At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Composer Giuseppe Verdi's birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean (Dame Maggie Smith), an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.


Dustin Hoffman


Ronald Harwood (based on the play by), Ronald Harwood (screenplay by)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Smith ... Jean Horton
Tom Courtenay ... Reggie Paget
Billy Connolly ... Wilf Bond
Pauline Collins ... Cissy Robson
Michael Gambon ... Cedric Livingstone
Sheridan Smith ... Dr. Lucy Cogan
Andrew Sachs ... Bobby Swanson
Gwyneth Jones Gwyneth Jones ... Anne Langley (as Dame Gwyneth Jones)
Trevor Peacock ... George
David Ryall ... Harry
Michael Byrne ... Frank White
Ronnie Fox ... Nobby
Patricia Loveland Patricia Loveland ... Letitia Davis
Eline Powell ... Angelique
Luke Newberry ... Simon


Cissy (Pauline Collins), Reggie (Sir Tom Courtenay), and Wilf (Sir Billy Connolly) are in a home for retired musicians. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate Composer Giuseppe Verdi's birthday and they take part. Jean (Dame Maggie Smith), who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on, and it does. Written by BrianoftheNorth

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every diva deserves an encore. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and suggestive humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Dame Maggie Smith appeared in another movie named Quartet (1981). However, the only similarities between the two movies are the title and Smith. See more »


While Reggie is playing croquet with Wilf, his pocket handkerchief and shirt buttons suddenly swap sides, indicating a flipped shot. See more »


Reginald Paget: [to a class of teenagers] Opera is: when a guy's stabbed in the back, instead of bleeding, he sings. It seems to me, after much research, that rap is when a guy is stabbed in the back, and instead of bleeding, he talks. Er, rhythmically, even with feeling. But because rap's *spoken*, the feeling is sort of held in check: all on one note.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the final credits roll, photos of each of the supporting cast members of retired musicians is shown beside a picture of them during their performing careers. See more »


References Fawlty Towers (1975) See more »


Toccata and Fugua in D Minor
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Arranged for piano and strings by Ferruccio Busoni and John Georgiadis
Performed by Léon Charles, John Georgiadis, Ita Herbert, Graeme Scott, and John Heley
See more »

User Reviews

Very nice feel-good "comedy"
28 January 2013 | by IndustriousAngelSee all my reviews

Well, speak of the devil - just the other year I asked my lady-friend "whatever became of Dustin Hoffman?" - and here he is with his first work as director. And it's a really nice film, too! A nursing home for retired musicians, situated in the lush landscape of rural England, forms the refined stage for this adapted play. The financial future of said home depends on the success of the yearly gala concert to honor Verdi's birthday, and if you think you can guess the script from this description you're probably right since the story unfolds in a pretty formulaic way, no, thank you, no risk with my tea today. A love-gone-wrong, a little jealousy, health problems are thrown at our wrinkled protagonists but nothing can avert the happy outcome! Though formulaic, I'll recommend this film: The acting is very fine, the comedy is well-timed, and the music is very good. Plus, it manages to stay on the healthy side of sentimental, it's absolutely no tear-jerker. And stay for the end credits!

A note on the actors: Michael Gambon and Billy Connolly carry the comedic parts and do so with obvious joy.

Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay are Jean and Reggie, a couple with a past, on whom the plot centers. Maggie Smith's performance is flawless; Tom Courtenay looks a bit wooden opposite her (or is it the role?).

Since the couple's love story is a bit dry and shallow, the key role in "Quartet", though, falls to Pauline Collins as Cissy - the emotional heart of the film. It's not a fine line, but rather a very wide area between "sane" and "demented", and Pauline Collins boldly explores the expanse of this terrifying region and hits every single note, be it unwitting comedy or devastating fear and disorientation or childlike trust. Often actors impersonating disabled persons limit themselves to a few ticks (Mr. Hoffman himself has some experience here I believe); with Collins' versatile performance you're never sure how "here" or "there" she is at the moment as is true with real-life demented persons.

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English | Italian | Polish | French

Release Date:

1 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Quartet See more »


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,122, 13 January 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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