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),
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Trio (1950)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three short stories by W. Somerset Maugham, "The Verger," "Mr. Know-All," and "The Sanatorium," are introduced by the author.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Harold French
Stars: James Hayter, Kathleen Harrison, Felix Aylmer
Encore (1951)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Adaptations of three short stories by W. Somerset Maugham comprise this anthology film where the celebrated author introduces each segment of the film in front of the camera.

Directors: Harold French, Pat Jackson, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Nigel Patrick, Roland Culver, Alison Leggatt
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

John Steinbeck introduces a quintet of five of O. Henry's most celebrated stories from his New York Period (1902-1910) in this anthology film.

Directors: Henry Hathaway, Howard Hawks, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Fred Allen, Anne Baxter, Jeanne Crain
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Violent fugitive and mistreated small boy team up to flee from authority.

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Jon Whiteley, Elizabeth Sellars
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A rooming house landlady recalls her past in flashbacks.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Shirley Booth, Robert Ryan, Marjie Millar
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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 | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A psychotherapist attempts to rehabilitate a convict in his home after he breaks in. The criminal cooperates rather than being handed over to the police. The therapist's wife becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Alexis Smith, Alexander Knox
Time Table (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a train speeds through the Arizona night, a man posing as a physician holds up the baggage-car crew and escapes with a $500,000 payroll. The fake doctor, Paul Bruckner, leaves the train ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Stevens
Stars: Mark Stevens, King Calder, Felicia Farr
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson
The Scarf (1951)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man believe to have murdered a woman, escapes from the insane asylum to find if he was the one to actually kill her using the scarf she was wearing.

Director: Ewald André Dupont
Stars: John Ireland, Mercedes McCambridge, James Barton
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Eight hundred German filmmakers (cast and crew) fled the Nazis in the 1930s. The film uses voice-overs, archival footage, and film clips to examine Berlin's vital filmmaking in the 1920s; ... See full summary »

Director: Karen Thomas
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Scott Subiono, Sewell Whitney
The Big Steal (1949)
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An army lieutenant accused of robbery pursues the real thief on a frantic chase through Mexico aided by the thief's fiancee.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, William Bendix
Edit

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")
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")
...
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 | Romance

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

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.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Encore (1951) 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

Don't mention the Jews!
18 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

If you wonder why the story "The Alien Corn" has that title, the answer tells you what has been left out, and why it is therefore so bland and restrained as to be superficial and uninteresting. Maugham gave it that title because it was about Jews. The boy's father is not some terribly, terribly dash-it-all, upper-upper English aristocrat. He is a self-made man who has devoted his life to fitting into English society. But, Maugham says, in a line no one who has read this story will ever forget, he betrayed himself with one characteristic which marked him out as entirely un-English: "He loved his son." It is this tension between the man's deep, sensual love of his son and the man's desire to fit in with the English upper class, who do not become artists, or didn't then (sort of thing foreigners and nancy boys do), that gives the story its power and pain, not simply the young man's desire to be an artist conflicting with his lack of talent. And it is a disgrace that, even after World War II, the filmmakers clearly thought that the problem of Jewish assimilation could not be part of a "civilised," classy, English entertainment.


19 of 23 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
Love those anthologies! bklynbernie
Discuss Quartet (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?