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WHV Press Release: Quo Vadis Two-Disc Special Edition


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#1 of 67 Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 21 2008 - 01:06 AM

The Biblical Epic That’s Nothing Less Than Colossal!
QUO VADIS
TWO-DISC SPECIAL EDITION
Restored and Remastered Classic Finally Comes to DVD
November 11 from WHV

Burbank, Calif., July 21, 2008 – 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.

Quo Vadis won two Golden Globes® (aforementioned Best Supporting Actor and Best Cinematography) and was nominated for a total of eight Academy Awards,® including Best Picture, but surprisingly took home none. Despite that fact, it was a huge hit, out grossing to date every other theatrical release, other than Gone With the Wind. It has continued to maintain its popularity throughout the world for nearly six decades.

Warner Home Video’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.

Synopsis
Quo Vadis takes place in ancient Rome from 64 – 68 AD during the reign of Emperor Nero (Ustinov). General Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) returns home from war after three years to a city rife with conflict between the new Christianity and the corrupt Roman Empire. He finds himself falling in love with Lygia (Deborah Kerr), a devout follower of the new religion, and his loyalty to the megalomaniacal Nero is shattered. The characters and events depicted are a mixture of actual historical figures and situations and fictionalized ones.

Special Features
Disc 1
Commentary by F. X. Feeney -- Filmmaker/writer Feeney explores the genesis of one of M-G-M's most glorious, grand-scale productions
Theatrical trailer
Teaser trailer

Disc 2
Commentary by F. X. Feeney continued from Disc 1
Documentary -- In the Beginning: Quo Vadis and the Genesis of the Biblical Epic - This documentary walks the road as long and complex as the film itself, from its roots as a Nobel Peace Prize-winning bestseller to its various ground-breaking adaptations to its place as the most daring and lavish film that MGM, and Louis B. Mayer, dared to undertake.

Quo Vadis Two-Disc Special Edition
Street Date: November 11, 2008
Pricing $20.97 SRP
Run Time: 170 Minutes; Not Rated

Technical notes: Quo Vadis was made prior to the advent of widescreen projection and stereophonic sound. It is presented, as in its original theatrical release, with a 1.37:1 aspect ratio and monophonic soundtrack. Because of its extreme length and detailed photography, WHV has spread the film over two discs in order to maximize bit-rate and insure the highest quality picture presentation.

Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 67 Joe Caps

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Posted July 21 2008 - 01:52 AM

Great news !!!!!

I wonder if Turner will go one step farther and restore the intermission and the intermission music.

#3 of 67 Thomas T

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Posted July 21 2008 - 02:51 AM

One of my most anticipated DVDs. I, too, hope the intermission and entr'acte are included. I just assume it will be. If they included the intermissions and entr'actes for Midsummer Nights Dream and Marie Antoinette, I don't see why not. Most grateful they didn't do a fake stereo track to appease the tekkie crowd

#4 of 67 Billy Batson

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Posted July 21 2008 - 05:29 AM

Lovely (& cheap!). Now if Fox release "The Egyptian" my epic collection will be complete. But really great news about "Quo Vardis".

#5 of 67 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 21 2008 - 06:12 AM

This is great news! I'm going to wait for the Blu-ray next Easter.







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#6 of 67 Yumbo

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Posted July 21 2008 - 06:50 AM

Blu-ray is coming?

#7 of 67 Bill Huelbig

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Posted July 21 2008 - 06:56 AM

From the press release:

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.

***************

Did "Quo Vadis" ever have an intermission? I saw it in 1964 or 1965 during a major theatrical re-release, and it didn't have one.

#8 of 67 Bill Huelbig

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Posted July 21 2008 - 06:59 AM

I also hope the commentary points out just where Sophia Loren appears in the film. I've never been able to find her.

#9 of 67 Charles Ellis

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Posted July 21 2008 - 07:12 AM

She was probably just one of thousands of nameless extras. I have seen some costume test photos of Elizabeth Taylor as Lygia, and hope some more stuff from the earlier, aborted 1949-50 production (which was to be directed by John Huston with Gregory Peck as Marcus) will be included in the documentary. There is still debate as to if this was L.B. Mayer's project or Dore Schary's- Schary publicly took credit for the film's success, but it was begun while Mayer was still running MGM.
Bring "The continuing story of PEYTON PLACE" home on DVD: the one that started it all- from Dallas and Dynasty to Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl!!! Starting this May, see the legendary saga starring Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Parkins, and Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone on DVD thru...

