Encore (1951 film)

Encore is a 1951 anthology film composed of adaptations of three short stories by W. Somerset Maugham:

U.S. poster
Directed byPat Jackson
Anthony Pelissier
Harold French
Produced byAntony Darnborough
Written byT.E.B. Clarke
Arthur Macrae
Eric Ambler
StarringNigel Patrick
Roland Culver
Kay Walsh
Noel Purcell
Glynis Johns
Terence Morgan
Music byRichard Addinsell
CinematographyDesmond Dickinson
Edited byAlfred Roome
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors (UK)
Paramount (USA)
Release date
14 November 1951
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£172,000 (by 1953)[1]

Maugham introduces each part of the film with a piece to camera from his garden on the French Riviera. Encore was the final film in a Maugham trilogy, preceded by Quartet and Trio. The film was entered into the 1952 Cannes Film Festival.[2]

Plot summary

"The Ant and the Grasshopper"

Idle Tom Ramsay (Nigel Patrick) continually borrows from his hard-working brother George (Roland Culver). George later puts up the Ramsay estate for sale so he can buy out his business partner, despite Tom's protests. Shortly afterwards, George is approached by car dealer Philip Cronshaw (Peter Graves), who notifies him that Tom has stolen one of his automobiles. To avoid a scandal, George pays for it. However, it was a fraud; Cronshaw and Tom split George's money.

While squandering his ill-gotten funds, Tom discovers that Gertrude Wilmot (Margaret Vyner), the third richest woman in the world, is staying at the same seaside resort. He becomes acquainted with her, then (aware that she is fed up with lying admirers) frankly admits that he is a scoundrel attracted to her great wealth. Surprisingly, this approach works and they become engaged.

Tom pays George back for all the money he took over the years. When George complains about the injustice of Tom not having to work for his good fortune, Tom mentions that Gertrude is buying the family estate.

"Winter Cruise"

English spinster Molly Reid (Kay Walsh) takes a sea cruise to Jamaica. To the annoyance of the other passengers and the crew, she talks non-stop on the outbound voyage. When the captain (Noel Purcell) learns that she will be returning on the same ship, he decides that something must be done to save the sanity of the crew. The ship's doctor (Ronald Squire) suggests setting her up with a suitor. Pierre (Jacques François), the steward, is ordered to keep Molly occupied. The plan works; the crew's ears are spared, though Molly tells Pierre that she knows he is not in love with her. When disembarking from the ship, Molly tells the captain and crew that she knew all along that the romance had been arranged.

"Gigolo and Gigolette"

In Monte Carlo, Stella (Glynis Johns) and Syd Cotman (Terence Morgan) have a very successful nightclub act. She dives from a great height into a small, shallow tank of flaming water. However, a visit by Flora (Mary Merrall) and Carlo Penezzi (Martin Miller) unnerves her. The older Penezzis used to have a similarly dangerous act: Flora was shot out of a cannon. Stella and Syd argue when she refuses to dive a second time each night, forcing Syd to change their contract with the nightclub manager.

In desperation, Stella takes their life savings, and attempts to win enough at the gambling tables so she can quit, but loses everything. Syd is infuriated when he finds out.

With no choice, she goes on with the act, even though she is terrified that she will eventually be killed. When Flora tells Syd how frightened his wife is, he rushes up the tower to stop her. But she, seeing his concern, dives safely into the tank.


"The Ant and the Grasshopper"

"Winter Cruise"

"Gigolo and Gigolette"


The film was success at the box-office.[1][3]


  1. Andrew Spicer, Sydney Box Manchester Uni Press 2006 p 211
  2. "Festival de Cannes: Encore". festival-cannes.com. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
  3. Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 258.
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