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Quintet (1979)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  24 August 1979 (West Germany)
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 1,951 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 34 critic

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:
...
Essex
...
Saint Christopher
...
Grigor
...
Ambrosia
...
Vivia, Essex's Wife
Nina van Pallandt ...
Deuca (as Nina Van Pallandt)
David Langton ...
Goldstar
Thomas Hill ...
Francha (as Tom Hill)
Monique Mercure ...
Redstone's Mate
...
Redstone
Maruska Stankova ...
Jaspera
Anne Gerety ...
Aeon
Michel Maillot ...
Obelus
Max Fleck ...
Wood Supplier
Françoise Berd ...
Charity house woman
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man against the world.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 August 1979 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Quinteto  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Paul Newman's only ever film in the science-fiction film genre. Cars (2006) and The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) are not categorized as sci-fi but fantasy. See more »

Quotes

Grigor: ...and talk about life.
Essex: The only thing I've seen is death, or the prospect of it.
Grigor: But that's what makes life worthwhile; every time you cheat death, you feel the pure thrill of life
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
A deeply strange movie, full of disturbance
19 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you're a science fiction fan and you think you're in possession of every sci-fi movie out there that matters - but you haven't seen or don't own Quintet - you have a gaping hole to deal with, for Quintet is essential viewing. It's not perfect, it's maddening at times, but as a wholly unique take on the future (and unspecified future events) it's required viewing, believe it.

Quintet is, first off, an American director's (conscious or unconscious, I'm not sure) European-movie excursion - or, it's more akin to, say, a French director's style than an American's. Very long shots of pinpoint-sized characters as they move slow as molasses into full view; utterly spare dialogue; women from a Bergman film; relentless singularity of vision; and nothing given away, no easy answers, fields of question marks all around. A slight movie, in a way...the barest bit of celluloid, with a relative few actors and a rather oblique plot. But the movie sears itself into your brain, and even though you'll never need to see it again after the first viewing (if you're like me), you're not gonna forget it.

It should also be mentioned that one of the great feats of Quintet is featuring the very environment itself as an actorly presence, something to be reckoned with - or, more precisely, cold itself as an actorly presence. This movie, next to Fargo, renders the latter a Hawaiian romp, when it comes to the depiction of bone-shivering cold. You cannot watch this movie, even in Arizona, and resist quaking along with the actors. Probably the most believable movie re: pure environmental cold I've ever seen. Which of course matches the goings-on of the story...but you'll have to find that out for yourself.

See Quintet, and witness a great director's creative restlessness touching the sci-fi genre in a completely original way. It's like nothing you've ever seen. And it will, in your depths, despite yourself, trouble you.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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