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Quo Vadis (Two-Disc Special Edition)

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 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 38 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005JN8Z
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,032 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: 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
"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: Blu-ray
QUO VADIS [1951 / 2009] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] The Most Colossal Ever! This Is The Big One! Splendour, Savagery and Spectacular! Three Years in the Making! Thousands in the Cast! Filmed in Rome!

Rome burns. Nero fiddles. Christianity rises. And moviegoers turned out in throngs for that years-in-the-making film colossus boasting eight Oscar® nominations, including Best Picture. Robert Taylor plays the Legion commander whose love for a Christian slave girl [Deborah Kerr] and crosses the divide between Empire and a sect with a higher loyalty. Presiding over all is Nero [Peter Ustinov]. He is Caesar, madman, murderer and an imperial ruler of the spectacular, and spectacularly doomed, glory that was Rome. Narrated by Walter Pidgeon.

FILM FACT: Awards and Nomination: Academy Awards®: Nominated: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Leo Genn. Nominated: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Peter Ustinov. Nominated: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration in Color for William A. Horning, Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno and Hugh Hunt. Nominated: Best Cinematography in Color. Nominated: Best Costume Design in Color. Nominated: Best Film Editing. Nominated: Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. Nominated: Best Picture. Golden Globe® Awards: Win: Best Supporting Actor for Peter Ustinov. Win: Best Cinematography for Robert Surtees and William V. Skall. Nominated: Best Motion Picture in a Drama. The musical score by Miklós Rózsa is notable for its attention to historical authenticity. Miklós Rózsa incorporated a number of fragments of ancient Greek melodies into his own choral-orchestral score.
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