It’s taken more than half century but the wait is finally over. On November 11, Quo Vadis, one of the most lavish and spectacular films ever to be released, joins the impressive roster of Warner Home Video’s Two-Disc Special Editions DVDs. This panoramic spectacle, an historic biblical epic with literally a cast of tens of thousands and filmed in brilliant Technicolor, has been the beneficiary of a meticulous photochemical restoration especially for its premiere DVD issue. This new release also restores, and marks the video debut of, composer Miklos Rozsa’s magnificent overture as originally presented during the film’s premiere roadshow theatrical engagements.
Nobody had ever made a movie quite like Quo Vadis prior to its release in 1951, five to ten years before other classic biblical spectaculars like Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. The film was more than a decade in the making and was the most expensive movie made at the time of its release.
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy and based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Henry Siekiewicz, Quo Vadis was filmed on location in Rome and starred Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn and Peter Ustinov, who was nominated for an Oscar® and won a Golden Globe® for his definitive performance as the Roman Emperor, Nero. Elizabeth Taylor, originally cast in a larger role but then replaced, made an uncredited cameo appearance as a slave, as did the relatively unknown Sophia Loren, who was appearing in her first American film.
Warner’s much anticipated release of Quo Vadis Two Disc Special Edition boasts not just a stunning restoration of the film, but also includes brand new special features, such as a documentary tracing the roots of the film from its start as a bestseller, and a commentary by filmmaker/writer F.X. Feeney on the details of the lavish and complicated production. Quo Vadis Two Disc Special Edition will be available for $20.97 SRP, with a Blu-ray™ Hi-Def version to follow just in time for Easter 2009.