Maurice - The Merchant Ivory Collection
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(Feb 24, 2004)
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Set against the stifling conformity of pre-World War I English society, E.M. Forsters Maurice is a story of coming to terms with ones 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 Maurices 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.
- 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
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As far as the story for those that don't already know, it's a classic love story as the Amazon description says. What’s equally “classic” but rarely portrayed is a gay version of the classic story. There are so many, perhaps too many cheap 90 minute gay films floating around. Typically covering yet another teenage love story. This one is not that same old storyline. This is a love story for grown ups. Life gets more complex as we move away from high school and college. Being yet unmarried after a certain age you get no end of grief from family and friends. This movie is for that crowd. The social pressure. The struggle with the loss of social status. The fear of legal consequences just for opening loving the person that you love. Adult stuff. Its a painful story to watch, yet it brings life to the viewer as you see the story unfold.
So glad I found this movie even if it is 25 years after it was made. The story is timeless. Definitely a keeper that I’ll be adding to my library.
I can't help but wonder how E.M. Foster would have reacted to seeing his semi-autobiographical and unpublished during his lifetime novel of illicit homosexual love cutting across the rigid class structure of pre-World-War One British Society.
Not only was it bold for E.M. Foster to write such a novel, but - spoiler alert - he allowed Maurice [pronounced Morris] and Scudder to have a happy ending - no pun intended - which the movie faithfully adheres to.
"Maurice" was a Merchant-Ivy production that was originally released in theaters back in 1987. Though critically acclaimed, moviegoers weren't ready for a gay romantic movie featuring full frontal male nudity and naked men in bed - let alone a gay British romantic movie.
Adapted from the novel by James Ivory and Kit Hesketh-Harvey; "Maurice" tells the story of a quest for love and the longing to have someone to call your own despite the fact that society compels you to hide and make harsh choices you to protect yourself, your livelihood, and your family.
Exposure is always on the forefront of Maurice's thoughts. Yet he is willing to risk all by moving forward towards his future.
"Maurice" is a quietly compelling movie about giving up pretenses in order to find happiness.
If the new version is a TINY bit crisper, it’s still not worth the sacrifice of the movie’s original warmth. This is a classic movie and did not need a “restoration” that did not improve upon the 2004 DVD transfer (which was excellent from the start). I can only recommend this as a second choice for those who don’t have any copy of the movie at all, and can’t find the out-of-print 2004 version.