Review: ‘Quartet’

Of the four stories [from originals by Somerset Maugham] that make up the film, the first and last are the most intriguing. The Facts of Life [directed by Ralph Smart] is a superbly told piece of a 19-year-old who disregards his father's advice on his first trip to Monte Carlo and outwits an obvious adventuress, and The Colonel's Lady [directed by Ken Annakin] is a delightful yarn of a colonel's wife (Nora Swinburne) who causes much embarrassment to her husband (Cecil Parker) by the publication of a book of verse purporting to describe her romantic experiences.

Of the four stories [from originals by Somerset Maugham] that make up the film, the first and last are the most intriguing. The Facts of Life [directed by Ralph Smart] is a superbly told piece of a 19-year-old who disregards his father’s advice on his first trip to Monte Carlo and outwits an obvious adventuress, and The Colonel’s Lady [directed by Ken Annakin] is a delightful yarn of a colonel’s wife (Nora Swinburne) who causes much embarrassment to her husband (Cecil Parker) by the publication of a book of verse purporting to describe her romantic experiences.

The intermediate two, while lacking the high level of the first and last, are certainly more than potboilers. An undergraduate son (Dirk Bogarde) of a member of the landed gentry, who hopes to become a professional pianist, provides the melodramatic theme of The Alien Corn [directed by Harold French], while The Kite [directed by Arthur Crabtree] is an unusual story of a simple young man (George Cole), very much under his mother’s domination, who put his kite-flying before his wife and cheerfully goes to gaol when she wrecks his latest invention.

Quartet

UK

Production

Rank/Gainsborough. Director Ken Annakin, Arthur Crabtree, Harold French, Ralph Smart; Producer Antony Darnborough; Screenplay R.C. Sherriff; Camera Ray Elton, Reg Wyer; Editor A. Charles Knott, Jean Barker; Music John Greenwood; Art Director George Provis, Cedric Dalve

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1948. Running time: 120 MIN.

With

Basil Radford Naunton Wayne Dirk Bogarde George Cole Cecil Parker Nora Swinburne
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