This 3 hour long historical drama is a stunning spectacle of wealthy aristocratic rulers in mammoth palaces and luxurious villas while a cast of thousands of peasants and slaves eke out meagre lives of toil and subjugation. Peter Ustinov is superb as emperor Nero, the effete poet and singer, who rules with a brutal hand at the instigation of Tigellinus (played by Ralph Truman) the commander of his personal guard. Nero's mistress, Poppaea (played maliciously by Patricia Laffan) has her eyes on army commander Marcus (played by Robert Taylor) but he dismisses her advances because he has fallen head-over-heels in love with Lygia (played by Deborah Kerr). When Nero orders Tigellius to set Rome on fire in order to inspire his writing, the destruction is blamed on the new Christian sect. When the Christians, including convert Lygia, are rounded up, Marcus has to choose between a decadent Roman culture or the new Christian order. Stunning cinematography, strong characterization, and moral issues that are as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago.
Very good! The ending's a bit different in the film from the book. Wouldn't recommend it to young children.
Love, it love it, love it! Seen in countless times since reading the book which is the best novel of all time, my opinion of course since it includes the spiritual as well as the physical side of life. Scenes in the colosseum are particularly hard to watch. (First Christians were Jews by the way.)
To avoid boring and seek pleasant, Nero burnt Rome. When Roman people protested strongly, he told lie that Christian did it. Thus, Roman people hated Christian deeply. They supported and agreed with Nero to punish poor Christian heartlessly. It marked on the first page of Catholic history - the first stage of the first Christian persecution.
I was very impressed by the scale of this film. I really felt as if they had recreated Rome, and without computer graphics! It is a very rich and sumptuous film, but the portrayal of early Christians isn't very factual.
Too pompous to be true, better check the Polish adaptation of this wonderful book by Henryk Sienkiewicz. Same title, available at VPL, modern version, in Polish with English subtitles. Warmly recommended.
Christian charity meets Latin sass -- sparks fly. In this type of film, the point of Ancient Rome, and human history as a whole, was to evolve Christianity (whoops! CREATE Christianity). That said, Quo Vadis takes on big themes: empire (i.e., the American one), slavery, erotic versus humane love. A chemistry-less Robert Taylor (wouldn't Tyrone Power have been better?) is balanced by an utterly lovely Deborah Kerr. Leo Genn and Peter Ustinov (an authentic Nero, down to the little beard) play decadent power games. Finlay Currie's St. Peter is enough to inspire a world religion, all by himself. The martyrs die most credibly, except...do you think a bull would charge at a woman tied to a post?
epic grand Roman movie on the last days of Nero Ceasar who set fire to Rome for amusement but accused the entire Christian populace who became fair game for salvage retribution ...
Must See – Quo Vadis (1951) 171 min. This is a grand sword and sandal spectacle focusing on the early days of Christianity in Roman world where self-indulgence and conquering by force was the way to go. Robert Taylor plays the General Marcus Vinicius who’s returned from a 3 year campaign only to find that Rome is changing. The problem is that he can’t seem to understand this new religion until he meets Deborah Kerr, a Christian. Peter and Paul are both featured in this story. But the tour de force has to be played by Peter Ustinov in his depiction of Emperor Nero, who Peter calls a man who requires help because he is lost and troubled. That’s putting it mildly – Nero was a vicious sociopath, who sent Christians to their deaths. This film is not Ben-Hur or Spartacus, but it does hold its own in many ways. Kudos to OPL for purchasing this classic. 1952 Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actors (Peter Ustinov and Leo Genn; Nero's trusted "friend"), Score, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume, and Editing.
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