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Quartet (1981)

Marya finds herself penniless after her art dealer husband, Stephan, is convicted of theft. Marya accepts the hospitality of a strange couple, H.J. and Lois Heidler, who lets her live in their house.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Théo the Pornographer
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Mme. Hautchamp
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...
Armelia McQueen ...
Night Club Singer
Wiley Wood ...
Virginie Thévenet ...
Daniel Chatto ...
Guy
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Miss Nicholson
Paulita Sedgwick ...
Esther
Sébastien Floche ...
Edouard Hautchamp
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Storyline

It's 1927 Paris. Following the conviction of her art dealer husband, Stephan Zelli, for theft for which he was handed a one-year prison sentence, Marya Zelli, originally from West India, moves in with her acquaintances, expatriate Brits H.J. and Lois Heidler. Marya knows that H.J. in particular has more in mind than just providing her lodging out of the goodness of his heart. From behind bars, Stephan encourages Marya to move in with them not knowing H.J.'s intentions. Marya agrees in part because she, being a foreigner, cannot get work and would thus become destitute otherwise. She learns she is the latest in a long line of lodgers. She also learns that H.J. and Lois' marriage is not all that it appears on the surface. The Heidler's hold on Marya becomes stronger when they convince her that Stephan not only has no money but has no future in France after his release. Their collective lives become more complicated when Stephan is released from jail and tries to figure out what he's ... Written by Huggo

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kvartett  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1924. See more »

Quotes

Marya 'Mado' Zelli: I'm so scared to be unhappy.
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Connections

Featured in The Wandering Company (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Arabesque Valsante
Composed by Mischa Levitsky
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User Reviews

 
A brilliant film of desperate sadness (Woolcott) and naivete in a French setting
12 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

That this was seen on a first visit to Paris at the Pathe Hautefeuille in the 6th may color the memory, but there it is. The sad Woolcott figure played by Bates is desperate (as is his Maggie Smith [BRILLIANT!] wife, a sad and cynical lady) and has an eye for new flesh. (This is pure Noel Harrison (Rex's boy) "new flesh to carve," as in his Young Girl cut.) The Woolcottioan figure is paunchy, unattractive, hungry, but with some social clout, and skincrawling. Maggie's character aids and abets. What's her line? One wonders if the satyr is in fact impotent. Cinematography, music, story line, cast...over reasonable expectations. Desperate story from a sad and deserate writer, Rhys, a suicide, I seem to recall. Ivory did this? Harder than the usual soft stuff the boyos do. Wondeful. Buy it.


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