Screen Two (1985–2002)
2 user 3 critic

102 Boulevard Haussmann 

In 1916 author Marcel Proust is leading a reclusive life in Paris. He hires a quartet of musicians and befriends one of them, a wounded serviceman.


Udayan Prasad


Alan Bennett


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Episode complete credited cast:
Janet McTeer ... Celeste
Alan Bates ... Proust
Jonathan Coy ... Odilon
Gillian Martell Gillian Martell ... Concierge
Paul Rhys ... Amable Massis
Philip McGough Philip McGough ... Dr. Bize
Philip Rham Philip Rham ... Gaston Poulet
Peter Geeves Peter Geeves ... Louis Ruyssen
Michael Wilcox Michael Wilcox ... Victor Gentil
Celia Imrie ... Mme Massis
Lesley Nightingale Lesley Nightingale ... Princess Soutzo
Michael Grandage Michael Grandage ... Paul Morand
Richard Syms ... Head Waiter
Ben Buckton Ben Buckton ... Petain (as Benjamin Buckton)


In 1916 author Marcel Proust is leading a reclusive life in Paris. He hires a quartet of musicians and befriends one of them, a wounded serviceman.

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historical event | See All (1) »









Release Date:

17 February 1991 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


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User Reviews

The Quartet
22 May 2014 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

For Screen Two, Alan Bennett has written a fictional film with some basis in reality. After 1907 Marcel Proust did little else but think and write. He was an invalid and asthmatic tucked up in bed looking rather pasty faced which Alan Bates captures so well. The film is set in 1916 with the Great war as a backdrop as men in the front are dropping like flies.

Proust had a maid, Celeste (Janet McTeer) whose cloistered relationship which forms the basis of this film. He makes demands from her even when her husband is on leave from the army. Proust has also taken a fancy to a young viola player (Paul Rhys) and he lures the quartet to his apartment to perform for him personally and helps the invalid Rhys not to return to the front.

Celeste tries to look out for Proust, she might even be possessive of him, in fact both are possessive of each other and certainly inspires him to write in a world that is in conflict yet Proust is holed up in his room.

A slight work but excellent performances from Bates and McTeer.

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