The Great Flick from The Great Book: Quo Vadis?

Just in at the library: the 2 DVD special edition Quo Vadis. This 1951 American blockbuster film about Ancient Rome and winner of 8 Oscar nominations, takes a look at the trials and tribulations of 1st century Christianity and challenging dating. Starring Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr, with 30,000 extras (real folk, not animated), lions, it was filmed on location. The patrician tribute Marcus (Taylor) falls for the Christian slave woman (Kerr). Nero is not pleased and the lions are hungry. From Henryk Sienkiewicz ‘s late 19th century Polish novel by the same name, Quo Vadis (the book) helped propel the Sienkiewicz to the 1905 Nobel Prize for Literature. And, do you remember your high school Latin? Quo Vadis means Where are you going? By the way, there are other Quo’s around:

  • Quo Vadis (1902) French silent movie, co-directed by Lucien Nonguet and Ferdinand Zecca

  • Quo Vadis (1912), silent film from Italy, directed by Enrico Guazzoni. The production values may seem primitive even clunky today, but it is considered a milestone in movie history. It was a big hit in the U.S.A. and ran more than 22 weeks at New York's Astor Theatre. The commercial impact paved the way for our American film epic Birth of a Nation.

  • Quo Vadis (1925) another silent film version from Italy, directed by D’Annnunzio and Georg Jacoby (produced by Arturo Ambrosio)

  • Quo Vadis (1985) a mini-series made for Italian television audiences; directed by Franco Rossi

  • Quo Vadis (2001), 3 hour+ Polish version directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz.

The story never dies. For trivia-tists, there is: Quo Vadis, a 1909 opera by Jean Nouges; Quo Vadis the Canadian death metal band and Quo Vadis, the Polish 1980’s thrash band (whatever!); Quo Vadis, as the name of at least 2 electronic games; Quo Vadis, Capt. Chandler?" was the title of a 1975 episode of the television series M*A*S*H ; the phrase Quo Vadis appears on the back of a American captive in a POW camp in Laos in Werner Herzog's film Rescue Dawn.

And that’s the Status Quo so far - If you know any more about Quo Vadis – please blog back and Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit

-Karen S.


Popular posts from this blog

Ocean-in-a-Bottle Craft for Kids

Neil Gaiman Ruined My Life

The Discipline of Gratitude