In my continuing quest to watch interesting old movies, I saw Quo Vadis (1951).  The story takes place toward the end of Nero’s reign in Rome.  Peter Ustinov plays Nero as a crazy egomaniac who loves his own terrible poetry.  If the movie were only about Nero, it would be pretty dull, even though Ustinov is good.

The main conflict of the story is between an honored general, Marcus Vinicus, and a Christian hostage, Lygia, with whom Marcus falls in love.  Of course, this is right before Nero decides to exterminate all the Christians.

An interesting addition to the story is Gaius Petronius, Marcus’ uncle and counsel to Nero.  This would be the Petronius that is supposed to have written Satyricon.

It’s an interesting movie, even if some of the special effects are lacking.