Quo Vadis (1951 film)
1951 American film by Mervyn LeRoy
The splendor and savagery of the world's wickedest empire! Three hours of spectacle you'll remember for a lifetime! (taglines)
- That beggar-faced philosopher shouldn't be stuffing your head with such nonsense.
- These people know how to die, Nero. In death you will squeal like a hog!
- It is not enough to live well. One must die well.
- To Nero, Emperor of Rome, Master of the World, Divine Pontiff. I know that my death will be a disappointment to you, since you wished to render me this service yourself. To be born in your reign is a miscalculation; but to die in it is a joy. I can forgive you for murdering your wife and your mother, for burning our beloved Rome, for befouling our fair country with the stench of your crimes. But one thing I cannot forgive - the boredom of having to listen to your verses, your second-rate songs, your mediocre performances. Adhere to your special gifts, Nero - murder and arson, betrayal and terror. Mutilate your subjects if you must; but with my last breath I beg you - do not mutilate the arts. Fare well, but compose no more music. Brutalize the people, but do not bore them, as you have bored to death your friend, the late Gaius Petronius.
- Narrator: This is the Appian Way, the most famous road that leads to Rome, as all roads lead to Rome. On this road march her conquering legions. Imperial Rome is the center of the empire, the undisputed master of the world. But with this power inevitably comes corruption. No man is sure of his life, the individual is at the mercy of the state, murder replaces justice. Rulers of conquered nations surrender their helpless subjects to bondage. High and low alike become Roman slaves, Roman hostages. There is no escape from the whip and the sword. That any force on earth can shake the foundations of this pyramid of power and corruption, of human misery and slavery, seems inconceivable. But thirty years before this day, a miracle occurred. On a Roman cross in Judea, a Man died to make men free, to spread the Gospel of love and redemption. Soon that humble cross is destined to replace the proud eagles atop the victorious Roman standards. This is the story of that immortal conflict. In this, the summer of the year 64 A.D., in the reign of the antichrist known to history as the emperor Nero, the victorious Fourteenth Legion is on its way back to Rome under the command of one Marcus Vinicius.
- Emperor Nero: Do I live for the people or do the people live for me?
- Petronius: You are the sun in their sky! Does the sun have privacy?
- Emperor Nero: The sun has the night! These people expect me to shine daily - hourly!
- Vinicius: The people won't believe such a lie!
- Petronius: But they are believing it. People will believe any lie, if it is fantastic enough.
- The splendor and savagery of the world's wickedest empire! Three hours of spectacle you'll remember for a lifetime!
- This is the Big One!