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Maurice - The Merchant Ivory Collection
Maurice - The Merchant Ivory Collection
Actors: James Wilby, Rupert Graves, Hugh Grant, Denholm Elliott, Simon Callow
Director: James Ivory
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
R     2004     2hr 20min

Set against the stifling conformity of pre-World War I English society, E.M. Forster?s Maurice is a story of coming to terms with one?s sexuality and identity in the face of disapproval and misunderstanding. Maurice Hall (...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: James Wilby, Rupert Graves, Hugh Grant, Denholm Elliott, Simon Callow
Director: James Ivory
Creators: Pierre Lhomme, James Ivory, Katherine Wenning, Ismail Merchant, Paul Bradley, E.M. Forster, Kit Hesketh-Harvey
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Coming of Age
Studio: Merchant Ivory
Format: DVD - Widescreen,Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 02/24/2004
Original Release Date: 09/18/1987
Theatrical Release Date: 09/18/1987
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 20min
Screens: Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 29
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Romantic and irresistible
Kaatiya | Atlanta, Georgia United States | 12/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The filmmakers did an incredible job of bringing E.M. Forster's touching novel to life -- and I suspect that was no easy task because so much of the novel involves the main character's innermost thoughts and feelings. However, Merchant and Ivory did a beautiful job conveying the loneliness, fear and desperation of the main character, Maurice Hall.The movie follows Maurice (James Wilby) down his road of self-discovery; from his embarrassing teen years to Cambridge (where he gets his first exhilarating taste of love) to his post-collegiate years as a young man struggling to come to terms with his sexuality in a time when homosexuals were mercilessly persecuted. The movie is also very much about class struggle. Maurice is a gentleman born and bred, with a penchant for snobbery. As he comes to terms with his sexuality, he is forced to deal with differences in class when he realizes he is in love with someone from the serving class.Readers of the novel will be delighted as much of the wonderful dialogue from the book appears in the film.The characters were perfectly cast, with Hugh Grant (before he was a mega star) as Clive Durham, the perfect young gentleman from Cambridge (and Maurice's first love), Rupert Graves as the smoldering, lower class hunk who wins Maurice's heart, and Ben Kingsley in a hilarious turn as Maurice's junk-psychologist. James Wilby was spot-on in the title role and he perfectly captures the isolation, sadness and ultimate joy of the conflicted Maurice."Maurice" is a touching love story that anyone -- straight or gay -- can enjoy. Romance knows neither of these terms. And, the movie *is* unabashedly romantic and optimistic -- your heart will soar when Maurice finally gives in, casts societal conventions aside and visits his beloved at the boathouse. The hopeful ending is inspiring, though the close-up of Clive at the window at the end of the movie will break your heart.Beautifully filmed, superbly acted -- a must-see film."
FAVORITE MOVIE
GEORGE RANNIE | DENVER, COLORADO United States | 09/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Maurice is my all time favorite film. I own a copy on VHS and one on Laser Disc, and I'm eagerly awaiting its release on DVD. As (what some may consider) a senior gay person, this film speaks directly to me; it reflects wonderfully the frustrations that I felt growing up in the '50's. Although the movie is set in the Victorian era, the 1950's were really not that different in its attitude towards gay people. The film captures so very well the longings of Maurice (as a gay man) for love, affection and some meaning to his life--the things that he felt everyone else was having but were denied to him because of his inner hidden longings.
The film is beautiful to view and the sound tract is gorgeous--typical Merchant and Ivory--but, most of all, each actor is completely believable in his role. A very young Hugh Grant (long before becoming famous)is very good as Maurice's first love interest wanting a pure platonic love with Maurice even though Maurice wanted the "real" thing. My true feeling about Grant's character is that he really did not have the guts to deal with the ramifications of his true feelings (watch how he plays with Maurice's emotions and affections--I would have punched him!). Jame Wilby, as Maurice, is outstanding; he expresses the hurt, torture and longings of "the love that dare not speak its name" very well. However, the true standout for me is Rupert Graves (one of my favorite actors) who plays Scudder--he certainly shows what ladders are made for!(you'll have to see the movie to know what I'm talking about) He plays a man that knows what he wants and goes after it no matter what the cost--he redirects his life and alters his life's dream for the possibility (not, at the time of his decision, guaranteed) of love. Maurce and Scudder's final scene together when they have decided that love, no matter what, can conquer all, is truly the thing that we all dream about. Their "togetherness" points out another strong theme in the movie--the British Class System--not only did they have the "gay thing" to deal with but also the "class thing" to overcome. (Due to the fact that Scudder is from what is deemed a lower class being the Gamekeeper, he is , at first, completely ignored by Maurice until Scudder climbs into Maurice's bed, by the means of a ladder, and shows him what it's all about!!)
