Director: Harold French, Pat Jackson and Anthony Pelissier
Year Released: 1951
Like Quartet, this is a collection of three short films (by three different directors) based on three short stories by W. Somerset Maugham - though there isn't much continuity between the content of the stories, Maugham's style of neatly tucking a moral in each likeable tale of English life and customs is evident. All three are very good, but I particularly like "Winter Cruise," in which a chatty spinster (Kay Walsh) aboard a cruise to-and-from Jamaica annoys the boat crew to no end, so they force a French waiter onboard to seduce her - when she reveals to them she was aware of their plan at the end, she shows them she had the upper-hand the entire time. The final short, "Gigolo and Gigolette," works on multiple levels - as a love story and parable about the thankless job of being an entertainer, as the audience that watches a professional diver (Glynis Johns) secretly hopes to witness her perish in the leap into a flaming pool of water. Maugham, who provides a very, very brief introduction to each story, indicates they're all based loosely on facts collected on his (frequent) trips, which should be a signal to every writer that great stories are all around, waiting to be taken, altered and further developed (Maugham was a master at this).