6.8/10
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Quartet (2012)

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

Director:

Dustin Hoffman

Writers:

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

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Cast

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 Ronnie Fox ... Nobby
Patricia Loveland Patricia Loveland ... Letitia Davis
Eline Powell ... Angelique
Luke Newberry ... Simon
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Storyline

Cecily, Reggie, and Wilfred are in a home for retired musicians. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday and they take part. Jean, 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

Taglines:

Four friends looking for a little harmony See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Italian | Polish | French

Release Date:

1 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuatro notas de amor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,122, 13 January 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,390,117

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$59,520,298
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ronald Harwood wrote the part of Wilf for Albert Finney, who had worked with Tom Courtenay on The Dresser (1983). Finney was forced to turn down the role due to ill health and Peter O'Toole was cast to replace him. Before shooting began, O'Toole concluded that he was unable to survive the rigors of a film shoot and he was replaced by Billy Connolly. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Jean: I'm going to say something very rude to you: fuck you.
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 »

Connections

Featured in Quartet: Outtakes (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Minuet from String Quintet in E
Op. 11, no. 5
Composed by Luigi Boccherini
Performed by Danish Nation Chamber Orchestra
Conducted by James Morgan
Courtesy of The Decca Music Group
Under license by Universal Music Operations Ltd.
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User Reviews

A wonderful ensemble piece
17 November 2012 | by misspaddyleeSee all my reviews

"Quartet" is the filmization of Ronald Harwood's 1999 play with the screenplay by the author. The story is set in a retirement home for musicians named for Sir Thomas Beecham. Plans are underway for the annual concert fundraiser to coincide with Verdi's birthday. Heading the gala committee is Cedric played by Michael Gambon. Kudos to Mr. Gambon for rocking the caftan like no one since George Zucco in "Tarzan and the Mermaids". One of Cedric's committee members is soprano Cissy played by the delightful Pauline Collins. Cissy is a "getting worse" in that her memory is failing. Her old stage partner Wilfred is the resident naughty man of the home played by Billy Connolly in his familiar raucous way. Wilfred delights in flirting outrageously with all the women and needling Cedric. The more sedate Reg played by Tom Courtenay came to the home to check on Wilf who had been admitted after a slight stroke. Here Reg found his niche in caring for his friends and holding classes for young people.

Into this garden spot comes a new resident, a noted opera star played by Maggie Smith. Jean is known to all and her appearance is less than appreciated by her former husband Reg. Her arrival shakes up his whole existence. There is also another "star" in residence brilliantly cast with Dame Gweneth Jones. The dagger-like looks that flash between the two divas, when the term meant more than demanding behavior, is worth the price of admission.

Jean's adjustment to the retirement home and a crisis with the annual gala are the concerns of the present. Reg's torment over the presence of his lost love makes old wounds fresh. Life is definitely not retiring in this home because, as Cissy is fond of quoting Bette Davis' remark, "old age is not for sissies".

Director Hoffman gives us many quiet moments to observe the entire ensemble as life swirls around the preparations for the all-important concert. We get to know the patient piano teacher/accompanist, the old song and dance men, the lifelong choristers, the pit musicians and the staff of the home, along with our "quartet". I laughed, I cried, I laughed again, and I cared. Highly recommended.


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