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Quartet [Blu-ray]

Part of our Two Blu-ray for £10 offer*

Maggie Smith , Billy Connolly , Dustin Hoffman    Suitable for 12 years and over   Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,039 customer reviews)
Price: 7.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Quartet [Blu-ray] + Song for Marion [Blu-ray] + The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) [Region Free]
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Product details

  • Actors: Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon
  • Directors: Dustin Hoffman
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Momentum Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 6 May 2013
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,039 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AW9M3XQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,648 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman has never been one to zig when he can zag. Not only did he wait until he was in his mid-70s to direct his first feature film, but his crowd-pleasing adaptation of Ronald Harwood's 1999 play is a thoroughly British affair. Set at one of England's most scenic estates, the fictional Beecham House for Retired Musicians, Quartet centres on four opera singers. Cecily (Pauline Collins), Wilfred (Billy Connolly), and Reginald (Tom Courtenay, who appeared in Harwood's The Dresser) are busy preparing for the annual Verdi Gala when word spreads about a famous new resident. After Reggie catches sight of the elegant figure, his excitement about the benefit gives way to sorrow: it's his ex-wife, Jean (Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith). If the amusingly acid-tongued Jean appears to have moved on--she's married twice since--Reggie hasn't, and still blames her for the failure of their brief marriage. Under the directorship of the supremely self-satisfied Cedric (Michael Gambon), the entire facility continues to rehearse for the concert, except Jean, who says she's retired from singing, though her former partners long to perform their acclaimed version of Verdi's Rigoletto. As they concentrate on persuading her to reconsider, the ice between Reggie and Jean starts to thaw just as Cissy's memory starts to fade, but priorities shift as old friends become reacquainted. If Quartet doesn't offer many significant surprises, Hoffman skillfully honours the humour, the romance, and the wall-to-wall music--most played by veteran performers--of Harwood's warm-hearted script. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Dustin Hoffman directs this comedy drama adapted by writer Ronald Harwood from his own stage play of the same name. Beecham House is a retirement home with a difference: it specifically caters for former artistes including one-time opera singers Cissy (Pauline Collins), Reginald (Tom Courtenay) and Wilf (Billy Connolly). Once part of a quartet, the three still take part in an annual concert to celebrate the birthday of composer Giuseppe Verdi. But this year things are complicated by the arrival of the fourth member of their quartet, Jean (Maggie Smith), a die-hard diva who also happens to be Reginald's ex-wife. Theatrical temperaments and old hostilities flare as the dramatic foursome fuss, flirt and flounce their way through rehearsals, adhering emphatically to that old showbiz adage, 'the show must go on'.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
280 of 290 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical delight 3 Jan 2013
By R. C. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The story of a retirement home for aged musicians who put on a gala performance show each year to contribute to keeping the home open. Their next show must raise more money as economic times harden. When the famous embittered diva Jean Thornton (Maggie Smith) arrives, then who better as a draw card? But she must be first persuaded to break her vow of never singing again to perform, in a Quartet - Rigoletto - "Bella figlia dell'amore".

The cast reads like a who's who of well known ageing British actors. Nevertheless, a good story line, differentiated characters and Dustin Hoffman has done a fine job of the direction.

The story itself is a delightful cheeky whimsical look at saying farewell to past glory and living with the reality of being over the hill. Some rather touching insights into failings of health with the onset of age, but not in the least depressing. The genre put me in mind of the movie, `The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'. If you enjoyed that, then you'll enjoy this.

As should be expected from such an exulted cast the standard of acting is excellent, though dare I say, typecast... The story line doesn't take itself too seriously and the humour is nicely calculated to add to, rather than detract from, the drama.

The plot is somewhat predictable but, who cares when the characters are so endearing and/or irascible!

When we saw the movie, the average age of the audience matched those of the cast! But it was a sign of the success of the film that no one wished to depart the auditorium until the final strains of lovely music, and credits, had died away.

Maybe a little corny for some, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.
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146 of 155 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive and Uplifting 4 Jan 2013
By Milly
Age related yes, depressing a most definite NO. I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely film which was so sensitively handled by Dustin Hoffman with a wonderful cast to work with. The acting was superb and the inclusion of bygone musicians as "extras" was a brilliant idea and lovely to have them in the credits too. There was definitely a feelgood factor and I want to see it again.
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104 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fab film with great British Talent!! 11 Jan 2013
This film is full of aged but non the less fantastic British Actors and performers lead by Tom Courtney, Billy Connelly, Pauline Collins who are retired opera singers living in a retirement home for retired musicians. They are asked to re group to perform together at the homes gala concert, along comes Jean Horton, played by the superb Maggie Smith the newest resident to the home (and 4th member of the quartet) ex wife of Reggie (Tom Courtney).

With plenty of great acting and a gentle story with a few giggles along the way this film is a must!
I am only in my 30s and adored it but it may not be every younger persons cup of tea.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightness of touch 18 July 2013
By Andy Millward VINE VOICE
The original Ronald Harwood play of Quartet was performed to great acclaim by the Hoddesdon Players, an amateur group to which I once belonged. Indeed, it won a prize at Hertford Theatre Week, among other gongs. I was fascinated to see how Quartet turned out on the big screen for several reasons, chief among them how this fairly theatrical work translated (of which more later), but for other reasons too: how would Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut turn out, and why did he pick a very English piece by a very English playwright (who is actually South African and formerly an actor too, but let that pass) with a very fine British cast, set in an exceedingly English location and exploring the very finest Italian opera?

After all, the plot is essentially no different to the Blues Brothers: "we gotta raise money to save the orphanage from closing, so let's get the band back on the road." OK, no car chases or blues music, but instead Beecham House (played magnificently by the glorious Hedsor House in Buckinghamshire), ageing operatic stars (who, like The Sunshine Boys haven't worked together in donkey's years and are not necessarily remembering past relationships fondly) and a Gala Performance in aid of the Friends of Beecham House to raise money for the old place. But that is merely the stage upon which the players strut their stuff.

As it turns out, Hoffman did not approach this gentle slice of drama like a Sam Peckinpah or a Quentin Tarantino, so it's a pleasure to report that he stays true to the subtle nature of a comedy of manners and relationships without the need to bring the worst excesses of brash Americana to the show.
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66 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Film I have seen For Ages 5 Jan 2013
You only have to look at the Cast to see what acting genius's we have in this film. They do not let us down. It is a really feel good film that has us in laughter, tears, and the stars give totally realistic performances.

To see Billy Connelly without his trademark locks and beard makes you wonder what is coming, but one soon learns that Dustin Hoffman has used his strength (hhis humour) to full advantage, albeit slightly more refined but with the notable twinkle in his eye.

Tom Courtney reigns supreme as does Maggie Smith, their story is a story within a story. Pauline Collins gives a stirling performance as someone who is suffering from dementia. Trevor Peacock, Michael Gambon...the list goes on.

As an opera fan I loved the music however friends who were privalged with me to see a preview of this film also loved the music. We all came out smiling.

This is Dustin Hoffman's first film as a director and what a fine one it is.

Anyone who loved The Marigold Hotel will want this in their library.
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