Movie 2min

Quo Vadis (1901)

Original title: Quo Vadis?
Not rated.

Directors Ferdinand Zecca , Lucien Nonguet
Country France
Language French
(Original) Quo Vadis?
(Alternative) Whence Does He Come?
(France, 1901) Pathé Frères
(USA, 1904) Pathé Frères
(US Importer) Pathé Frères
Ancient Rome Based on Novel Black and White Emperor Nero Feast Gladiator Lost Film Rome Short Silent Film

Quo Vadis? certainly one of the greatest literary successes of our time. This work has been translated into every language and its sale has reached millions of copies.

It is, therefore, an event, so to speak, which we cannot allow to escape us.

To follow the book throughout would be pretentious and impossible of realisation; so we have taken out of it and arranged in one film, those parts which are the most interesting.

The scene takes place in Rome in the year 64 CE, during the reign of Emperor Nero. We are in the Palatine. The court of Nero enters for the feast prepared under the porticoes which give access to the gardens from which one can see the panorama of Rome. Petronius and Vinicius take their places among the Augustans. Nero lies down on his purple bed next to Empress Poppea, who has brought Lygie with her, disturbed at the sight of this dazzling luxury. The party begins, enlivened by a gladiatorial fight (Mirmillon and Retiarius) and by the lascivious dances of the gaditanes. But soon the party turns into an orgy. Vinicius, half drunk, only has eyes for Lygie, whom he has joined. He presses her brutally, when, in the midst of the disorder of the orgy, under the rain of roses, Ursus intervenes, hidden in the Gardens. Ursus is a giant from the land of Lygia who followed his queen and became a Christian like her. At Lygie's call, he appears, stuns Vinicius with a punch and carries away, far from the feast, the half-unconscious girl ... Often in his fits of delirium, Nero had expressed the wish to see Rome set on fire, in order to to be able to sing verses in his own way over his ruins, which could not fail to be more beautiful than those in which Virgil recounts the burning of Troy. Tigellinus has the hellish idea of ​​Making the Master's wish come true and he gave the order to burn Rome down. He comes to notify Nero, who immediately gets up to contemplate the spectacle, takes his lyre and sings of the disaster.

Source: Fondation Jérome Seydoux PATHÉ

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Henryk Sienkiewicz - Author (Novel)
Ferdinand Zecca - Director
Lucien Nonguet - Director
Vincent Lorant-Heilbronn - Production Design (Decorator)