Quo Vadis (1951)

Passed  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  25 December 1951 (USA)
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A fierce Roman general becomes infatuated with a beautiful Christian hostage and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero.


, (uncredited)


(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marina Berti ...
Buddy Baer ...
Felix Aylmer ...
Nora Swinburne ...
Ralph Truman ...
Norman Wooland ...
Peter Miles ...
Geoffrey Dunn ...


Returning to Rome after 3 years in the field, General Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia and falls in love with her. She is a Christian and doesn't want to have anything to do with a warrior. Though she grew up Roman, the adopted daughter of a retired general, Lygia is technically a hostage of Rome. Marcus gets Emperor Nero to give her to him for services rendered Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Three Years in the Making! Thousands in the Cast! Filmed in Rome! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 December 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Qvo Vadis  »

Box Office


$7,623,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Huston was originally supposed to direct, but walked out following arguments about the script. He was replaced by Mervyn LeRoy. Huston would have reportedly used father Walter Huston in the role of St. Peter. See more »


While the arena where the Christian executions takes place has an elaborate ornament at its center, no such center would ever actually have such an ornament, as it would block the view for patrons on the other side. See more »


Petronius: [after seeing Rome consumed by flames] Now indeed, Nero has his place in history.
See more »


Referenced in The Secret Life of Brian (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Most enjoyable three hours
28 April 2002 | by (Järvenpää, Finland) – See all my reviews

In my opinion Mervyn LeRoy's fantastic version of "Quo Vadis?" is definitely one of the very finest epics about Roman empire ever filmed. Fact that it didn't won a single Oscar was a shameful disgrace. Eight years later MGM released a movie that was supposed to be bigger, longer and better than "Quo Vadis?". It was of course "Ben-Hur", motion picture that collected record-breaking amount of Academy Awards and respect. Certainly it was a bigger and longer spectacle but I still like this one even more.

I find "Quo Vadis?" just somehow more entertaining and appealing. Sir Peter Ustinov's magnificent performance is just about half of the whole film. I loved his brilliant Oscar awarded supporting role in Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus" and I have to say that he's just as irresistible as the insane Emperor Nero. It's one of the greatest roles of his career and just another proof that he really is a true genius among actors. I have no choice but to give "Quo Vadis?" 10 out of 10 and I guess I even have to end my review with a worn-out cliché: they don't make movies like this anymore.

47 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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