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Quintet (1979)

During a future ice age, dying humanity occupies its remaining time by playing a board game called "Quintet." For one small group, this obsession is not enough; they play the game with living pieces ... and only the winner survives.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
...
...
Nina van Pallandt ...
Deuca (as Nina Van Pallandt)
...
Thomas Hill ...
Francha (as Tom Hill)
...
Redstone's Mate
...
Redstone
Maruska Stankova ...
Jaspera
Anne Gerety ...
Aeon
...
Obelus
Max Fleck ...
Wood Supplier
Françoise Berd ...
Charity House Woman (as Francoise Berd)
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Storyline

In the distant future the world is in the grip of another ice age. A city originally built to house five million people is now in its death throes as the relentlessly advancing glacier is slowly crushing the metropolis's steel infrastructure. The relatively few surviving fur-clad inhabitants, perhaps thousands, perhaps only hundreds, drift aimlessly in their grim, drab world, awaiting their inevitable fate as they try to survive from day to day with scavenged firewood and minimal diet. Their only solaces are booza, an alcoholic drink distilled from moss, and Quintet, a seemingly innocuous board game for six players. The only other surviving mammals are roving packs of hungry mastiffs which roam the city's corridors and quickly dispose of the remains of the dead. Newly arrived from the south is Essex with his pregnant wife Vivia, seeking shelter in the doomed city only to find it populated by people middle-aged or older. They had supported themselves by hunting seals, but now that the ... Written by duke1029@aol.com

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One man against the world.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

29 April 1979 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Quinteto  »

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1.85 : 1
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Trivia

One of five late-1970s films that director Robert Altman made for the 20th Century Fox studio. The movies are HealtH (1980), Quintet (1979), 3 Women (1977), A Wedding (1978) and A Perfect Couple (1979). See more »

Quotes

Essex: Tell me, is Saint Christopher as good a player as they say he is?
Grigor: He is good, but too serious
Essex: and not very talkative.
Grigor: Talk? Oh, if it is talk you want, come with me Redstone
[Essex is passing as Redstone]
Grigor: ; I know a place. We can have drinks, and talk...
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Connections

Featured in Developing the World of 'Quintet' (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The elements are there but the execution doesn't work!
5 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

Altman's Quintet has to be considered more than just flawed: As so many other reviewers have pointed out, the ideas behind the film, even some of the choices in depicting those ideas, ought to work--and yet very little in this difficult film does. The partially fogged camera lens--I remarked to my wife that it has to be the most distracting directorial conceit I've ever seen--never allowed me to get "into" the film's world.

In general there are serious problems with the mise-en-scene employed here. It's clear that no small amount of thought went into factors like costume and production design, but neither is very effective in evoking a believable world. Perhaps it is a matter of scale; the film is so stage-bound that I laughed out loud once it was mentioned that "five million" people lived in the city. (Yes I understand the constraints of the film's budget. Matte paintings here and there might have helped.) In all the most disappointing Altman film I've ever seen. Great ideas and grand metaphors do not always come through in art--it's just part of the game.


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