#10 of 67 Bill Huelbig

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Posted July 21 2008 - 07:35 AM

The IMDB lists Sophia as "Lygia's slave (uncredited)", but I still couldn't find her!

They also list Elizabeth Taylor as "Christian prisoner in arena" (?)

#11 of 67 Billy Batson

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Posted July 21 2008 - 07:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Huelbig
The IMDB lists Sophia as "Lygia's slave (uncredited)", but I still couldn't find her!

They also list Elizabeth Taylor as "Christian prisoner in arena" (?)

Yes I'm sure it was in Elizabeth Taylor's bio. on the Biography Channel. She was having marriage troubles at the time & wanted to lie low. The director was a friend, so he used her in some crowd seq. for a couple of days, or something like that. I'm sure it will all be in the doc. I'll bet this disc is really going to look good!

#12 of 67 Junior_V

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Posted July 21 2008 - 08:12 AM

Hopefully it will sell well enough for Warner to consider a Robert Taylor set
I would not say no to

Three Comrades (1938)
When Ladies Meet(1941)
High Wall (1947)
Johnny Eager (1942)
Waterloo Bridge (1940)
Escape (1940)/ Her Cardboard Lover (1942)

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#13 of 67 David_B_K

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Posted July 21 2008 - 08:23 AM

I'm ready to pre-order the SD DVD already.

#14 of 67 Joe Caps

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Posted July 21 2008 - 08:41 AM

Sophia loren is eaasy to find. Shes in Robert Taylors triumphal march into Rome. He is looking in the crowd to see if he can find Deborah Kerr by her red hair. He says a woman with long red hair and she jumps our from the crownd. That is Sophia.

#15 of 67 Bill Huelbig

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Posted July 21 2008 - 11:31 PM

Thanks, Joe. I'll be looking out for Sophia, now that I know exactly where to look!

#16 of 67 Mike*HTF

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Posted July 21 2008 - 11:49 PM

I'll definitely purchase this - but I couldn't help but think that if this were a couple years ago, we would most likely see a simultaneous release of a 4-disc set with (perhaps) the inclusion of the silent version ala Ben-Hur or even The Ten Commandments. In general, it feels as if the studio's commitment to SD DVD - even on high profile titles such as this - has really tempered now with Blu-Ray the winner in the HD format war.

#17 of 67 Charles H

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Posted July 22 2008 - 02:05 AM

Assuming that RAINTREE COUNTY will be out within the year, the only remaining epic to be portaled over from a double-tape WB VHS is FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.
Charles Hoyt

#18 of 67 Russell G

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Posted July 22 2008 - 05:23 AM

I never saw this one, but I'll for sure pick this up.

Is there a silent version that would go with this? It sounds like a great package, I was thinking an UE type thing with a repro roadshow and booklet like some of the sets have gotten would be sweet.

#19 of 67 Daniel BARBIEUX

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Posted July 22 2008 - 05:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell G
I never saw this one, but I'll for sure pick this up.

Is there a silent version that would go with this? It sounds like a great package, I was thinking an UE type thing with a repro roadshow and booklet like some of the sets have gotten would be sweet.


The only film that would go with this is "The Sign of the Cross", this movie was produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, but it's not a silent one and it was made at Paramount pictures. By the way, it was included in the Cecil B. DeMille collection (a boxset released in 2006).
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#20 of 67 Tim Tucker

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Posted July 22 2008 - 05:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike*HTF
I'll definitely purchase this - but I couldn't help but think that if this were a couple years ago, we would most likely see a simultaneous release of a 4-disc set with (perhaps) the inclusion of the silent version ala Ben-Hur or even The Ten Commandments. In general, it feels as if the studio's commitment to SD DVD - even on high profile titles such as this - has really tempered now with Blu-Ray the winner in the HD format war.
Which silent version are you talking about: 1902, 1912, or 1925? Do any of them survive? And would Warner have rights to any of them?
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