Quo Vadis

Quo Vadis

Mervyn LeRoy (1951)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Long and bloated, this shows both the best and worst of depicting religious fervour in the Hollywood epic style. Alongside too-lengthy scenes of po-faced piety involving pallid hero Robert Taylor and wan Deborah Kerr, there is Peter Ustinov revelling in his role as the Emperor Nero. He pouts, simpers and fiddles while Rome burns, ad-libs to perfection and sends Christians to the lions in some spectacular arena scenes. Superbly cast against him is Leo Genn as Petronius, arbiter of fashion, whose speech before he opens his veins ("Do not mutilate the arts") is a veiled attack on the communist witch-hunts and a hint of what might have been had John Huston directed the picture instead of Mervyn LeRoy. The fire of Rome, by the way, was farmed out to a second unit headed by director Anthony Mann.


A brave Roman soldier returns to his home city after three years on campaign. He falls in love with a captive Christian woman who the depraved and insane Emperor Nero has given to him as a reward for his service. However, as the emperor's reign becomes ever more unstable, both their lives are placed in danger. Historical epic, starring Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Peter Ustinov, Finlay Currie and Leo Genn.

Cast & Crew

Marcus Vinicius Robert Taylor
Lygia Deborah Kerr
Emperor Nero Peter Ustinov
Petronius Leo Genn
Peter Finlay Currie
Poppaea Patricia Laffan
Ursus Buddy Baer
Paul Abraham Sofaer
Director Mervyn LeRoy
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Some violenceAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-ray