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Quartet: The Facts of Life / The Kite / The Colonel's Lady / The Alien Corn [DVD]

Basil Radford , Naunton Wayne , Ralph Smart , Harold French    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: £5.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Quartet: The Facts of Life / The Kite / The Colonel's Lady / The Alien Corn [DVD] + Trio: The Verger / Mr. Knowall / Sanatorium [DVD] + Encore [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, Hermione Baddeley, Angela Baddeley, Honor Blackman
  • Directors: Ralph Smart, Harold French, Arthur Crabtree, Ken Annakin
  • Writers: W. Somerset Maugham
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 21 May 2007
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NHG7ZW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,345 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Four film versions of W. Somerset Maugham are brought together and introduced by the man himself: 'The Facts of Life' features a young tennis player who escapes from his domineering partner and absconds to Monaco; 'The Alien Corn' features Dirk Bogarde playing a man with the ambition to be a top pianist, but he is rejected by music scholars; 'The Kite' stars George Cole as a man with an obsession for kites and little time for his wife; 'The Colonel's Lady' revolves around a stuffy colonel's search for the man his wife has been writing passionate poems about.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Alternative Footage, Black & White, Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: An anthology of four short stories by W. Somerset Maugham. Titles are: "The Facts of Life," "The Alien Corn," "The Kite" and "The Colonel's Wife." ...Quartet - 4 Stories by W. Somerset Maugham ( The Facts of Life / The Kite / The Colonel's Lady / The Alien Corn )

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying short story collection 11 Jun 2007
This is the first of what became a trilogy of portmanteau films based on short stories by W. Somerset Maugham. The author himself appears to introduce the stories. Each is around thirty minutes long and are a good mix of comedy and drama with the emphasis on character.

The first story, 'Facts of Life', features Jack Watling as a young tennis player trying to put into practice his fathers advice about avoiding gambling and women whilst playing a tournament in France (still seen as a hotbed of vice and wild living in Britain at the time). This becomes difficult when he encounters Mai Zetterling in a casino. What happens is nicely worked out - and infuriating for his father.

'Alien Corn', the next story features an early appearance by Dirk Bogarde as the scion of country gentry who share the usual pre-occupations of hunting, shooting and fishing and not much else. All except Bogarde that is, who announces that rather than becoming a solicitor or going into politics he wants to study to become a concert pianist. A mix of philistinism and confusion from his family gives way in time to the agreement that he can study for a few years. After that, if it is agreed he has no future, he must give it up. The setting of this story dates it a little bit and, in fact, the only sign of age on the source print appears here as well; some minor sound faults (a pop and crackle or two but nothing serious). The drama unfolds convincingly with the viewer left to make up their own minds about the way the story ends.

'The Kite' is perhaps the slightest story, recounting a young mans passion for the sport of kite flying and how it endangers his marriage (although I'm not sure whether this was actually a popular pastime even in the forties). George Cole stars alongside Susan Shaw.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Entertaining Tales 28 Oct 2007
By David Lusher TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This film features four bittersweet tales penned by W. Somerset Maugham (who provides an introduction and closing remarks). The stories (The Facts of Life, Alien Corn, The Kite, and, The Colonel's Lady) are all very different. 'The Facts of Life' is about a young man's first foray abroad to Paris and how he ignores all his father's advice about drinking, gambling and women! In 'Alien Corn', Dirk Bogarde plays a young man who wants to be a concert pianist above anything else, much to the displeasure of his family. 'The Kite' has a young George Cole who has matrimonial troubles because of his hobby of flying kites every weekend. 'The Colonel's Lady' has a first-class performance from Cecil Parker who plays the Colonel whose wife publishes a book of poetry that turns out to be a sensational success. Viewers will have their own favourites, but all the stories are excellent. If you like this, then you may also enjoy the other two DVDs in the series: 'Trio' and 'Encore'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black and white film - Quartet 9 Mar 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Most enjoyable. Very nostalgic old films with excellent casts. W. Somerset Maugham is always good value and these did not disappoint.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quartet 5 Feb 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
good to see a good black and white film with very good actors.Wil buy the other two dvds later in the year
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD 28 July 2011
By MrGee
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Saw this B&W film back in the late 40's and watching it again brings back many memories. The acting style may seem rather stilted to the younger generation but the stories are all classics and act as a reminder of how good a storyteller Maugham was.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I have got it on the list! 15 Nov 2013
By REC52
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Did not think I would find anything better than the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but here it is. A very touching and funny story with an excellent cast. Fans of D'Oyle Carte will love it!
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