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

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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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 Encore (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Alouette
French Canadian Traditional
Sung by all in the Cabaret room in "Facts of Life" segment
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User Reviews

 
Bite-Sized Drama
30 December 2011 | by See all my reviews

The four episodes based on Maugham short stories are increasingly substantial, although the overall experience is somewhat unsatisfying. The first, "The Facts of Life," stars Zetterling and "The Lady Vanishes" duo of Radford and Wayne, but it doesn't make much of an impression. The second, "The Alien Corn," stars Bogarde and Blackman as cousins in love and has a surprising ending. "The Kite" is an amusing story about a family's love for kites. The last, "The Colonel's Lady," is about the scandalous publication of erotic poems by a woman of upper society; it is the longest and most developed of the quartet. Maugham himself introduces the stories and comes across as rather pompous.


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