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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christianity Versus The Decadence of Nero's Rome
"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"...
Published on April 4 2004 by Simon Davis

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Two Great Performances
In addition to the outrageously wonderful performance of Peter Ustinov as Nero in this film, there is the smoldering and lascivious Patricia Laffan (spelling?) who plays his wife, Poppaea. This movie is worth buying just to watch these two. I particularly remember Poppaea lolling about with a cheetah or leopard or tiger on a chain, uttering insolent remarks and casting...
Published on March 13 2002 by Manny


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christianity Versus The Decadence of Nero's Rome, April 4 2004
By 
Simon Davis (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
"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. Detained at the villa of a retired Roman general Marcus falls for the simple charms of the general's adapted daughter Lygia (Deborah Kerr) who unbeknown to Marcus is secretly a Christian. Seeing her love for him but not understanding the families belief in the love of a single god and in loving your fellow man despite their background or race Marcus has Lygia taken to Rome and placed in Nero's "House of Women" and seeks to make her is own. Lygia escapes and is taken in by other believers but in the meanwhile Marcus finds himself the focus of the unwelcome and quite dangerous affections of the Empress Poppaea (Patricia Laffan). Meanwhile Nero's meglomania continues to grow and he develops a wild scheme to rebuild Rome to his own glory and secretly sets the city on fire. The backlash from this act however sets Nero to find a scapegoat and thus begins the persecution of the Christian sect that are, to the amazement of the Romans, the disciples of a simple young carpenter from Galilee who was executed for his beliefs. Marcus finds Lygia however both are imprisoned together as Christian believers to become the sport of Nero's festivities in the arena. The appearance of the Apostle Peter who has been called to Rome by Christ's message gives the Christians the strength to endure their ordeals and Marcus and Lygia are married by him just prior to his own matrydom on Vatican Hill. Nero however goes too far in his persecution and the mob turns on him resulting in his fall from power and suicide and the reins of power being taken over by the more level headed General Galba.
While "Quo Vadis", in some areas is not always accurate historically the faults are not glaring ones and it does give a vivid picture of the growth of the early Christian movement and the persecution it endured which of course went on long after Nero's death. First and foremost it is inspiring and dramatic viewing and is the classic example of old style movie making at its most lavish. The film is filled with unforgettable images, for example the huge crowd scenes during Marcus' triumpiant entry into Rome, and the burning of the city by Nero which incredibly was done on both full sized and miniature sets. The cold blooded destruction of the Christians in Nero's Circus of course is probably the most vivid image in the film and is riverting in it's horror and accurate depiction of people being eaten by lions or being used as human torches. These scenes in "Quo Vadis", have I believe never been bettered in depicting the insanity and brutality of Nero and his regime. Performances are uniformily fine here. As the two lovers Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr are just perfect as the two illmatched lovers from different worlds. Finlay Currie does a most inspirational piece of work as Peter and special mention must go to Patricia Laffan who is perfect in a chilling performance as the evil Empress Poppaea. Directed by MGM veteran Mervyn LeRoy, who was responsible for such diverse MGM productions as "Waterloo Bridge", and "Blossoms in the Dust", here he is still just as at home with this super scale type of film and his directoral integrity is evident in every frame of this film. "Quo Vadis", ended up being nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Peter Ustinov.
I always find "Quo Vadis", a moving viewing experience generally around Easter time when my thoughts often go back to the earliest years of my religion. Liking the older style of movie making I can also appreciate the film on its superb technical achievements and massive historical recreation. This however never submerges my appreciation of its very simple message that all people need to love each other despite their differences for the world to be a happier place. Take time soon to view this epic production of "Quo Vadis", you wont regret it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, great, great, April 1 2004
By 
J. Botha "claude777" (Melbourne, Australia.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Quo Vadis (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic Filming, March 22 2014
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Quo Vadis, June 28 2014
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This review is from: Quo Vadis (SE) (2 Dvd) (DVD)
This is a very good movie.I remember watching this movie as a little girl. this movie brought back alot of great memories.i certainly would recommend this movie.
Janette chamberlain
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Inspirational Movie!, April 17 2014
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This review is from: Quo Vadis (DVD)
This movie is visually stunning, and filled with character development that is sincere, inspiring and beautiful to look at. The caliber of this movie is so high that they cannot duplicate this in the present timeframe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars quo vadis, Sept. 9 2013
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this is the first movie i ever saw as a child loved it and was scared with all the lions .nobody seems to know what the word quo vadis means .we bought the tape and now the blue ray .the picture is exellent and it reminds me of when i was a little boy seeing my first movie in uk thank you
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quo Vadis, April 8 2013
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Love it. Looks amazing on blu-ray and takes me back to when I first seen it as a kid. They don't make movies like this anymore.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY ENTERTAINING EPIC!!!, April 15 2004
By 
filmflavor (San Antonio, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Quo Vadis (VHS Tape)
I love this movie but I will not buy this on VHS. Why isn't it available on DVD? This movie deserves to be released on DVD - there is no excuse. What's the problem? PLEASE RELEASE THIS MOVIE ON DVD!!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy, Jan. 27 2010
By 
Y. Dery (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
For those who like these old style movies,this really a good historical movie to watch....vidéo quality is incredible.........
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Long Must We Wait For The DVD?, Feb. 15 2003
By 
"rabonzollo" (Elizabeth, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Quo Vadis (VHS Tape)
We have been waiting for the DVD for years now particularly after much less popular titles from this genre such as Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments have since been released on disc. I would like to dismiss the marketing director of this epic. Yes, I AM that passionate! I have a "buy anywhere found" standing order from friends looking for that DVD going more than four years now. If you are in charge of this product - we want our DVD yesterday!
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