MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,659 this week

Quartet (1948)

 |  Drama  |  22 November 1948 (UK)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 461 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

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 »

Writers:

(stories),
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 11 Dec 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 15 Feb 2013
 
a list of 9027 titles
created 25 Mar 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 19 May 2013
 
a list of 853 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Quartet" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Quartet (1948)

Quartet (1948) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Quartet.
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Percy Boon lives with his mother in a shared rented house with an assortment of characters in central London. Although well intentioned, Percy becomes mixed up with gangsters and a murder. ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Alastair Sim, Fay Compton
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A clever fortune-hunter with a penchant for murder does in his elderly, supposedly rich, wife and manages to get away with it. After an investigation results in a decision of 'accidental ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Margaret Lockwood, Kay Walsh
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young woman visits Paris with her brother only to discover the following morning he has gone missing and the hotel staff have no recollection of his presence.

Directors: Antony Darnborough, Terence Fisher
Stars: Jean Simmons, Dirk Bogarde, David Tomlinson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

British diplomat Harrington Brande takes up his new post in Spain accompanied by his son Nicholas. The posting is something of a disappointment to the elder Brande who was hoping for a ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Leacock
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Jon Whiteley, Michael Hordern
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man recalls his relationships with the women he loved as he tries to help another man try to understand them as well.

Director: Muriel Box
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Julie Harris, Diane Cilento
Encore (1951)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The film is made from three short stories by W. Somerset Maugham. The first, "The Ant and the Grasshopper" concerns the trials and tribulations a ne'er-do-well brother, Tom Ramsey, puts his... See full summary »

Directors: Harold French, Pat Jackson, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Nigel Patrick, Roland Culver, Alison Leggatt
Miranda (1948)
Fantasy | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young married physician discovers a mermaid, and gives into her request to be taken to see London. Comedy and romantic entanglements ensue soon after.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Glynis Johns, Googie Withers, Griffith Jones
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Simon Sparrow is a newly arrived medical student at St Swithin's hospital in London. Falling in with three longer-serving hopefuls he is soon immersed in the wooing, imbibing and fast ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Muriel Pavlow, Kenneth More
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

John Lewis is bored by his librarian's job and henpecked at home. Then Liz, wife of a local counciller, sets her sights on him. But this is risky stuff in a Welsh valleys town - if he and ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Stars: Peter Sellers, Mai Zetterling, Virginia Maskell
Blackmailed (1951)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Mrs. Christopher, a kindly volunteer worker at a large hospital, does a favor for a patient by delivering a sum of money to Mr. Sine. When she discovers he is a blackmailer, she threatens ... See full summary »

Director: Marc Allégret
Stars: Mai Zetterling, Dirk Bogarde, Fay Compton
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Seriously ill on a military campaign in Greece, Lord Byron dreams of being judged, upon his death, as either a poet and soldier or as a seducer and libertine. Amongst the witnesses called ... See full summary »

Director: David MacDonald
Stars: Dennis Price, Mai Zetterling, Joan Greenwood
Lost Daughter (1948)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A British army officer becomes fascinated by the portrait of a young woman. He travels to Germany to find her only to discover that she is suffering from amnesia.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Mai Zetterling, Robert Beatty, Guy Rolfe
Edit

Cast

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")
Edit

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

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Arte de Viver  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Impromptu
by Franz Schubert
Played by Eileen Joyce
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
QUARTET (Ralph Smart, Harold French, Arthur Crabtree and Ken Annakin, 1948) ***1/2
18 July 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

A number of portmanteau films had been made before this celebrated and influential British example – the most notable to emanate from the country prior to it being the superb horror-oriented DEAD OF NIGHT (1945). QUARTET, however, took a novel concept by bringing together a handful of tales by the same (famous) author, specifically W. Somerset Maugham; the formula was subsequently even imitated in Hollywood with O. HENRY’S FULL HOUSE (1952). The renowned R2 DVD company, Network, released the film as a 3-Disc Set along with its two follow-ups – TRIO (1950) and ENCORE (1951), comprising six more short stories by Maugham; thankfully, I was able to acquire the collection recently through Network themselves during an online sale (and those films will be following in short order).

