Friday, 22 March 2013

Three Films By Somerset Maugham - Trio / Encore / Quartet




This is a collection of films based on three of Maugham's short story collections with the same title. Quite a few of the endings are changed, presumably from the caution that the author's sardonic humour may offend the sensibility of some filmgoers. Unfortunately I haven't read these three collections so I can't say if they were published as such in these volumes.

The most interesting thing about the collection is that Maugham himself introduced all of them. When he got to Encore, he seemed to have become quite at home in front of the camera and delivered his lines with gusto, without the nervous flipping of books or a frown in some other occasions.

The collection contains three DVDs:

Quartet

  • The Facts of Life
  • The Alien Corn
  • The Kite
  • The Colonel's Lady

"The Alien Corn" has sadly lost its depth in the film version, but still is an entertaining story. "The Colonel's Lady" is definitely another colonel's lady. The last scene is quite unbearable. The same goes with "The Kite."

Trio 

  • The Verger
  • Mr. Knowall
  • Sanatorium

Encore

  • The Ant and the Grasshopper
  • Winter Cruise
  • Gigolo & Gigolette

"Winter Cruise" is among the best acted in this collection. It is fun and engaging. "Gigolo & Gigolette" suffers tremendously under the merciless scissors and cement, plus the terrible acting by Glynis Johns who plays the part of Stella Cotman. This is further accentuated by a better performance (voice-wise) by Maugham in the recording of the story read by the author himself.

I would advise buying the collection of the three DVDs, which is much more economical. For those who want to see the gestures of Maugham and hears his voice, this certainly is a collection to keep.

You will find the texts of these short stories on the free ebooks - short stories page.


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