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Maurice - The Merchant Ivory Collection

175 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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 (James Wilby) and Clive Durham (Hugh Grant) find themselves in love at Cambridge. In a time when homosexuality was punishable by imprisonment, the two must keep their feelings for one another a complete secret, even though Clive refuses to allow their relationship to move beyond the boundaries of "platonic" love. After a friend is arrested and disgraced for "the unspeakable crime of the Greeks," Clive abandons his forbidden love, marries, and enters into the political arena. Maurice, however, struggles with questions of his identity and self-confidence, even seeking the help of a hypnotist to rid himself of his undeniable urges. But while staying with Clive and his shallow wife, Anne, Maurice is seduced by the affectionate and yearning servant Alec Scudder, (Rupert Graves), an event that brings about profound changes in Maurice’s life and outlook. Sparking direction by James Ivory, a distinguished performance from the ensemble cast, and a charged score by Richard Robbins all combine to create a film of undeniable power, one that is both romantic and moving, and a story of love and self-discovery for all audiences.


Special Features

  • New high definition transfer
  • Over 30-minutes of deleted scenes and a reconstructed opening sequence with audio commentary by director James Ivory
  • Conversations With the Filmmakers: part of a new series of interviews with the filmmakers
  • The Story of "Maurice": new interviews actors James Wilby, Hugh Grant and Rupert Graves, and screenwriter Kit Hesketh-Harvey

Product Details

  • Actors: James Wilby, Hugh Grant, Rupert Graves, Denholm Elliott, Simon Callow
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Writers: E.M. Forster, Kit Hesketh-Harvey
  • Producers: Ismail Merchant
  • Format: Anamorphic, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Merchant Ivory
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00014NE62
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,275 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Maurice - The Merchant Ivory Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

177 of 180 people found the following review helpful By Kaatiya on December 13, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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139 of 143 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE RANNIE on September 24, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
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.Read more ›
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