Quo Vadis? (1951)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A Christian woman falls for an agnostic Roman soldier during a time when Emperor Nero plans to wipe out Christianity completely and rebuild Rome after burning it to the ground. As their love deepens, the soldier begins to discover a faith he didn't have before. A Best Picture nominee.
Classics , Documentary , Drama , Special Interest , Romance , Faith & Spirituality
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment

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Robert Taylor
as Marcus Vinicius
Leo Genn
as Petronius
Marina Berti
as Eunice
Buddy Baer
as Ursus
Felix Aylmer
as Plautius
Nora Swinburne
as Pomponia
Ralph Truman
as Tigellinus
Peter Miles
as Nazarius
Geoffrey Dunn
as Terpnos
Arthur Walge
as Croton
Elspeth March
as Miriam
William Tubbs
as Anaxander
Lia DeLeo
as Pedicurist
Walter Pidgeon
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for Quo Vadis?

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

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

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
New York Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 24, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Quo Vadis?

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

Christian C
Christian C

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.

Lukas Miller
Lukas Miller

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.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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