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Quo Vadis (1951)



Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 3,594

My Rating

Movie Info

Originally advertised as "Colossal Quo Vadis," this opulent MGM production is far and away the most elaborate of the many versions of Henryk Sienkiewicz's novel. The plot, as always, concerns the romance between a beautiful early Christian woman (Deborah Kerr) and the initially agnostic Roman soldier Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor). This love story is laid against the larger intrigues of the debauched emperor Nero (Peter Ustinov), who hopes to gain immortality by destroying Rome with a fire and


Drama, Faith & Spirituality, Classics

John Lee Mahin

Nov 11, 2008

MGM Home Entertainment

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (2) | DVD (2)

It was made, we suspect, for those who like grandeur and noise -- and no punctuation. It will probably be a vast success.

March 23, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It does last virtually three hours, and along the way does have stretches of tedium, but LeRoy invests most of it with pace, true spectacle, and not a little imagination.

March 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For sheer size, opulence and technical razzle-dazzle, Quo Vadis is the year's most impressive cinematic sight-seeing spree.

March 23, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Quo Vadis is a super-spectacle in all its meaning.

March 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

MGM's opulent version of ancient Rome circa 1951, with Peter Ustinov at his most whimsical doing honors as the mad Nero.

July 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Enough large-scale spectacle scenes to outweigh the inevitable religiose sludge that creeps in between them.

March 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The epic Quo Vadis offers a spectacular cast to match its overwhelming production.

March 23, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's heavy-handed, to be sure, but it's fun to watch, thanks to its pageantry and color.

November 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

By today's standards, Mervyn LeRoy's film is a kitschy spectacle, but in 1951, it was immensely popular and MGM spent its biggest budget to date for a star-driven production that shot for a whole year at Rome's Cinnecitta Studios.

July 30, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Super MGM spectacular, Roman style, headlining Robert Taylor.

February 17, 2008

Pretty good, almost despite all the excess.

September 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Taylor is as wooden as usual, but the gaudy spectacle is worth the rental price.

November 17, 2003
Nitrate Online

the main reason to watch three hours of Quo Vadis remains Peter Ustinov's striking contribution to Nero lore

June 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Everyone should see Quo Vadis. Once.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Peter Ustinov's delightful over-the-top prissy performance was fun to watch.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Quo Vadis

Apparently, the term "quo vadis" translates to "boring" in both Latin and English.
February 17, 2014

Super Reviewer

Enjoyable biblical epic, gargantuan in scope and eye poppingly colorful. Professionally acted by Taylor and Deborah Kerr this is stolen by the florid Peter Ustinov and Leo Genn who gives the film's best performance. Unlike many of these types of films this one while quite long at least keeps moving at a decent clip. And of course it all has that high gloss classic era MGM sheen that just can't be replicated today no matter how many computers are used.
April 25, 2010
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Despite the swords and sandals, the core of this film is a stodgy and stiff-backed romantic melodrama combined with a preachy christian message. Peter Ustinov's Nero is fun, portraying him as an affable maniac but Robert Taylor is acting like he's reading off cue cards and as a whole, it's an overlong and crushing bore.
May 7, 2007
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

"When all this sets with the final sun, remember the look of Acte."To my understanding, "Quo Vadis" was the first big-budget Bible drama. It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy (The Wizard of Oz) and boasts eight Academy nominations and two Golden Globes. It may pale to "Ben-Hur" but it has some very moving scenes--like when the Christians are led singing into the coliseum and Peter's testimony in the catacombs--and redeeming vaules such as "Do not be unequally yoked" "Love your enemies" and "Be ye faithful unto death and I shall give thee a crown of life."Robert Taylor in the leading role is somewhat irritating athough it is appropriate since Marcus Vinicius is a pompous, narrow-minded, self-absorbed centurion. His main drawback as an actor is while everyone else has a British accent, he has an American accent.The real stars are Peter Ustinov and Patricia Laffan as the evil emporer and empress. While the lions eat the Christians, they sit back and take their lunch as if they were watching a comedy--a sight not soon forgotten. The appearance of Eunice (Marina Berti) is somewhat pointless but she is helpful in providing some comic relief (such as kissing the bust of her master) in a relatively serious tale. Leo Genn, Finlay Currie, Deborah Kerr, Rosalie Crutchley etc.) deliver splendid performances that elevate the core values of the film."Ben-Hur" will always be the greatest sword-and-sandal epic but if it hadn't been for precedents like "Quo Vadis" and "The Robe" it might never have been made. Well worth your money and your time.
January 7, 2012
Lukas Miller

Super Reviewer

    1. Nero: Tigellinus, the weeping vase!
    – Submitted by Lukas M (2 years ago)
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