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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: You've got to take me with you. Away from them. Please help me.
Stephan Zelli: You must think I'm Jesus Christ.
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Connections

Referenced in The Last Horror Film (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Arabesque Valsante
Composed by Mischa Levitsky
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User Reviews

 
Astonishing sense of place, time and trouble.
4 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

Few screenwriters have ever jumped the gap that Jhabvala traversed between THE EUROPEANS (1979) and QUARTET (1981). I know of no other film that captures as well the sense of European pre-WW2 'decadence' (compare CABARET for an object lesson in failure!), or that is directed and photographed with stronger integration of the settings, colours, sounds and behavior within the story being told. A remarkable achievement - the film that put filmmakers on notice about how well the remarkable Jhabvala/Ivory/Merchant trio present stories locked into their space and time.


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