IMDb > Quintet (1979)
Quintet
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Quintet (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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Quintet -- Tumbling dice in this trailer for the thriller

Overview

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5.2/10   1,782 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Robert Altman (story) &
Lionel Chetwynd (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Quintet on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 August 1979 (West Germany) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
One man against the world.
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(12 articles)
Altman’s Unsung ’70s
 (From SoundOnSight. 20 January 2014, 1:50 PM, PST)

Robert Altman: The Hollywood Interview
 (From The Hollywood Interview. 15 February 2013, 1:43 PM, PST)

The Paramount In Austin Announces Their Summer Classics Film Series
 (From CriterionCast. 12 May 2011, 8:23 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Compelling and much better 23 years later See more (59 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Newman ... Essex

Vittorio Gassman ... Saint Christopher

Fernando Rey ... Grigor

Bibi Andersson ... Ambrosia

Brigitte Fossey ... 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

Craig Richard Nelson ... Redstone
Maruska Stankova ... Jaspera
Anne Gerety ... Aeon
Michel Maillot ... Obelus
Max Fleck ... Wood Supplier
Françoise Berd ... Charity house woman
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Directed by
Robert Altman 
 
Writing credits
Robert Altman (story) &
Lionel Chetwynd (story) &
Patricia Resnick (story)

Frank Barhydt (screenplay) &
Robert Altman (screenplay) and
Patricia Resnick (screenplay)

Produced by
Robert Altman .... producer
Allan F. Nicholls .... associate producer (as Allan Nicholls)
Tommy Thompson .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Tom Pierson 
 
Cinematography by
Jean Boffety 
 
Film Editing by
Dennis M. Hill 
 
Casting by
Luca Kouimelis 
 
Production Design by
Leon Ericksen 
 
Art Direction by
Wolf Kroeger 
 
Costume Design by
Scott Bushnell 
 
Makeup Department
Monty Westmore .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Jim Kaufman .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Braive .... second assistant director
Tommy Thompson .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Stephen Altman .... property master
Stéphane Reichel .... assistant to art director
Andre Brochu .... construction supervisor (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Sam Gemette .... sound editor
Robert Gravenor .... sound
David M. Horton .... special sound effects (as David Horton)
Richard Portman .... sound re-recordist
Hal Sanders .... sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Tom Fisher .... special effects
John Thomas .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Andy Chmura .... assistant camera
John Daoust .... key grip
Robert Guertin .... assistant camera
Kevin O'Connell .... gaffer
Al Smith .... assistant camera
Paul Van der Linden .... camera operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
John Hay .... wardrober
J. Allen Highfill .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Jim Carter .... editorial apprentice
Raja Gosnell .... assistant editor (as Raja R. Gosnell)
William Hoy .... assistant editor
Richard Whitfield .... editorial apprentice
 
Music Department
Ted Whitfield .... music editor
 
Transportation Department
Peter Bray .... transportation coordinator
Melanie Johnson .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Victoria Barney .... project coordinator
Monique Champagne .... script supervisor
Elaine Di Bello Bradish .... assistant to producer
Dick Dubuque .... project accountant
David Fitzgerald .... assistant to producer
Ralph M. Leo .... project auditor
Patrice Ryan .... title designer
Rita Shaffer .... project manager
Ed Horwitz .... personal assistant: Robert Altman (uncredited)
Danièle Rohrbach .... production secretary (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
118 min | Argentina:116 min | Portugal:110 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Second and final of two films that director Robert Altman made with cinematographer Jean Boffety. The first film had been Thieves Like Us (1974) around five years earlier.See more »
Quotes:
Essex:It's not common for people to smile.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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43 out of 54 people found the following review useful.
Compelling and much better 23 years later, 13 June 2002
Author: ddrucker-2 from Cambridge, MA

I saw this movie years ago on a date while I was in college was completely baffled by it (although I think I was one of the few people who liked it a bit nevertheless). Now, with it on the Fox Movie channel, I had a chance to see it again. What a difference a couple of decades makes! In 1979 there was no concept of nuclear winter, but now we all too well have visions of the world dying in the grip of ice. (In fact, some have pointed out that the same emissions that are causing global warming may end up creating exactly the opposite effect; the continuous fouling of the atmosphere will eventually shut out the sun and a new, deadly ice age will engulf the earth.) That said, the idea of hoplessness - of people having nothing to look forward to except the thrill of their game, makes the actions of the game players understandable, even if they are not sympathetic. In this sense, the movie is oddly like other apocalyptic movies like 'On the Beach', where survivors indulge in the ultimate decadence - willful ignorance of survival, a warped echo of their humanity. This is a movie about intrigue, very much like the spy movie involving double agents and double-crossing, but this is also a movie (like the more recent 'Sixth Sense' which also has a clear set of symbolic imagery) about a pervasive set of symbols. Everywhere you see the number 5. Everything comes in fives or pentagrams. There is a marvelous shot of a woman's face in a mirror, framed by a pentagram. The church scene where 'Saint Christopher' is speaking of the 5 stages of life is a droll parody of Christian orthodoxy, a sort of post-nuclear take on predestination, our lot in life, and the futitility of our existence, all ornamented with Latin and ritual. Far less subtle scenes like the 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes' scene where they worship an atomic bomb come to mind. The musical score is also constantly using the rhythm of 5. I found the music as well as the sound design (the constant howling of the wind, and groaning of ice) extraordinary. The ending, in which there are 4 orchestral strikes - the fifth is left out (perhaps symbolizing the fact that the story is left hanging) is suitably unsettling. My only criticism is the acting . Nearly all of he actors (except for Paul Newman) are not native English speakers, and their accents make many lines nearly incomprehensible. This is a shame, given that so many nuances of the plot are dependent on a line here or there. I'm not sure this film would be good remade by David Lynch (as one reviewer has suggested), but I now wonder what re-dubbing actors voices might do for it! Also, the entire film is shot with vaseline around the edges of the lens. While this technique may work as a special effect (and a clichéed one at that!) doing it for the entire movie is just distracting. I'll bet that Altman regretted that decision. 'Quintet' does not deserve the scorn that has been laid on it. It is not Altman's worst film; it is not a mistake. It is instead, an essay regarding what it is to be human, and an experiment in cold claustrophobic tone. In some ways, the experiment is a success - I found many of the images, sounds and music and ideas very memorable. In fact, I'll bet that the movie has had more influence on some filmmakers than we may realise. I'll bet Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam and Alex Proyas like this movie. They all have that sensitivity to consistency of tone and vision that this movie has.

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