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Quo Vadis (Two-Disc Special Edition)

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Peter Ustinov, Leo Genn, Patricia Laffan
  • Directors: Anthony Mann
  • Format: NTSC, Color, Dolby
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Run Time: 171 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005JN8Z
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,299 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Restored 2-DVD epic tale of Rome, starring Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, and Peter Ustinov. Nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Includes new featurettes and film historian commentary.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
"Quo Vadis", based on the novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz would have to be near the top of my list of favourite 1950's religious epic productions. Indeed "Epic" is the word to fittingly describe this mammoth MGM production that cost an amazing 7 million dollars to make in 1950 and was the studio's biggest money maker since "Gone With The Wind". It has everything an epic movie lover could desire, the already stated fine literary source, breathtaking sets (no computer generated effects here!), meticulously researched historical costumes, enormous crowds scenes and a stunning recreation of Pagan Rome at it's height. The film boasts an extraordinary cast but towering over all of them is the late Peter Ustinov in his unforgettable performance as the deranged Nero. His interpretation of this infamous Emperor who began the first concentrated persecution of the early Christians is still the visual image for a lot of people, myself included,that first comes to mind when Nero's name is mentioned. Already having been filmed a number of times in the silent era and once again since this 1951 film, this is still the definitive version of the story of the early Christian Church struggling to survive in Nero's Rome after the great fire.
With the advent of television in the early 1950's Hollywood fought back with splashy, lavish productions that could not be matched by the flickering black and white image of television in it's infancy. "Quo Vadis", lent itself perfectly for this purpose and an already shaky MGM put all of it's resources into the filming of this elaborate production. The story centres around cocky Roman soldier Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) who after three years of successful campaigning returns to savour the delights of Nero's Rome.
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Format: VHS Tape
Picking up not long after I, CLAUDIUS leaves off, this film puts us in the latter epoch of the rule of Nero. Peter Ustinov's memorable portrayal of the eccentric (and probably downright mad) emperor is how most of us picture him these days. In fact, Ustinov might be the #1 reason people should buy this epic.
The story depicts the plight of the early Christians. It is true that they were persecuted and tormented after Nero blamed them for the great fire of Rome. The film tends to be pro-Christian and anti-Roman, but it does do a good job of presenting a few notable Romans as just and virtuous.
Of course, in this day & age non-Christians are not so prone to feel sympathetic with these early practitioners of the religion. After all, by far & away more Pagans and Muslims were killed by Christians during the Crusades than Christians killed by Pagans / Romans (not to mention all of the Protestants burnt @ the stake by the Catholics). That is even including the genocide under the reign of Diocletion.
That said, there is a broader message that lies in this movie, and that is the tendency towards cruelty and violence that has haunted man since the beginning, religion & politics or not. The film does an agreeable job of detailing this facet of human existence, and it's something that even the greatest cynics can't help but appreciate.
The single best aspect of QUO VADIS? is that it takes us back to ancient Rome. The sets are lavish & spectacular. The representations of the Roman bathing rituals and victorious TRIUMPHS are exceptionally accurate. We also get to observe the likes of the orator Seneca, the apostle Paul, the Praetorian guard leader Tigellinus and the future emperors Nerva and Galba. Wonderfull stuff!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
They just don't make films on this scale anymore. Even the epic series "Rome" depended on clever use of CGI to 'multiply' mere scores of people into multitudes. And, in the late 40's and early 50's, the surrounding countryside still looked sufficiently untamed to convince one that the legions tramping down the Appian Way really were in the world of 2000 years ago.

I suppose the sticking point, for me, was Nero not only ordering Rome to be burned, but actually playing the lyre while it burned. The truth is that there is no evidence he had anything to do with the fire, and had in fact raced back to the city to try stopping the blaze from destroying the entire city (probably the one decent thing he'd done in his entire life.) Nevertheless, the story was entertaining, and it was quite fun watching Ustinov (in his younger days!) playing the Mad Emperor. Definitely worth watching, just for the lavishness of the costumes and sets, and the sheer spectacle.
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Format: VHS Tape
One of the greatest epic movies ever made, Quo Vardis? tells the thrilling story of the formative years of christianity in ancient Rome. Quo Vardis? is an excellent and down right entertaining film.
The now late Peter Ustinov put's in a superb performance as a manic emperor Nero that has to be seen to be believed! Robert Taylor makes a dashing, if thuggish, Roman who falls under the charms of virtuous Deborah Kerr, (who wouldn't!!).
A beautifully told tale based on fact. This is a film that deserves to be on dvd.
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Format: VHS Tape
The previews for this movie on the VHS tape tout it as being 12 years in the making, with a cast of 30,000, and promises to be the movie spectacular of a lifetime. Well, 51 years later I'd say it's still pretty spectacular and has aged surprisingly well. I'd never seen it until now, except for bit and pieces here and there, and it's still a pretty impressive movie. The fine performances by Kerr, Ustinov, Genn, Currie, Taylor and many others still resonate, and some of the scenes, such as the burning of Rome, the Coloseum scene with the lions and Christians, still compare to anything that's been done since, and as a result, the movie has lost little of its drama, glitter, and glamour. Despite the almost 3 hours in length, the movie rarely, if ever, seems to drag or get boring. All in all, still a great movie. Big Steve says go see it and (or in this case, rent it or buy it) and don't Bogart the popcorn.
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