I read E.M. Forster's book when it was finally released in the 1970's and I feel the film is faithful to the book and that Forster would have been pleased with the film. I don't know how many times I have viewed this movie (many, many, times), it, nevertheless, is a movie that reaffirms, over and over again,, my very existence.
I have found, through out the years that a lot of heterosexuals find the movie to be boring; however, I feel that if you are an average gay male, (especially of a certain age) you will find it reflective of your life (or, at least, a portion thereof)--I do!
Believe me, my life would have been a great deal poorer if the film Maurice had not been a part of it.
I know my review is from an older person's perspective; however, I do believe that a younger person would have an appreciation for the movie if nothing more than gaining some knowledge of what it was like, not so very long ago, to be gay. In fact, I think anyone, no matter what his age happens to be, could certainly enjoy this film."
A film everyone should see
GEORGE RANNIE | 09/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This Merchant Ivory production, though as deliciously beautiful as the others, has an edge in that it brings to life a novel which its author considered so controversial, he wouldn't publish it in his lifetime. The production values in this film are, as always, superb. But the acting especially is where it triumphs. The three leads are excellent. I especially admire James Wilby's wonderful performance, as indeed I do those of Rupert Graves and Hugh Grant. The ending is quite unlike most other gay-themed movies: the two characters we have followed from the outset turn out very differently: Hugh Grant's character capitulates to the societal "norm" and, at the end, is actually a little despicable, or would be, if one didn't feel so sorry that he "sold out". But the final scenes -- in which Maurice (Wilby) realizes that Scudder (Graves) has not left England and in consequence has risked his future to be with Maurice, and where finally, Maurice does the same for Scudder-- where they end up together, against the admittedly tough odds, and risk all for love-- is beautiful. As other reviewers have pointed out, the film is not only about Maurice's struggles with his gayness, but also with the expectations and presumptions of the British Class System: the servant, Scudder, turns out to be extremely intelligent and witty-- in the "afterglow" scene in the hotel, he quite incisively lampoons the condescending and perfunctory way he gets treated by people of Maurice's "station" -- and Maurice, if belatedly, realizes the quality in him. Both overcome temptations to give in to society -- (when Scudder is hurt by Maurice's cold-shouldering of him he hints that he might blackmail him -- the only power he might have over someone of Maurice's class---, but repents; Maurice flirts with the idea of accusing Scudder when he is terrified at the prospect of what he might lose) but in the end commit to each other, and society-be-damned. The complexities of the situation, though they relate to societal conditions no longer obtaining, still exist, though manifesting in different ways. An excellent movie about the triumph of love, of commitment, and most, of honesty."
Absolutely beautiful
Guildenstern | nowhereland | 09/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After seeing this movie I immediately ran to buy the book. Both book and film are so incredibly wonderful I hesitate to try to do justice to either in a review. The movie is really spectacular, staying impecably true to the book in pretty much every way. 99.9 percent of the movie's dialogue comes straight out of the book, unchanged. Besides the great script (thank you E. M. Fortster!) the acting is really amazing. There is not a single character in this movie who isn't perfectly portrayed. James Wilby as the title character gives a brilliantly multi-faceted performance and Rupert Graves as Alec Scudder makes you believe he has three times as many lines as he really does just through his expression and presence. I'll also give kudos to Hugh Grant because this was before his big break and therefore he actually gives a very admirable, non-egotisic performance. The only thing I resent is that the movie box has HIM on the cover... WHAT?! Ah, marketing. Sigh. But this movie is really a rare and beautiful piece of art. Like Forster, it is life and love-affirming. All of E. M. Forster's books have a beautiful quality of hope about them--they acknowledge that pain and suffering are parts of life, but they do not glorify them. This movie does a spectacular job of conveying that quality of the novel."