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Quartet (1948)

 |  Drama  |  22 November 1948 (UK)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 471 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 6 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 »

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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")
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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

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Release Date:

22 November 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Arte de Viver  »

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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

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.
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Connections

Followed by Trio (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Impromptu
by Franz Schubert
Played by Eileen Joyce
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User Reviews

 
Nice blend of stories by Maugham, each with a different mood...
30 May 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

QUARTET is a subtle, understated anthology of stories by Somerset Maugham--entertaining but decidedly uneven in presentation. Nevertheless, as a study of various British personalities among the upper classes it does manage to evoke interest without furnishing any big surprises--which is what one usually expects from short stories.

What it does do, brilliantly, is show us Maugham's keen observations on human nature. MAI ZETTERLING and IAN FLEMING star in a story about a young man who fails to follow his father's advice and almost suffers the consequences; DIRK BOGARDE and HONOR BLACKMAN are the leads in a story about a man whose sole passion in life is to become a professional top-flight pianist but is told by FRANCOISE ROSAY that he has no such chance; the third story is a rather dated and foolish morality tale about a kite that just didn't make much sense to me; and the final story--probably the best--is about a man whose wife secretly writes a novel about her great love (a la "Lady Chatterly's Lover") and is confronted by her husband who demands to know who "the man" in the story really is. CECIL PARKER and NORA SWINBURNE play the couple and they're wonderful.

Nicely performed, well scripted and directed, QUARTET has an introduction by Maugham himself which manages to be self-effacing and informative.


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