IMDb > Quartet (1981)
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Quartet (1981) More at IMDbPro »


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6.5/10   885 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jean Rhys (novel)
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (screenplay)
View company contact information for Quartet on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 October 1981 (USA) See more »
Marya finds herself penniless after her art dealer husband, Stephan, is convicted of theft. Marya accepts the hospitality of a strange couple, H.J. and Lois Heidler, who lets her live in their house. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Beautifully made but a lesser Merchant-Ivory film See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Alan Bates ... H.J. Heidler

Maggie Smith ... Lois Heidler

Isabelle Adjani ... Marya 'Mado' Zelli

Anthony Higgins ... Stephan Zelli
Pierre Clémenti ... Théo the Pornographer

Suzanne Flon ... Mme. Hautchamp
Daniel Mesguich ... Pierre Schlamovitz

Sheila Gish ... Anna
Armelia McQueen ... Night Club Singer
Wiley Wood ... Cairn
Virginie Thévenet ... Madmoiselle Chardin
Daniel Chatto ... Guy

Bernice Stegers ... Miss Nicholson
Paulita Sedgwick ... Esther
Sébastien Floche ... Edouard Hautchamp
Isabelle Canto da Maya ... Cri-Cri (as Isabelle Canto Da Maya)
François Viaur ... Lefranc
Dino Zanghi ... Prison Guard
Michel Such ... Prison Guard
Jean-Pierre Dravel ... Prison Guard
Annie Noël ... Maid
Maurice Ribot ... Pianist
Pierre Julien ... Impresario
Humbert Balsan ... Impresario's Friend
Serge Marquand ... Night Club Owner
Muriel Montossé ... Marjorie
Caroline Loeb ... Nun
Jeffrey Kime ... James
Shirley Allan ... Adriana
Anne-Marie Brissonière ... Les Oiseaux
Marie-France De Bourges ... Les Oiseaux
Brigitte Hermetz ... Les Oiseaux
Josine Comellas ... Café Patronne
Romain Brémond ... Youth
Arlette Spetebroot ... Drowned Girl (as Arlette Spetelbroot)
Monique Mauclair ... Hotel Concierge
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bonnafet Tarbouriech ... Prison Guard (uncredited)

Directed by
James Ivory 
Writing credits
Jean Rhys (novel)

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (screenplay)

Michel Maingois (French dialogue)

James Ivory  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Humbert Balsan .... associate producer
Connie Kaiserman .... associate producer
Jean-Pierre Mahot .... producer (as Jean-Pierre Mahot de la Querantonnais)
Ismail Merchant .... producer
Original Music by
Richard Robbins 
Cinematography by
Pierre Lhomme 
Film Editing by
Humphrey Dixon 
Production Design by
Jean-Jacques Caziot 
Costume Design by
Judy Moorcroft 
Makeup Department
Jean-Pierre Berroyer .... hair stylist
Danielle Jacquillard .... assistant hair stylist
Ken Lintott .... makeup artist (as Kenneth Lintott)
Tommie Manderson .... makeup artist (as Tommy Manderson)
Marie-Madeleine Paris .... assistant makeup artist
Christiane Sauvage .... assistant makeup artist (as Christine Sauvage)
Production Management
Jean de Trégomain .... assistant unit manager
Alain Depardieu .... unit manager
Jean-Marc Deschamps .... assistant unit manager
Fabien Dufour .... assistant unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hugues de Laugardière .... assistant director
Art Department
Robert Christidès .... set dresser
Jean-Michel Hugon .... assistant art director
Alain Laude .... prop man
Sound Department
Bernard Bats .... sound
Alan Coddington .... sound assistant
Michel Kharat .... boom operator
Richard King .... sound re-recordist
David Renton .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Pierre Abraham .... gaffer
Jacques Barbazange .... grip
Philippe Brun .... camera operator
Alain Dreze .... grip
Eric Dumage .... focus puller
Michel Gonckel .... electrician
Jean-Yves Le Poulain .... assistant camera (as Jean-Yves De Poulain)
Gilles Lienard .... electrician
Alain Masseron .... crane operator: Louma crane
Juan Quirno .... still photographer
André Thiéry .... key grip
Casting Department
Serge Marquand .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Keith Morton .... wardrobe assistant
Renée Renard .... wardrobe assistant
Editorial Department
Mark Potter Jr. .... first assistant editor
Music Department
Al Aarons .... musician: trumpet
Rudy Collins .... musician: drums
Vic Flick .... conductor
Vic Flick .... music arranger
Allen Jackson .... musician: bass
J. Leonard Oxley .... conductor
J. Leonard Oxley .... musician: piano
Benny Powell .... musician: trombone
John Richards .... music recordist
Jerome Richardson .... musician: tenor sax and clarinet
Marshall Royal .... musician: alto sax and clarinet
Other crew
Elizabeth Aldrich .... choreographer
Peter Ansin .... assistant to producers
Angelique Armand-Delille .... picture assistant
Jane Buck .... script girl
Marta Carliski .... press
Daniel Champagnon .... production accountant
Jean De Gramont .... portraits
Maurice Defait .... groupman
Brigitte Faure .... production accountant
Jacques Fontanier .... assistant to director (as Jacques Fontannier)
François Marcepoil .... portraits
Serge Meynard .... assistant to director
Hubert Niogret .... production controller
Fiona O'Connor .... dialogue coach
Jennifer Patrick .... dialogue coach
Jacques Quinternet .... location scout
Sylvie Richez .... production secretary
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:101 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | Ireland:18 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:M18 | Sweden:11 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating) | USA:R
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Maggie Smith would star in another movie named Quartet (2012) about 31 years later, however the only similarities between the two films are the title and Smith.See more »
Marya 'Mado' Zelli:You've got to take me with you. Away from them. Please help me.
Stephan Zelli:You must think I'm Jesus Christ.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Wandering Company (1984) (TV)See more »
ParsSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Beautifully made but a lesser Merchant-Ivory film, 11 August 2015
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom

While Quartet may be a lesser Merchant-Ivory film and is no Room with a View, Howard's End of Remains of the Day, it still has a lot to recommend it. It's not great and could have been better, but is decent.

Quartet for starters is beautifully made, as always the costumes and sets are amazingly sumptuous, is lit with a luminous atmosphere and shot with the usual exquisite charm. It's hauntingly scored too, and there is some intelligent scripting too that does have some poignancy and explores the contrast between upper class lifestyles and moral corruption suitably subtly. James Ivory directs with an appropriate amount of restraint, and there is some good acting here. Maggie Smith relishes her juicy character and her performance along with the production values is the best thing about the film. Anthony Higgins is sympathetic enough too.

Alan Bates' character could have been much better realised though, Bates succeeds in being charismatic but he is not intimidating or nuanced enough, Heidler is very one-dimensional and a character you feel nothing for from the get go. Isabelle Adjani is attractive but somewhat too cold and immature, which doesn't make the character's fear resonate. The dialogue is good here, but a better job could have been done with the characters, for they felt sketchily developed and their motivations rushed and unclear. Merchant and Ivory productions are always deliberately paced, but in their very best work the characters and their situations are really compelling and drive the story effectively, unfortunately because that was an aspect that Quartet was (for me) lacking in the pacing did feel a bit lagging and dull.

Overall, lesser Merchant-Ivory but a decent watch. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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