Quo Vadis?

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 17

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,711
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Quo Vadis? Photos

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.

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Critic Reviews for Quo Vadis?

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (6)

Audience Reviews for Quo Vadis?

  • Feb 17, 2014
    Apparently, the term "quo vadis" translates to "boring" in both Latin and English.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 14, 2014
    Another fabulous Roman epic that is really carried by the great Sir Peter Ustinov as Nero. What a tremendous performance.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2012
    This is the finest example of a true religious epic. Grand spectacle, amazing performances, catchy music... This is a must-see over and over again! Two Thumps UP
    Serge E Super Reviewer
  • Apr 01, 2012
    Before there was "Spartacus" and "Ben-Hur", there was... this film, whatever it is. The span between the late '50s and almost all of the '60s was pretty much that big old empire epic era of cinema, and everything before that was just barely salvaged from the sands of time, so much so that this film is among the most remembered epics of the early '50s, and yet its still rather obscure among many, probably because not a whole lot of people seem to remember the novel this is based on. They say that it was by some guy named Henryk Sienkiewicz, but I have the feeling that he ripped the idea off of an unfinished project by Shakespeare, because it was pretty much his thing to write stories about fake powerful figures from way back when or simply powerful figures that no one had heard of, which of course begs the question, were those fake historical figures really figures that were so obscure that we just forgot about them? I don't know about y'all, but Hamlet seems suspiciously probable, outside of the fact that he was talking to ghosts. Maybe there was some powerful figure somewhere in time that could talk to ghosts, and if there is, then I'm glad no one brings that up, because you know everyone was going to try and figure out some way to force that somewhere in every film adaptation of an old empire story. Hey, all these films are pretty much the same, and yet we watch them anyways, and I'll tell you why: Because they're awesome, or at least to me, the guy who liked "Alexander" and absolutely loved "Troy". So, as you can tell, I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff, so of course I like this film, yet I'm not particularly crazy about it, and for a few good reasons. What immediately taints this film, even more so over time, is the fact that it's such a product of its time, having that kind of '50s cheese and melodrama that not only makes the film rather histrionic and conventional at points, but even contradictory to the tone of the era portrayed. It's a rare occurance, but the film will fall so deeply into its overly 1950s tone to where this recreation of early A.D. comes off as inorganic and totally false. Still, an occasional anachronistic tone is the least that you have to worry about when it comes to Mervyn LeRoy's atmosphere, because the real problem with it is that it lacks flare. There's limited oomph and consistency in the tone of the film, rendering it often unengaging and sometimes even tonally repetitive. It's not a dull film, but it is rather dry tonally, which makes almost all of the handful of tropes that most every '50s and '60s epic was guilty of falling into here and there standout and land an additional blow to the compellingness of the film. Still, in the end, the film remains consistently enjoyable - nay - just plain entertaining. It may not always kick you, but it's hard to not be with it until the end, partially thanks to the production designs that keep you coming back for more for every moment you slip from the film. Speaking of repetition, praise for the production designs on films of this type has gotten to be pretty reduntant, yet worthy, because these films were always so very well-produced, and even this, one of the first big-production epics, was no exception. The tone may not always be faithful to the time, but the film is kept from being consistent in its tonal anachronisms by boasting authentic and sweeping production value. The art direction and production designs restore this lost world with dazzle and scope, and it's all complimented by handsome cinematography that captures both the broadest of sequences and the most intimate of sequences with subtle attractiveness. Of course, this film, surprisingly, isn't as bam-bam-bam as other epics of its type, but is, instead, more drama driven, and clocking in at 171 minutes, it better be a worthy enough story to transcend conventions. Well, sure enough, while Mervyn LeRoy's limp atmosphere setting brings some conventions to the forefront, the film hits with its writing for the most part, particularly when it come to, of all places, dialogue. Sure, the dialogue gets rather cheesy and melodramatic here and there, but on the whole, its consistently snappy and charming, marrying the graceful vocabulary of the lost era the film is set in with a down-to-earth wit that may be used improperly to supplement the anachronistic tone on occasion, but mostly, in fact, supplements the believability of this world, and the performers, or at least the ones that aren't the cheesy Deborah Kerr in the cast, certainly help. I found myself particularly impressed by Peter Ustinov, who's charismatic and layered dance between vain but charming power and dangerous, power-mad monster may not be written to be used to its fullest, but remains one of the compelling aspects about the film, which isn't to say that everyone else (Again, with exception of Kerr) doesn't bring enough charisma to the screen to keep you going through all of the disengaging moments. In closing, you find yourself looking back through conventions and often disengaging atmospheric missteps, but power on nevertheless and come out the other end rather satisfied by the fine production and handsome photography that compliment the more sweeping moments, while mostly sharp dialogue that finds itself delivered well by a deal of fine charismas within the cast liven up the more intimate moments, thus leaving "Quo Vadis" to stand as a generally entertaining, if not rather compelling portrait on the flaws, prejudice and corruptability of great men during a time that was fragile in the way of humanity. 3/5 - Good
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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