Four of Somerset Maugham's short stories are brought to the screen with each introduced by the author himself. In the first story, The Facts of Life, a young man with great potential on the... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
W. Somerset Maugham ...
Himself - Host
...
Naunton Wayne ...
Leslie (segment "The Facts of Life")
Ian Fleming ...
Ralph (segment "The Facts of Life")
...
Thomas (segment "The Facts of Life")
...
Mrs. Garnet (segment "The Facts of Life")
...
Branksome (segment "The Facts of Life")
Jack Watling ...
Nicky (segment "The Facts of Life")
Nigel Buchanan ...
John (segment "The Facts of Life") (as Nigal Buchanan)
...
Jeanne (segment "The Facts of Life")
Jean Cavall ...
Cabaret Artist (segment "The Facts of Life")
...
George Bland (segment "The Alien Corn")
Raymond Lovell ...
Sir Frederick Bland (segment "The Alien Corn")
...
Lady Bland (segment "The Alien Corn")
...
Paula (segment "The Alien Corn")
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Storyline

Four of Somerset Maugham's short stories are brought to the screen with each introduced by the author himself. In the first story, The Facts of Life, a young man with great potential on the tennis courts goes to Monte Carlo and soon finds himself doing the exact opposite of what his father recommended. In 'The Alien Corn', an aspiring pianist devotes himself to perfecting his artistic skills but finds he likely hasn't the talents to reach the heights he so desperately craves. In 'The Kite', a young man who lives at home and loves kite flying goes against his overbearing mother's wishes and marries the girl he's been dating. He's soon back home, much to his mother's delight, but re-considers when his wife takes up a new hobby. In the final chapter 'The Colonel's Lady', a middle-aged man is shocked to learn that his somewhat dowdy wife has written a collection of racy poems and is now a best-selling author. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

22 November 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Arte de Viver  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an unusual coincidence, Quartet has two actors who would both have eternal associations with the James Bond series. Bernard Lee, who would later play M, and Honor Blackman, who would play one of the most famous Bond girls in Goldfinger (1964), Pussy Galore. Despite the name Ian Fleming on the credits, he is not the same man who wrote the Bond novels. See more »

Quotes

W. Somerset Maugham - Host: In my twenties, the critics said I was brutal. In my thirties, they said I was flippant; in my forties, they said I was cynical; in my fifties they said I was competent - and then, in my sixties, they said I was superficial.
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Connections

Featured in Raiders of the Lost Archive: Episode #1.3 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Alouette
French Canadian Traditional
Sung by all in the Cabaret room in "Facts of Life" segment
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User Reviews

 
Four stories
26 May 2015 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

Since I read all these four stories, long ago, I found it interesting when seeing the film version on "You Tube", to watch it --a bit hesitant I must say-- but I was nicely surprised to see four excellent short movies condensing quite well those wonderful stories (when I read them I couldn't have had enough of Somerset Maugham's writing mastery and read, I think, most of his literary wealth, what a writer, what imagination!!).

I don't know if these stories could be made today as full length movies, probably not, since the argument's line is very subtle and to lengthen them it will involve adding superfluous material that will completely destroy those gossamer stories.

These four episodes are an excellent example of good, solid, English movie making, without any waste of time, first rate photography (Black and white) and sound, impeccable lighting and very professional actors, in all four segments, as good as the four directors involved in this project.

I would strongly recommend its viewing since the many messages conveyed in all the segments are a distilled essence of Mr. Maugham's varied experiences through his very long life and almost oriental wisdom that could become a welcome addition to our humbler lives.


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