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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The symbol on the title page of each story is a W. Somerset Maugham superstition. Copied by his father on a trip to Africa, it is a Moorish symbol to bring good luck and ward off the evil eye. Maugham had it printed in his fourth novel, but unfortunately upside-down and the book flopped. Printed correctly on subsequent books, he became a best-selling author and had the motif reproduced everywhere, including his Riviera house, Villa La Mauresque. 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 Trio (1950) 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

 
Four shorties introduced by S Maugham himself
13 November 2008 | by ksf-2See all my reviews

Somerset Maugham, who wrote tons of plays and stories, introduces his set of four shorts, while telling us a little bit about himself. In Facts of Life, Nicky (Jack Watling) learns a lesson, although we're not sure just what lesson he has learned. In Alien Corn, a young Dirk Bogarde is George Bland, a pianist who is determined to know how good he is, so he brings in an expert to evaluate. (LOVE her HAT!) In The Kite, Herbert Sunbury (George Cole) is in jail for abandoning his wife. We flash back to see what led up to it; his wife Betty (played by Susan Shaw, who was really born Patsy Sloots!) hadn't been very nice to him... In Colonel's Lady, the Colonel's wife has written a book, and EVERYONE is talking about it, much to his dismay.

Note that Hermione Baddeley (plays Beatrice Sunbury) will go on to be Mrs. Naugatuck on TV show Maude, while her sister Angela Baddeley will do mostly British TV series, most notably Upstairs, Downstairs. Probably the biggest star in this group was Dirk Bogarde, who had mixed success in both the British and Hollywood film industry. Playing his part in "Victim" may have altered his later career success. Quite an interesting bio on IMDb, worth the read. Viewers will also recognize Cecil Parker (plays Colonel Peregrine, in Colonel's Lady) from Indiscreet, with Cary Grant. Quartet is an entertaining set of Maugham stories, some have happy endings, some do not.


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