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United Kingdom, France · 1981
Rated R · 1h 41m
Director James Ivory
Starring Isabelle Adjani, Suzanne Flon, Anthony Higgins, Maggie Smith
Genre Drama, Romance

Marya, a girl of humble origins, is gleefully living it up in the decadence of 1920s Paris until her art dealer husband is convicted of theft. Broke and alone, she is taken in by H.J. and Lois Heidler, a posh and eccentric married couple who take pity on her. The trio eventually becomes entangled in a treacherous love triangle.

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TV Guide Magazine by

Ivory's dispassionate direction precludes real involvement with the characters, resulting in a peculiarly austere depiction of a colorful era.


Washington Post by Gary Arnold

Like their previous movies, it emerges as an interesting disappointment, reflecting a cultivated and audacious taste in material inhibited by a stuffy approach to filmmaking. The advantage of their intelligent, literate, methodical style is that it may accommodate novel themes and impressive performances. [28 Jan 1982, p.C11]


Los Angeles Times by Robert Abele

Whether the arc of Marya’s fate feels overly engineered to you or not, Quartet retains its power to unsettle in its accumulation of cuts and bruises, the rare Merchant-Ivory-Jhabvala effort that mines a glamorized past not for nuanced dignity but for a kind of elegant, honest sordidness.


The New York Times by Vincent Canby

Almost always entertaining to watch and infuriatingly wrong in several important ways, chief among these being the casting of Miss Adjani as Marya.

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