Trio Encore Quartet

01/10/2007
  |  Buy to Own: 01/10/2007
  |  285 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

A collection of films based on the short stories of W. Somerset Maugham. 'Trio' (1950) is a collection of three vignettes adapted from short stories written by W. Somerset Maugham and introduced on screen by the writer himself. 'The Verger' follows the fortunes of Albert Foreman (James Hayter) a man of the cloth at St Neville's whose position is terminated when it emerges that he is illiterate. Forced to change his life, he rejects reading and writing lessons and instead opens a tobacconist shop. He then becomes something of an unlikely business tycoon. In 'Mister Know All' we are introduced to Max Kelada (Nigel Patrick) - the type of big-mouth everyone loves to hate. A jeweller by trade, he goes on a cruise - where his inability to keep quiet leads him into an awkward situation. When he identifies the necklace of a fellow passenger's wife as authentic, he almost reveals a secret affair. His ability to finally keep his mouth shut earns him a newfound respect. 'Sanitorium' is set in a TB ward in the Scottish countryside. New patient Ashenden (Roland Culver) checks in and begins immediately to observe the lives of the other patients. A touching romance between resident patients Major Templeton (Michael Rennie) captivates his imagination while the incessant bickering between elderly residents McLeod (Finlay Currie) and Campbell (John Laurie) provides comic relief. 'Encore' (1951) is an adaptation of three more of Maugham's short stories. 'The Ant and the Grasshopper' concerns the trials and tribulations through which a ne'er-do-well brother, Tom Ramsey (Nigel Patrick), puts his prim-and-proper businessman brother, George Ramsey (Roland Culver). The escapades that drive George to absolute distraction eventually win the hand of the world's third richest girl (Margaret Withers) for the shiftless Tom. 'Winter Cruise' finds the crew of a cargo boat becoming unglued by the endless chatter of a spinster passenger named Miss Reid (Kay Walsh.) In a desperate attempt to silence the prattling busybody, the ship's officers browbeat a French steward, Pierre (Jacques Francois) into making love to her. The results provide some astounding surprises for the officers, Pierre, and certainly for Miss Reid. In 'The Gigolo and the Gigolette', beautiful daredevil Stella Cotman (Glynis Johns) - whose job it is to entertain the jaded guests of a resort hotel by diving nightly from an eighty-foot platform into a flaming tank - is losing her nerve. Finally, in 'Quartet' (1948), four more film versions of Maugham's stories 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.