The film is made from three short stories by W. Somerset Maugham. The first, "The Ant and the Grasshopper" concerns the trials and tribulations a ne'er-do-well brother, Tom Ramsey, puts his... See full summary »
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 »
Ellen McNulty loses her hamburger joint and goes to see her son, who marries a socialite at the same time. Due to her modest background and a case of mistaken identity, Ellen poses as the newlyweds' cook.
Mary Rafferty comes from a poor family of steel mill workers in 19th Century Pittsburgh. Her family objects when she goes to work as a maid for the wealthy Scott family which controls the ... See full summary »
Joe Lampton thought he had really made it by marrying the boss's daughter in his northern mill town. But he finds he is being sidelined at work and his private life manipulated by his ... See full summary »
When Secret Service agent David Somers is fired, he takes a quiet job with the Fentons at their country estate - cataloging butterflies, hence the title insect. David grows fond of Jess ... See full summary »
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 actually a trilogy of 3 of Somerset Maugham's short tales. The first one is The Verger, which is about 15 minutes long and very enjoyable. After 17 years Albert Foreman is laid off from his church job because he can't read nor write. So what does he do? Opens a tobacco shop, of course!
The second is Mr. Know-All which was actually a story I had read for school 6 years ago and instantly forgotten, until I heard the familiar introduction. Another 15 minute one, and also very good. It worked better on film than in a book for me, but then perhaps that's because I was only 14 the last time, afterall.
The 3rd one is nearly a let-down. Almost an hour in length, it simply drags. It's not all that bad, but not as quick and snappy as the last 2. I watched the first quarter hour of it and then skipped forward to the last quarter hour, and found that it still made sense and really I hadn't missed a thing!
Overall I give them 8, 9, and 6 out of 10, respectively.
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