I think it’s important to note at the outset the fact that most of the so-called ‘classic’ British cinema was marked by a rather genteel quality (evident not just in the behavior of characters on-screen but also the unfussy technique adopted in their making) in comparison to, say, equivalent American product from the same era. Therefore, at a cursory viewing of the film, one might feel Leonard Maltin’s **** rating a mite excessive since there’s nothing particularly outstanding about it; what we get here, quite simply, is a display of sheer professionalism to abet Maugham’s own keen writing skills.

Anyway, the first story involves a young man’s indoctrination into “The Facts Of Life” – a promising talent at tennis, he’s sent to Monte Carlo to take part in a tournament; his conservative father (Basil Radford) advises him to use his money wisely and keep away from both gambling and women. However, once there, he does his own thing and, through a series of lucky strokes, is able to contradict his old man: not only does he win a large sum of money at the casino, but he lends some to a beautiful young woman (Mai Zetterling); she then takes the boy home with her, fully intending to rob him of his gains, but it’s he who outwits her and returns to England triumphant. The episode is also notable for being yet another teaming of that amiable odd couple comprising Radford and Naunton Wayne (first brought together in Alfred Hitchcock’s THE LADY VANISHES [1938]).

The second tale, called “The Alien Corn”, stars Dirk Bogarde as the heir to an English estate; however, his passion is piano-playing – which greatly displeases the rest of the family. His cousin (lovely young Honor Blackman) who’s besotted with him comes up with a compromise – Bogarde can study for two years in Paris, after which time he’s to be examined by a professional to determine whether he shows real promise in the field or is merely an amateur. When the time for the assessment comes, he’s pretty confident in his skills – but the judgment of the expert (Francoise Rosay) is brutally frank. The family is relieved: as for Bogarde, while he seems to acquiesce to their decision and give up the piano (even admitting to Blackman to be resigned to his fate), he commits suicide the minute he’s left to his own devices!

“The Kite” is the least of the segments, but also the oddest: George Cole and his family (Mervyn Johns and Hermione Baddeley) are kite enthusiasts, which doesn’t sit well with his fiancée Susan Shaw – who believes it to be trivial kids’ stuff. Torn between his love of the girl and his passion for the hobby (he even designs experimental models himself), he’s forced to choose – and, of course, he opts for the latter while still paying alimony to Shaw (having, by now, become his wife). The situation, however, comes to a head when he finds his ‘masterpiece’ all broken up and, naturally blaming his wife, he refuses to give Shaw her dues – which lands him in jail! The tale ends with prison visitor Bernard Lee mediating between the couple…by persuading the girl to humor her hubby and develop a fondness for kite-flying herself!

The fourth and last episode, “The Colonel’s Lady”, is the longest – and best – of the quartet: no-nonsense military officer Cecil Parker is married to dowdy Nora Swinburne; one day, he discovers that she’s been writing poetry and has managed to publish a collection. He initially scoffs at the idea but, when the book becomes a resounding success (apparently for its “earthy” depiction of a love affair), he can no longer ignore it…especially since all his colleagues (including eminent critic Ernest Thesiger) start congratulating Parker and even refer to him as the husband of a celebrity! Finally obliged to read the book for himself, which is written in the first person, he becomes jealous of Swinburne’s mysterious conquest – which is ironic (to say nothing of hypocritical on his part) since Parker himself carries on a clandestine romance with attractive society woman Linden Travers who, of course, loves Swinburne’s book (incidentally, like the afore-mentioned Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne, Parker and Travers had appeared before as a couple in THE LADY VANISHES). Determined to get his wife to confess the name of the party involved in her past misdemeanor, he’s then astounded to learn that the man she was describing had been his former, younger and more caring self (at which he breaks down)!

By the way, the film is book-ended by appearances from Maugham himself – though, apparently, the epilogue was dropped in either re-issue or foreign versions (the ‘alternate ending’ included as a supplement on the DVD, then, simply reprises the concluding moments from “The Colonel’s Lady”!). For the record, I have several unwatched compendiums (mostly Italian films but also Julien Duvivier’s American-made TALES OF MANHATTAN [1942]) on various formats – and this has certainly made me game to check some of them out…


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
quartet- the alien corn mfuria
IF YOU HAVE SEEN THIS FILM ... McArthur2005
George and David Cole stevem-26
Netflix Instant Watch robertl-9
Discuss Quartet (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?