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Quo Vadis (1951)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 25 December 1951 (USA)
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A fierce Roman commander becomes infatuated with a beautiful Christian hostage and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Marcus Vinicius
... Lygia
... Petronius
... Nero
... Poppaea
... Peter
... Paul
... Eunice
... Ursus
... Plautius
... Pomponia
Ralph Truman ... Tigellinus
Norman Wooland ... Nerva
Peter Miles ... Nazarius
Geoffrey Dunn ... Terpnos
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Storyline

Returning to Rome after three years in the field, General Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia 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 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Qvo Vadis  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,623,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$24,291,740

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$45,860,660
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Huston was the original director, under the supervision of producer Arthur Hornblow, of a cast headed by Gregory Peck as Marcus, and Elizabeth Taylor as Lygia. The studio was dissatisfied with the footage Huston was sending back from Rome, and production chief Louis B. Mayer, an arch-conservative, unhappy with the script, which used Nero's persecution of the Christians as an allegory for the anti-Communist witch-hunts to which Hollywood was then being subjected. After a couple of weeks' shooting, MGM shut down the production, ordered a new script written, recast the film, and persuaded Mervyn LeRoy to assume direction of the picture. See more »

Goofs

When Nero plays his lyre as Rome burns, the seams and stitching of the night "sky" behind him are clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Petronius: [Nero begins to sing again, and his voice is horrible] Body of Bacchus, I've been listening to *that* since morning!
Vinicius: [amused] He seems in rare voice!
See more »

Connections

Version of Quo Vadis? (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb set and costume design. Ustinov outstanding.
15 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

I first saw this film as a re-run in 1964--on the big screen. Much is lost, I think, when viewing it on television. Peter Ustinov's portrayal of the emperor Nero raises the bar for anyone else who is ever cast as an unbalanced and corrupt Roman emperor. Certainly, we don't see this style or quality of acting in newer films such as "Gladiator." I focus on the "Nero" character more than others because Ustinov was truly able to get inside the role, and appeared to stay very focused. Robert Taylor was fine in the movie, but his role could have been handled by nearly any leading man of the time. Ditto for Deborah Kerr. The remaining cast was very, very good. The set designs and costumes were sheer artistry and the score was effective and complimentary. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in spectacles and studying fine acting techniques (i.e., Ustinov's).


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