At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.
Kvartett (2012) Online
Cecily, Reggie, and Wilfred are in a home for retired musicians. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday and they take part. Jean, who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on... and it does.
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
|Maggie Smith||-||Jean Horton|
|Tom Courtenay||-||Reggie Paget|
|Billy Connolly||-||Wilf Bond|
|Pauline Collins||-||Cissy Robson|
|Michael Gambon||-||Cedric Livingstone|
|Sheridan Smith||-||Dr. Lucy Cogan|
|Andrew Sachs||-||Bobby Swanson|
|Gwyneth Jones||-||Anne Langley (as Dame Gwyneth Jones)|
|Michael Byrne||-||Frank White|
|Patricia Loveland||-||Letitia Davis|
Maggie Smith recommended Pauline Collins to director Dustin Hoffman for the part of Cissy.
Most of the supporting cast were retired professional musicians.
Dustin Hoffman's first completed directorial effort. In 1978, he began directing Straight Time (1978), but after a few days, he decided it was too difficult to both star and direct, and asked Ulu Grosbard to take over.
Ronald Harwood wrote the part of Wilf for Albert Finney, who had worked with Tom Courtenay on The Dresser (1983). Finney was forced to turn down the role due to ill health and Peter O'Toole was cast to replace him. Before shooting began, O'Toole concluded that he was unable to survive the rigors of a film shoot and he was replaced by Billy Connolly.
Child violinists Isla Mathieson and Iona Mathieson use their own names as the character names.
Beecham House, named after Sir Thomas Beecham, is modeled after La Casa di Riposo per Musicisti founded by Giuseppe Verdi.
Maggie Smith also starred in another film named Quartet (1981) about 31 years earlier. However, the only similarities between the two movies are the title and Smith.
This marks as the 8th collaboration between Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon. They appeared in Othello (1965), Госфорд Парк (2001) and also in five films from the Harry Potter franchise.
Sarah Crowden (Felicity Liddle) is the daughter of Graham Crowden who was the star of Waiting for God (1990), a series with settings and characters very similar to this movie.
Dustin Hoffman and Maggie Smith worked together - as actors - previously in Hook (1991): Hoffman played Captain Hook and Smith played Granny Wendy. In this film, they work together as director (Hoffman) and actor (Smith).
The principal actors were trained to sing but the scene of them singing the titular quartet from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto was cut from the movie.