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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
***** POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD***** Some nice moments to savor in TRIO...
TRIO was the Somerset Maugham follow-up to QUARTET a few years earlier.
Again, it's three of his short stories told with wit and humor and a good observation of human frailties and eccentricities in a trio of tales populated by stars like KATHLEEN HARRISON, MICHAEL HAYTER, JEAN SIMMONS, MICHAEL RENNIE, ROLAND CULVER and FINLAY CURRIE.
The first about the village VERGER is brief and to the point with charming performances from Michael Hayter as The Verger who loses his job when it's discovered that he can neither read or write but then becomes a successful businessman; the second is about everyone's worst nightmare--having to put up with an obnoxious Know-All on a cruise vacation (splendidly played by NIGEL PATRICK); and the third, and most satisfying for me, is SANATORIUM, a segment having to do with the lives of people spending time in a sanatorium, with some moving scenes between JEAN SIMMONS and MICHAEL RENNIE as the doomed lovers.
Only big flaw in the sanatorium sequence is the healthy and robust appearance of both Simmons and Rennie makes it hard to believe the dire situation they are in. This is easily overlooked because the story is extremely well played by a very capable cast of British players.
Summing up: Well worth seeing.
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