Quartet (1981) Movie

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Ratings / Votes
6.3/ 10 (608 Votes)

MPAA Ratings

Production Company
Lyric International [fr] - (presents)
Merchant Ivory Productions [us] - (presents)
National Film Trustee Company [gb] - (in copyright registry)

Production Designer

All Producers

All Directors


Release Date
(France) - May 1981
(France) - 20 May 1981
(UK) - July 1981
(USA) - 25 October 1981
(Sweden) - 27 November 1981

Running Time


1920s, affair, based-on-novel, cafe, cake, church, coffee, concubine, decadence, female-frontal-nudity, female-nudity, haircut, hotel, husband-wife-relationship, independent-film, male-full-frontal-nudity, mistress, montparnasse-paris, ménage-ŕ-trois, nightclub, older-man-younger-woman-relationship, one-word-title, paris-france, prison, seine-river,

Technical Support
CAM:Panavision Camera and Lenses
LAB:Laboratoires GTC, Joinville, France

Related Pictures

Pictures of Quartet (1981) Movie not found

Full Cast

  1. Balsan, Humbert as [Impresario's Friend] <24>
  2. Bates, Alan (I) as [H.J. Heidler] <1>
  3. Brémond, Romain as [Youth] <34>
  4. Chatto, Daniel as [Guy] <12>
  5. Clémenti, Pierre as [Théo the Pornographer] <5>
  6. Dravel, Jean-Pierre as [Prison Guard] <20>
  7. Floche, SĂ©bastien as [Edouard Hautchamp] <15>
  8. Higgins, Anthony (I) as [Stephan Zelli] <4>
  9. Julien, Pierre as [Impresario] <23>
  10. Kime, Jeffrey as [James] <28>
  11. Marquand, Serge as [Night Club Owner] <25>
  12. Mesguich, Daniel as [Pierre Schlamovitz] <7>
  13. Ribot, Maurice as [Pianist] <22>
  14. Such, Michel as [Prison Guard] <19>
  15. Tarbouriech, Bonnafet as (uncredited) [Prison Guard]
  16. Viaur, François as [Lefranc] <17>
  17. Wood, Wiley as [Cairn] <10>
  18. Zanghi, Dino as [Prison Guard] <18>
  19. Adjani, Isabelle as [Marya 'Mado' Zelli] <3>
  20. Allan, Shirley as [Adriana] <29>
  21. Brissonière, Anne-Marie as [Les Oiseaux] <30>
  22. Canto da Maya, Isabelle as (as Isabelle Canto Da Maya) [Cri-Cri] <16>
  23. Comellas, Josine as [Café Patronne] <33>
  24. De Bourges, Marie-France as [Les Oiseaux] <31>
  25. Flon, Suzanne as [Mme. Hautchamp] <6>
  26. Gish, Sheila as [Anna] <8>
  27. Hermetz, Brigitte as [Les Oiseaux] <32>
  28. Loeb, Caroline as [Nun] <27>
  29. Mauclair, Monique as [Hotel Concierge] <36>
  30. McQueen, Armelia as [Night Club Singer] <9>
  31. Montossé, Muriel as [Marjorie] <26>
  32. Noël, Annie as [Maid] <21>
  33. Sedgwick, Paulita as [Esther] <14>
  34. Smith, Maggie (I) as [Lois Heidler] <2>
  35. Spetebroot, Arlette as (as Arlette Spetelbroot) [Drowned Girl] <35>
  36. Stegers, Bernice as [Miss Nicholson] <13>
  37. Thévenet, Virginie as [Madmoiselle Chardin] <11>


  1. Drama
  2. Romance

Full Plot

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 going to do with his life to regain the high standard of living to which he became accustomed. Huggo Plot not found

Total Business


Movie Certificate

18 (UK)(video rating)
X (UK)(original rating)
M (Australia)
M/16 (Portugal)
K-16 (Finland)
M18 (Singapore)
11 (Sweden)
18 (Ireland)

Music Composers

  1. Robbins, Richard (I)


  1. Lhomme, Pierre

Dress Designers

  1. Moorcroft, Judy


CBS/Fox Video [gb] - (1987) (UK) (VHS)
Cecchi Gori Home Video [it] - (2004) (Italy) (DVD)
Gaumont [fr] - (1981) (France) (theatrical)
Home Vision Entertainment (HVE) [us] - (2004) (USA) (DVD)
Hunter VĂ­deo [br] - (Brazil) (VHS)
MK2 Éditions [fr] - (2007) (France) (DVD)
New World Pictures [us] - (1981) (USA) (theatrical)
Odyssey Video [gb] - (2003) (UK) (DVD)
Twentieth Century Fox Film Company [gb] - (1981) (UK) (theatrical)

Film Editors

  1. Dixon, Humphrey


  1. Aldrich, Elizabeth (choreographer)
  2. Ansin, Peter (assistant to producers)
  3. Armand-Delille, Angelique (picture assistant)
  4. Buck, Jane (script girl)
  5. Carliski, Marta (press)
  6. Champagnon, Daniel (production accountant)
  7. De Gramont, Jean (portraits)
  8. Defait, Maurice (groupman)
  9. Faure, Brigitte (production accountant)
  10. Fontanier, Jacques (assistant to director) (as Jacques Fontannier)
  11. Marcepoil, François (portraits)
  12. Meynard, Serge (assistant to director)
  13. Niogret, Hubert (production controller)
  14. O'Connor, Fiona (I) (dialogue coach)
  15. Patrick, Jennifer (dialogue coach)
  16. Quinternet, Jacques (location scout)
  17. Richez, Sylvie (production secretary)


Marya 'Mado' Zelli: I'm so scared to be unhappy. Lois Heidler: I hate people who try to get by with nothing but their sensitivity. Pierre Schlamovitz: Nowadays, people live in a dirty way. There's no tradition. There's nothing beautiful. 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. Guy: Why is love like Rasputin? Because you can poison it. And you can stab it! And you can knock it down in the mud. But it will always get up. Don't you think that's good? Don't you think that's funny? Love will not die. It simply will not die. Just like Rasputin. Stephan Zelli: [after Marya avoided his kiss] I don't blame you. Marya 'Mado' Zelli: Will you just be kind to me for a little? Stephan Zelli: A year in jail doesn't make a man appetizing. H.J. Heidler: You just want to shut me off and shut me in. Make me into a tame husband. Lois Heidler: As if anyone could do that. H.J. Heidler: [to Lois] I'm not interested in being kind to anyone. I'm interested in them. In character. In forms of life. You should've married a stockbroker and stayed with him in South Kensington. Madmoiselle Chardin: Every place can be nice, with a nice friend. Marya 'Mado' Zelli: We always said we'd be together when you came out. Stephan Zelli: You don't come out. Nobody ever comes out.

Other Titles

  1. Quartett (1986) (ENG)
    (West Germany)

Shooting/Filming Locations

  1. Paris, France


- The book written by 'Jean Rhys' (qv) was originally titled "Postures" when it was published in London in 1928 by Chatto and Windus. When the U.S. publishers Simon and Schuster published it in the United States, the name was changed to "Quartet".

- 'Maggie Smith (I)' (qv) would star in another movie named _Quartet (2012)_ (qv) about 31 years later, however the only similarities between the two films are the title and Smith.