned to build a world capital called "Germania" over Berlin's bones. He too left many bones, but it is hard to consider him at all sympathetic.

As spectacle and history QUO VADIS? is quite rewarding. It may telescope the events of 64 - 68 A.D. (when Nero committed suicide with assistance), and avoid the three brief Emperors who ruled after Nero within the year (Galba, Otho, and Vitellius) before Vespasian came back from the war in Israel to take the throne for a decade - but it does show how Nero's regime collapsed. DeMille never tackled it. But despite those two omissions the film does do the period pretty well.

Robert Taylor is more effective as a military commander / hero than Fredric March had been in SIGN OF THE CROSS. Deborah Kerr is more believable as an early Christian convert. And Finley Currie is wonderful as Simon Peter - who realizes that he must die for the Lord that he once denied. His end is based on a legend that Peter was crucified upside down, supposedly at his request that he did not deserve to be crucified in the same way as the Lord he briefly failed. Altogether a superior religious - historic epic.


71 of 92 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 118 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed