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Directed by Mervyn LeRoy and

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/mann.htm

USA 1951

 

At the time, Quo Vadis? was the highest grosser for MGM after Gone With the Wind. Between the acres of heaving muscle in the arena, half of Italy starring as the Roman troops, and sets that dwarf even Ustinov, you may detect a story about a Roman commander under Nero who falls in love with a Christian girl and gets them both thrown to the lions. It does last virtually three hours, and along the way does have stretches of tedium, but LeRoy invests most of it with pace, true spectacle, and not a little imagination (like the camera craning acrobatically over thousands of festive Romans before coming to rest on Robert Taylor's face; or an 'orgy' viewed by Nero through a piece of red glass). They won't make them like this any more.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

The production of Quo Vadis? came at the height of an executive power struggle at MGM (Dore Schary replaced former mogul Louis B. Mayer) and at a crucial time in the history of U.S. motion picture production because of the new competition from television. Director Mervyn LeRoy believed that motion pictures should offer larger and better spectacles in order to compete with the new medium. Whether this opinion was the result of prescience or hindsight, Quo Vadis? was indeed the greatest spectacle ever made up to that time.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

 

MGM's opulent version of ancient Rome circa 1951, with Peter Ustinov at his most whimsical doing honors as the mad Nero. A lot of Christians are persecuted too. With Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, Patricia Laffan, and a Miklos Rozsa scores, one of his better ones as I recall. Directed with some pizzazz by Mervyn LeRoy.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 8th, 1951

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DVD Comparison:

Warner (2-disc) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Warner (Japan) - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Warner (US) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

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Distribution Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Warner (Japan) - Region FREE - Blu-ray Warner (US) - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:54:27 2:54:27.707 2:54:27.707 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.41/6.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 36,719,246,841 bytes

Feature Size: 33,753,673,728 bytes

Average Bitrate: 25.80 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray VC-1

Disc Size: 36,719,246,841 bytes

Feature Size: 33,753,673,728 bytes

Average Bitrate: 25.80 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray VC-1

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:  DVD Disc 1

Bitrate:  DVD Disc 2

Bitrate: Warner Japan (Blu-ray)

Bitrate: Warner US (Blu-ray)

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0 Stereo), DUBs: French (Dolby Digital 1.0 Stereo) Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English (SDH), French, Spanish, None English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and none English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• F.X. Feeney full length commentary
• Disc One has two trailers.
• Disc 2 has "In the Beginning, Quo Vadis and the Genesis of the Biblical Epic" (43:53)

DVD Release Date: November 11th, 2008

Standard Keep Case
Chapters: 45

Release Information:
Studio: Warner (Japan)

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Disc Size: 36,719,246,841 bytes

Feature Size: 33,753,673,728 bytes

Average Bitrate: 25.80 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray VC-1

Edition Details:

• F.X. Feeney full length commentary
• Two trailers.
•"In the Beginning, Quo Vadis and the Genesis of the Biblical Epic" (43:53)

Blu-ray Release Date: November 19th, 2008

Standard Blu-ray case
Chapters: 45
 

Release Information:
Studio: Warner (US)

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Disc Size: 36,719,246,841 bytes

Feature Size: 33,753,673,728 bytes

Average Bitrate: 25.80 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray VC-1

Edition Details:

• F.X. Feeney full length commentary
• Two trailers.
•"In the Beginning, Quo Vadis and the Genesis of the Biblical Epic" (43:53)

Blu-ray Release Date: March 17th, 2009

Standard Blu-ray case
Chapters: 45
 

 

Comments:
NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

NOTE: Aside from the packaging the US edition is exactly the same as the Japanese release (as we suspected) - the exact same region free 1080P, VC-1 encoded Blu-ray disc. Our comments below still hold true. The good thing about the US edition is the price - a significant savings!

 

Although this is released presently in Japan - this will be Warner's only Blu-ray of Quo Vadis (there won't be a separate encode for the eventual US release - it will be the same - probably the exact same disc) - packaging discrepancies excepted. It is region FREE and has subtitle and DUB options allowing it to be played worldwide. Before receiving the SD-DVD I read some reports that certain individuals were unhappy with the standard digital color representation of Quo Vadis. Expectantly the Blu-ray supports the same color scheme (both from Warner - same light speckles marks) with minor variances and all visual facets are superior in the 1080P edition. The image is tighter  - where the SD had some bleeding the Blu-ray has none visible by comparison. Skin tones and garments (orange flesh turns red/pink - pale maroon garments become darker deeper red etc.) seem far more true where the DVD could look a shade boosted at times. There is more information within the frame of the Blu-ray. If the resolution improvement, covering the feature with almost 33 Gig of space, is not enough for consideration - the mere fact the entire film is on one disc (covers 2 in the SD package), with the featurette, qualifies as a bona-fide attribute. For the image, I can't do much more than point you to our expandable hi-def captures below to judge how strong the new image is. It should be noted that this is a film over 57 years young, but it certainly doesn't appear so on Blu-ray. It has noise in monochromatic visuals but it is not prohibitive in my opinion. By comparison the Blu-ray is light years ahead visually where it gives a far more theatrical representation.

Warner have stuck to their guns with the audio - as in An American in Paris. Only original mono - but it sounds clean and clear - dialogue is perfectly audible. The Blu-ray has options for many DUBs and subtitles. 

Extras include the exhaustively thorough F.X. Feeney commentary for the entire 3 hours of both editions and the inclusion of the excellent 45 minute In the Beginning, Quo Vadis and the Genesis of the Biblical Epic documentary. There are also a theatrical and teaser trailers.

We do our best in supplying screen garbs to identify differences but I don't know that we can do justice to the moving image in which the Blu-ray effectively towers over the 480P DVD. For those who wish to wait the should become available in the U.S. sometime in 2009 I would guess, but for those who want the glory of Quo Vadis in hi-def now - it is available to you with a few clicks.

NOTE: My Japanese version has English menus but the outside packaging states an incorrect 2.4 aspect ratio (and it even has images to support that on the back cover?!?) So, just a warning - don't be catastrophically shocked when the Blu-ray box arrives in the mail!

Gary W. Tooze

 

Spine packaging difference between Japanese and US Blu-rays

 

 



DVD Menus and Extras for all three


All three editions support the original roadshow overture and exit music

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

1) Warner  - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Warner  - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Warner  - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Warner  - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner  - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Warner  - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) Warner  - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Warner  - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Warner  - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Warner  - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

 

Distribution Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Warner (Japan) - Region FREE - Blu-ray Warner (US) - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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