Dirs: Arthur Crabtree (The Kite) / Ken Annakin (The Colonel’s Lady)
Starring: George Cole and Hermione Baddeley (The Kite) / Cecil Parker and Nora Swinburne (The Colonel’s Lady)
A compendium of four W. Somerset Maugham stories
This anthology film has four segments, each based on a story by William Somerset Maugham, and each with a different cast and director. The third story, The Kite, tells the tale of a man’s love for kites and how it puts pressure on his otherwise stable marriage to his wife. There is one scene in this story that was filmed at Wimbledon station with a pre-war Southern Railway 3 SUB EMU arriving on a local suburban service. The final story is called The Colonel’s Wife and tells the tale of a bored and lonely wife of a colonel who reignites their marriage through the publication of her racy poetry. There is one scene that features a railway journey, and although the journey is studio-bound and the carriage interior a mock up, the back projection through the window has the train calling at ‘Berkhamsted’ station, which appears to be the real thing. Both these stories were originally included in the 1947 collection of Maugham stories Creatures of Circumstance. Quartet was the first of a film trilogy, all consisting of adaptations of Maugham’s stories. It was followed by Trio (qv) in 1950 and concluded by Encore in 1951.