The Merchant Ivory Collection
Quartet is the story of a girl who, adrift with her feckless husband amidst the literati of glittering Paris in the 1920s, becomes entrapped by a rich and sybaritic English couple. From the wistful melancholy of the autobiographical novel by Jean Rhys, Quartet is full of intense confrontations dazzlingly acted by Alan Bates, Maggie Smith, Anthony Higgins, and Isabelle Adjani. The characters act out their passions not only in the usual seedy faces and louche hotels of Rhys' Parisian novels but also in the smoky jazz haunts and lavish nightclub settings of a James Ivory film. Nevertheless, Quartet remains in theme one of the Merchant Ivory team's darkest, and most compelling dramas of relationships dangerously intertwined.