Quo Vadis (1913 film)

Film poster
Poster showing Lygia bound to the bull
Tinted still from an American advertisement

Italian film directed by Enrico Guazzoni for Cines in 1913, based on the 1896 novel of the same name written by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

- Quo Vadis (1913 film)

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Quo Vadis (novel)

Historical novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz in Polish.

Nero and the burning of Rome, illustration by M. de Lipman, Altemus Edition, 1897.
Scene from the novel, entitled "Ligia leaves Aulus' house", illustration by Domenico Mastroianni, postcard from 1913, published by Armand Noyer, Paris.
Lygia by Piotr Stachiewicz
Nero's Torches by Henryk Siemiradzki (1876) served as an inspiration for Quo Vadis

Several movies have been based on Quo Vadis, including two Italian silent films in 1913 and in 1924, a Hollywood production in 1951, a 1985 miniseries directed by Franco Rossi, and a 2001 adaptation by Jerzy Kawalerowicz.

Enrico Guazzoni

Italian screenwriter and film director.

Enrico Guazzoni

Quo Vadis (1913)


Film company specializing in production and distribution of films.


Quo Vadis (1913)

Henryk Sienkiewicz

Polish writer, novelist, journalist and Nobel Prize laureate.

Sienkiewicz in the 1880s, photograph by Stanisław Bizański
Monument atop Sienkiewicz Mound at Okrzeja. At left is the writer's family's village, Wola Okrzejska, where he was born.
Sienkiewicz in safari outfit, 1890s
Sienkiewicz by Kazimierz Pochwalski, 1890
Nobel laureate, 1905
Sienkiewicz's residence at Oblęgorek
Sienkiewicz's tomb, St. John's Cathedral, Warsaw
Sienkiewicz's family coat-of-arms, Oszyk, was a variant of this Łabędź (Swan) coat-of-arms.
Statue of author of Quo Vadis, near Villa Borghese in Rome
Official poster for the film Quo Vadis, 1951

Quo Vadis (dir. Enrico Guazzoni, 1913)

History of film

Artistic medium chronicles the development of a visual art form created using film technologies that began in the late 19th century.

An 1896 advertising poster with image from Lumière's L'Arroseur arrosé
"Abe Edgington," owned by Leland Stanford; driven by C. Marvin, trotting at a 2:24 gait over the Palo Alto track, 15 June 1878
A frame from the Lumière brothers staged comedy film, L'Arroseur Arrosé (1895).
Georges Méliès (left) painting a backdrop in his studio
The two scenes making up Come Along, Do!
A famous shot from Georges Méliès' film, A Trip to the Moon (1902)
The Pathé Brothers, by Adrien Barrère.
Poster for a Biograph Studios release from 1913
The Babelsberg Studio near Berlin was the first large-scale film studio in the world (founded 1912) and the forerunner to Hollywood. It still produces global blockbusters every year.
The first two shots of As Seen Through a Telescope (1900), with the telescope POV simulated by the circular mask
Still from The Great Train Robbery, produced by Edwin S. Porter
El Apóstol, the world's first animated feature film, and Peludópolis, the first animated feature film with sound, were produced in cutout animation by Italian-Argentinian cartoonist Quirino Cristiani.
A single frame from the Humorous Phases of Funny Faces animation, showing the use of cut-out technique
Hollywood Sign
A.E. Smith filming The Bargain Fiend in the Vitagraph Studios in 1907. Arc floodlights hang overhead.
The visual style of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari included deliberately distorted forms, complex tinting, and streaks of light painted directly onto the sets. It uses Mise-en-scène.
Complex vignette shot in die Austernprinzessin (The Oyster Princess)
Insert shot in Old Wives for New (Cecil B. DeMille, 1918)
Charlie Chaplin
Don Juan is the first feature-length film to utilize the Vitaphone sound-on-disc sound system with a synchronized musical score and sound effects, though it has no spoken dialogue.
The Wizard of Oz
Walt Disney introduces each of the seven dwarfs in a scene from the original 1937 Snow White theatrical trailer.
A production scene from the 1950 Hollywood film Julius Caesar starring Charlton Heston
Poster for the 1956 Egyptian film Wakeful Eyes starring Salah Zulfikar
Satyajit Ray, Indian Bengali film director
Cinema admissions in 1995

As early as 1911, Giovanni Pastrone's two-reel La Caduta di Troia (The Fall of Troy) made a big impression worldwide, and it was followed by even bigger productions like Quo Vadis? (1912), which ran for 90 minutes, and Pastrone's Cabiria of 1914, which ran for two and a half hours.

Ufa-Pavillon am Nollendorfplatz

Cinema located at 4 Nollendorfplatz, Schöneberg, Berlin.

Cines Nollendorf-Theater c.1914. The architect was Oskar Kaufmann, and the seated figure above the entrance and the bas-reliefs of the frieze on the Motzstraße side are by Franz Metzner.
The façade of the Nollendorf-Theater cinema. 1913 drawing by August Unger, who also designed the internal décor and the curtain in the auditorium.
Poster for a Deutsche Werkbund exhibition in Cologne from May to October 1914, after a design by Peter Behrens
Seated figure by Franz Metzner above the main entrance of the Cines Nollendorf-Theater, c.1913. In later years it was usually hidden behind a large advertising poster.
The Cines logo
The Nollendorfplatz in 1903 before the cinema was built, with the U-Bahn station (l. foreground) and Neues Schauspielhaus (c.). The Ufa-Pavillon was built in front of the tower of the American Church in Berlin (r.)
Hanns Heinz Ewers, who gave a speech at the opening night of the Nollendorf-Theater.
Still from Quo Vadis?
Monsignor Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII and nephew of Ernesto Pacelli, president of the Banco di Roma, (l.) and Cardinal Secretary Merry del Val at the signing ceremony of the Serbian concordat, underneath the picture of Pope Pius X, 24 June 1914
The original Ufa logo
The site of 4 Nollendorfplatz in October 2019
The façade advertising Ben-Hur, 1926

The main attraction, however, was the German première of the Cines blockbuster epic of Ancient Rome Quo Vadis?, to which Woods and Goldsoll controlled the German rights.

1913 in film

Particularly fruitful year for film as an art form, and is often cited one of the years in the decade which contributed to the medium the most, along with 1917.

Advertisement, August 1917

Cines-Palast in Berlin opens as a cinema with Quo Vadis.

1966 in film

The year 1966 in film involved some significant events.

Original film poster by Howard Terpning

Eugenio Bava, 80, Italian cinematographer, Cabiria, Quo Vadis

Feature film

Narrative film with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole presentation in a commercial entertainment program.

Actor playing the Australian bushranger Ned Kelly in The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), the world's first dramatic feature-length film.
A poster for The Jazz Singer (1927) the first feature film to use recorded sound.

Other early feature films include L'Inferno, Defence of Sevastopol (1911), Oliver Twist (American version), Oliver Twist (British version), Richard III, From the Manger to the Cross, Cleopatra (1912), Quo Vadis? (1913), Cabiria (1914) and The Birth of a Nation (1915).


Subgenre of largely Italian-made historical, mythological, or Biblical epics mostly set in the Greco-Roman antiquity or the Middle Ages.

This poster for Goliath and the Barbarians illustrates many people's expectations from films of this genre
A poster for Hercules starring Steve Reeves

Quo Vadis (1913, directed by Enrico Guazzoni)