Quartet (1948)

 |  Drama  |  22 November 1948 (UK)
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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 overview, first billed only:
W. Somerset Maugham ...
Himself - Host
Basil Radford ...
Naunton Wayne ...
Leslie (segment "The Facts of Life")
Ian Fleming ...
Ralph (segment "The Facts of Life")
Jack Raine ...
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")
Irene Browne ...
Lady Bland (segment "The Alien Corn")
Paula (segment "The Alien Corn")


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

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Release Date:

22 November 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Arte de Viver  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Himself, 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.
See more »


Followed by Trio (1950) See more »


by Franz Schubert
Played by Eileen Joyce
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User Reviews

Finely Produced Film
1 April 2000 | by (Cleveland, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Master storyteller W. Somerset Maugham introduces four of his own short stories in this beautifully presented film. Each story has its own intriguing charm, and the superior cast, headed by Dirk Bogarde, Mai Zetterling and Cecil Parker, elevates these stories to a level of moving drama. All aspects of the production, with each segment handled by a different director, is outstanding. John Greenood's aristocratic score wraps up the film with its own unique style. A very fine English film with moving and memorable episodes.

38 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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