Quo Vadis Behind the Scenes

Quo Vadis was a long shoot, running from May to November of 1950. The film had been in development since the 1930’s, when it was to star Robert Taylor, who would have been too young. In the late 40s Gregory Peck was set to star and John Huston to direct. Peck developed an eye infection and was replaced by none other than the original choice, Robert Taylor. Mervyn LeRoy stepped in to direct. As befitted his status, Mr. Taylor was treated very well. He had a huge apartment, two cars, one with a chauffeur, at his disposal and a chef who had worked for the King of Italy. These photos are a look at life behind the scenes on the set in Rome.

Visitors to the set: Barbara Stanwyck with producer Sam Zimbalist; Irene Dunne with director Mervyn LeRoy; Mary Livingstone and Jack Benny with Zimbalist and LeRoy.

Taylor was an avid photographer with both a still and a movie camera.

There was lots of time for reading between takes.

Deborah Kerr; the intricacies of Roman dress; scriptwriter John Lee Mahin; brushing up on Italian.

Mervyn LeRoy at work; chatting from a chariot; Director of Photography Robert Surtees and LeRoy doing a check; a script the size of a phone book.

Mervyn LeRoy; Sam Zimbalist; Marina Berti and Leo Genn.

Needlework and letter writing help to pass the time; the ubiquitous thermos of coffee.

A few of the sets.

About giraffe44

I became a Robert Taylor fan at the age of 15 when his TV show, "The Detectives" premiered. My mother wanted to watch it because she remembered Mr. Taylor from the thirties. I took one look and that was it. I spent the rest of my high school career watching Robert Taylor movies on late night TV, buying photos of him, making scrapbooks and being a typical teenager. College, marriage and career intervened. I remember being sad when Mr. Taylor died. I mailed two huge scrapbooks to Ursula Thiess. I hope she got them. Time passed, retirement, moving to Florida. Then in 2012 my husband Fred pointed that there were two Robert Taylor movies that evening on Turner Classic Movies--"Ivanhoe" and "Quentin Durward." I watched both and it happened all over again. I started this blog both for fans and for people who didn't know about Robert Taylor. As the blog passes 200,000 views I'm delighted that so many people have come by and hope it will help preserve the legacy of this fine actor and equally good man.
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