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TURN-ONS AND TURN-OFFS IN CURRENT HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES : Excellent Good Fair Poor : VIDEOCASSETTES

July 29, 1986|TERRY ATKINSON

"Quo Vadis." MGM/UA. $89.95 (two tapes). What a curious if ultimately tedious movie. This 1951 blockbuster managed to be both an inferior rehash (of DeMille's "The Sign of the Cross") and a trendsetter, leading to further Christians versus Romans spectacles. The palatial sets dazzle and Peter Ustinov's quirky Nero amuses, but the elephantine epic gradually bogs down in staginess and brutality. Starring Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr, "Quo Vadis" retains some of the genre's strange piety-versus-sensuality guilty pleasures, but its 170-minute, hypercolored hugeness is no match for the smaller, shorter, older, black-and-white "Sign." 1/2

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