Quo Vadis

Quo Vadis

Mervyn LeRoy (1951)

167min
PG Certificate
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Review

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.

Summary

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

Lygia Deborah Kerr
Marcus Vinicius Robert Taylor (1)
Nero Peter Ustinov
Petronius Leo Genn
Poppaea Patricia Laffan
Peter Finlay Currie
Paul Abraham Sofaer
Eunice Marina Berti
Ursus Buddy Baer
Plautius Felix Aylmer
Tigellinus Ralph Truman
Nerva Norman Wooland
Acte Rosalie Crutchley
Christian prisoner Elizabeth Taylor
Lygia's slave Sophia Loren
Narrator Walter Pidgeon
Director Mervyn LeRoy
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Guidance: Violence. Available on: Available on video, DVD and BluRay

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