Quo Vadis (1951)
in Historical Perspective

by Henryk Sienkiewicz

The problem with Quo Vadis is two-fold, determining the historical accuracy of the two problems found in the film will break or make the movie.

History Movie Data


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Time:

Period:
Roman Empire

Place:
Roman World

Reference Book:
Quo Vadis

Notable Characters:
Nero, Marcus Vinicius

Movie Details

Film Director:
Mervyn LeRoy

MPAA Rating:
NR

Length:
171 Minutes

Genres:
Bible Movies
Roman History
Drama
Romance

Starring:
Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, Peter Ustinov, Patricia Laffan, Sophia Loren, Walter Pidgeon, Elizabeth Taylor

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First of all, the film is based on a widely known NOVEL written by Henryk Sienkiewicz in 1895.

Even though Henryk extensively studied the Roman Empire and portrayed important characters like Nero very well, his work was not historical but fiction.

This leads us to the second point. The novel was not even slightly based on the Bible, but on the apocryphal book of the Acts of Peter.

That said, the film is completely based on mr. Henryk's work and given a Christian undertone based on the Acts of Peter, not the Bible.

Another aspect in the film has to do with the typical romantic feeling we see in movies made in the 50's and 60's.

Don't know why movie makers take this approach, I guess it was just popular in those years to turn every movie into a soap opera story of passion and romance.

Pictures and Trailer

quo vadis Quo Vadis (buy it from Amazon)


What's in the film / What to watch out for

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The biggest problem with the film is its reputation of being a Christian film, but we must understand that the only source for Christianity is in the Bible.

This movie is not based on the Bible and because of this we cannot accept it as Christian.

It is close, but not close enough. This should not take away from the tremendous and wonderful production it continues to be, even in our day.

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A true classic!


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