Superbly Acted, Timeless Tales.,
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This review is from: Three Films By Somerset Maugham - Trio / Encore / Quartet [DVD] (DVD)
This three disc set of a quartet, and two trios (ten in all) of W Somerset Maugham's short stories is a real gem. Brilliantly acted, directed and produced, the tales have a dateless quality about them that can never go out of fashion. They are so perfectly staged that the viewer is able to quite forget that they were filmed in black and white. There's absolutely nothing in modern film production that can out-do anything we have here.
Having already read all of the short stories featured in this collection, I was impressed at how well they match up with the printed versions. Disc 1, entitled Quartet, features four short stories: The Facts of Life, The Alien Corn, The Kite and The Colonel's Lady. Disc 2, entitled Trio, features three stories entitled The Verger, Mr Knowall and Sanatorium. Disc three, entitled Encore also features three stories, The Ant and the Grasshopper, Winter Cruise and Gigolo and Gigolette.
Well told stories have a timeless quality about them that will also show in well made and well acted stage and film versions of them. Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare and Beethoven are all 'dated', even 'out of date' and 'old fashioned'. Like them, Somerset Maugham withstands the passing of time simply because he is a timeless, top class story teller, facts that are brilliantly brought out in these productions. The story entitled 'The Verger' (Disc 1) has always been one of my all time favourite short stories.
Somerset Maugham was one of the greatest story tellers of all time and, let us never forget, story telling pre-dates the ability to read and write. Happily, Maugham was able to write down in readily readable style the creations his imaginative genius had already devised. It's so very encouraging to be able to see one's favourite stories so well acted out as they are in these timeless productions.