Three short stories are introduced by author W. Somerset Maugham in the second of his anthology film trilogy. In "The Verger," a church verger of seventeen years is fired by his new straight-laced vicar when it's discovered that he cannot read or write. Forced to make life-altering decisions, the life-long bachelor proposes to his landlady and becomes an entrepreneur. In "Mr. Know-All" an obnoxiously pushy and irrepressibly boorish dealer in jewelry alienates all his fellow passengers on an ocean cruise despite his cheerful nature and generosity, but later is sensitive enough to realize that sacrificing his ego at a key moment is important to a woman's happiness. "The Sanatorium" revolves around the lives of tuberculosis patients at an exclusive Scottish sanatorium including a pair of doomed lovers who choose quality over quantity of life. Written by
This is the second British Rank film to adapt the stories of Sommerset Maugham to film. All but one story from 'Quartet' does not travel well into the contempory era; and the actors speech is decidedly "clipped", as only British pre-1950's actors delivery can be. In anycase 'Trio' seems tighter and more filmic than the first film adaptation.
One of the problems these two films can't overcome is that their source material was written 25-30 years prior to the films. Consequently, by the 1950's Maughm's (pre-war) popularist "small morality" storyteling seemed rather quaint, if not downright coy.
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