7.4/10
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21 user 7 critic

Quartet (1948)

Four of W. Somerset Maugham's short stories are brought to the screen with each introduced by the author. In the first story, "The Facts of Life", a young man with great potential on the ... See full summary »

Writers:

W. Somerset Maugham (stories), R.C. Sherriff (screenplay)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Basil Radford ... Henry Garnet (segment "The Facts of Life")
Naunton Wayne ... Leslie (segment "The Facts of Life")
Ian Fleming ... Ralph (segment "The Facts of Life")
Jack Raine ... Thomas (segment "The Facts of Life")
Angela Baddeley ... Mrs. Garnet (segment "The Facts of Life")
James Robertson Justice ... Branksome (segment "The Facts of Life")
Jack Watling ... Nicky (segment "The Facts of Life")
Nigel Buchanan Nigel Buchanan ... John (segment "The Facts of Life")
Mai Zetterling ... Jeanne (segment "The Facts of Life")
Jean Cavall Jean Cavall ... Cabaret Artist (segment "The Facts of Life")
Dirk Bogarde ... George Bland (segment "The Alien Corn")
Raymond Lovell Raymond Lovell ... Sir Frederick Bland (segment "The Alien Corn")
Irene Browne ... Lady Bland (segment "The Alien Corn")
Honor Blackman ... Paula (segment "The Alien Corn")
George Thorpe George Thorpe ... Uncle John (segment "The Alien Corn")
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Storyline

Four of W. Somerset Maugham's short stories are brought to the screen with each introduced by the author. In the first story, "The Facts of Life", a young man with great potential on the tennis courts goes to Monte Carlo and soon finds himself doing the exact opposite of what his father recommended. In "The Alien Corn", an aspiring pianist devotes himself to perfecting his artistic skills, but finds he likely hasn't the talents to reach the heights he so desperately craves. In "The Kite", a young man, who lives at home and loves kite flying, goes against his overbearing mother's wishes and marries the girl he's been dating. He's soon back home, much to his mother's delight, but re-considers when his wife takes up a new hobby. In the final chapter "The Colonel's Lady", a middle-aged man is shocked to learn that his somewhat dowdy wife has written a collection of racy poems and is now a best-selling author. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 November 1948 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Arte de Viver See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gainsborough Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (BAF Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: All characters and events in this picture are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Quotes

W. Somerset Maugham - Host: In my twenties, the critics said I was brutal. In my thirties, they said I was flippant; in my forties, they said I was cynical; in my fifties they said I was competent - and then, in my sixties, they said I was superficial.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Encore (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Alouette
(uncredited)
French Canadian Traditional
Sung by all in the Cabaret room in "Facts of Life" segment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One Gem, Three Gold Coins - Quartet
6 June 2019 | by arthur_taferoSee all my reviews

Somerset Maugham is one of my favorite writers; I have read all his works, and particularly like his colonial pieces in far-off lands. But these four stories are purely domestic England, but that does not diminish their impact. The first story "The Facts of Life" is a cute irony that portrays a clueless young man from a rich family. The outcome, though highly unlikely, is entertaining.

The second story, starring Dirk Bogarde, is also a bit unbelievable, and also a bit tragic. How tragic is it to not be good at the thing you love? After two stories about wealthy sons, Maugham writies "The Kite". in which he tries to aim for the Middle Class and the usual mother-in-law-wife tug of war. The story is a bit banal, but because of the author, we view it with greater meaning.

The best, however, is last. "The Colonel's Lady" is not about his mistress; it is about his wife. This short story is the type of writing that only Maugham and very few others are capable of creating. It is touching, incisive, and heartfelt. To be able to accomplish so much in such a short time is truly amazing. These stories, and particularly the last one, are not to be missed.


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