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Quartet (1948)

 -  Drama  -  26 October 1948 (UK)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 437 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 »

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Title: Quartet (1948)

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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:

26 October 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

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

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.


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