Quo Vadis (1951) is a roaring sword and sandals film from Hollywood. Herein we cover some of the context and the major arc of the plot.
Category: Rome on Film
Dr R is a reception studies specialist, Rome on film and Rome on television provide great insights into our understanding of the ancient world is translated for a modern audience. We examine the representation of Rome on film and consider the ways in which they match or differ with the source material.
With its mix of ancient Rome and early Christianity, The Robe (1953) is a fascinating film. We come to grips with its classical reception.
When enslaved people rose up against their masters in ancient Rome, what role did the women play? We’re about to find out!
At the beginning of this year, we finally got to see The Gladiators vs Spartacus in print. It took a lot of determination and hard work on behalf of Henry MacAdam, as well as co-authors Cooper and Dr Rad, to bring this story to light, so we are delighted to be able to share one of the early reviews with you all. The author of these reviews, Brian Hannan, is a true film buff, with…
** The Gladiators – The Story of a Lost Hollywood Epic **
Yul Brynner’s film The Gladiators never made it to the big screen, but the story behind its failure is an epic in itself.
Dr Rad’s latest work on this is out now and we’re super excited!
Dr Rad pays tribute to the late and unmistakable force to be reckoned with, Kirk Douglas. His role in Spartacus and his legacy for Rome on film and Hollywood are legendary.
We sat down recently with Stephen Guerra, the host of the History of the Papacy Podcast to talk all about the classic 1951 sword-and-sandals film Quo Vadis.
This is a short blog post designed to accompany the release of the recent History by Hollywood podcast episode that features Dr Rad, which you can listen to HERE. Before the Blacklist In the mid-1920s, a young man from Grand Junction moved to L.A. with his family. For nearly a decade, he struggled to contribute to the family coffers, working in a bakery and dabbling in low-level criminal activities. This decade made him particularly aware of…
The episode in which Drs R and G explore the Coen Brothers take on the Golden Age of Hollywood with Hail, Caesar!
We may have been enticed by the prospect of George Clooney as a Roman general, but we stayed for the tribute to the big studio days of American cinema.
For anyone who is interested in learning more about Trumbo, or DT for those in the know, here is a list of references for our latest episode. This is just a selection – there are quite a few books on the production of Spartacus! Ahl, F., ‘Spartacus, Exodus, and Dalton Trumbo: Managing Ideologies of War’, in Spartacus, ed. M. Winkler (Blackwell Publishing, Malden: 2007), 65-86. Ceplair, L.; Englund, S., The Inquisition in Hollywood (Anchor Press…
As you know, Dr R specialises in Rome on film. In this episode, let us take on a journey through the film Trumbo (2015), which is a bio-pic of the life of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
Trumbo broke the blacklist when he was given screen-credit for Spartacus (1960). Herein an examination of the politics of Hollywood post Second World War, the film Trumbo, and liberal sprinklings of Rome.
Spice up your ears with a foray into the historical and creative elements of Ridley Scott’s 2000 epic Gladiator. Touted as the return of the sword-and-sandal genre, this film is an interesting mélange of historical plausibility and blatant deviation from the primary source material!
We’re taking a step back in time to examine the classic Rome on film presented in Ben-Hur, the 1959 epic extravaganza! The film builds on the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ published by Lee Wallace in 1880. This means that there are many layers to parse from the perspective of historians!
We take our last turn about the room with the enigma, the charisma, that is Spartacus. The final season of the Starz series Spartacus: War of the Damned, follows the final confrontation between the slave rebels and the might of Rome.
The Doctors tackle the sources and speculation that arise from an examination of the Starz series Spartacus Vengeance.
Spartacus: Vengeance follows the nascent slave rebellion in their journey from Capua and the challenges they face along the way. You may well ask what is up with Glaber and Spartacus – find out here!
In this episode, your intrepid Doctors continue to explore Spartacus and modern incarnations of his story. In 2010 the Starz series Spartacus Blood and Sand hit our television screens.
This season functions as a origin story, as our primary sources for pick up the story at the moment of Spartacus leading the slave revolt in 73 CE. With an eye for the historical sources, we consider how this series tackles the details of Spartacus’ life and the blurring of history and drama.
Dr Radford’s is a specialist in the history of Rome on film. And where better to start than with Spartacus, the 1960 epic directed (eventually) by Stanley Kubrick and starring the one, the only, Kirk Douglas.
This film has a highly complicated array of relationships to explore. There’s the 1951 novel that inspired the screenplay by Howard Fast. There’s the screenplay itself, where major credit is given to Dalton Trumbo. And there’s the complications that arise from the challenges of finding a director who could stick with the project. This is all before we even cut to the chase on the primary source material!
So what relationship does the film bear to the historical sources?