Maurice 1987

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At Cambridge, Clive Durham [Grant] is immediately attracted to a fellow student, Maurice Hall [James Wilby]. The love between them is platonic but intense and, in a society that both persecutes and prosecutes homosexuals, guilt and fear lead to Clive's breakdown and a bitter rift between the two friends. Both men try to suppress their homoerotic instincts - Clive through marriage, Maurice through medicine and psychiatry. But Maurice alone finds the honesty and strength to face up to his true nature when a man from a completely different social world enters his life, the darkly handsome young gamekeeper, Alec Scudder [Rupert Graves]...

Starring:
James Wilby, Patrick Godfrey
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Starring James Wilby, Patrick Godfrey, Ben Kingsley, Helena Bonham-Carter, Rupert Graves, Hugh Grant, Denholm Elliott, Simon Callow, Billie Whitelaw, Barry Foster, Judy Parfitt, Phoebe Nicholls
Director James Ivory
Genres Drama
Studio CHANNEL 4
Rental release 4 October 1999
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 July 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Sadly, there are many occasions on which well-meaning film-makers have quite frankly butchered good books, where their metamorphosis onto the big screen has not gone smoothly. I must say, however, that James Ivorys' adaptation of E.M Forsters' classic novel, Maurice, is a welcome exception.
Ivory captures the essence of this book superbly, in terms of character, dialogue and fundamentals such as plot, which is largely in keeping with the original story-line. Where it differs, it does so effectively and plausibly, and this does not detract from the sense of its over-all loyalty to the novel.
Splendid acting is in evidence throughout from James Wilby and Hugh Grant, as well as Rupert
Graves and a good supporting cast. Wilby portrays the conflicted eponymous hero impressively, moving smoothly through a range of emotions, from moments of exuberance, uncertainty and tourtured insecurity.
Although the crucial theme of Maurice is homosexuality in an age which criminalized it, other issues such as social class, individuality/conformity and love mean that it is compelling on other levels too, making it an all-round joy of pre-World War One drama, in which innocence and idealism are still largely possible.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By S. Hapgood VINE VOICE on 12 Nov 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I feel a bit cheesy for using that title, but I can't think of anything better. This is a love-story. Understandably, because of the gay content, it is also very political, but if you can step aside from all that you will enjoy it's true heart so much better. This is what I am sure E M Forster intended. He wasn't into making big political statements, if he was he would have have done as his friends urged him to, and had the novel published when homosexuality was legalised in 1967. (Instead it wasn't published in his lifetime. Although he wrote it way back in 1913 he didn't want to shock his mother). But there is no doubt to my mind that Forster was an incurable romantic, "A Room With A View" should prove that, and if "Maurice" was about a star-crossed man-woman relationship as that one was, we wouldn't be in any doubt that we were in Romance with a big R territory.
Maurice (played absolutely superbly by James Wilby) is a young upper-class Edwardian, constantly fighting his own inner demons about his sexuality. Whilst at Cambridge he forms an intense attachment to a fellow student, Clive, (Hugh Grant, again brilliantly acted). When a mutual friend is imprisoned with hard labour for soliciting a soldier outside a pub, Clive gets the jitters and backs off, retreating into starchy middle-class married respectability. Maurice meanwhile goes the rounds of doctors and psychiatrists, trying to find out if he can be "cured". During a weekend visit to Clive's country house he meets Alec Scudder, Clive's rather rough-and-ready gamekeeper. I know what you're thinking, gay version of "Lady Chatterley's Lover"! But I think, with all respect to D H Lawrence, this is better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ford Ka VINE VOICE on 3 Jun 2008
Format: DVD
Over twenty years after it was made "Maurice" has changed into a classic but did not age at all. This coming-of-age and coming-to-terms story faithfully taken from E. M. Forster's novel was transferred into the screen with such adroitness that with the passage of time it rather increases its appeal.
We are transferred to the Edwardian England some years before the outbreak of the Great War. The main hero Maurice is an average student (it is funny to note that everybody including Maurice considers his studies a commendable pastime but generally a waste of time as he should go into business) who falls for a fellow student, an impoverished aristocrat Clive. Their romance is purely platonic which seems to suit Clive (who finally decides to change his minds and gets married which puts an end to their little fling) survives their Cambridge period but is clearly insufficient for Maurice. After failed attempts to cure himself of his illness (both medicine and hypnosis are used) he visits Clive in his estate and falls in love again - this time for a game-keeper. This love is consummated and provides an opening for a happy ending which neither Forster nor the movie does not really offer.
The movie tells this story rather slowly, indulging in beautiful landscapes and period interiors, but one can hardly mind. It is simply a great movie with very decent performance from the cast - including Hugh Grant with a moustache.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Johnny on 10 Sep 2009
Format: DVD
"Maurice" is a great movie dealing with homosexuality and class distinction in the early 20th century. It has a lot of beautiful scenes, although they could've made it a bit shorter.

I've wanted to buy this film on DVD for ages but I must say I'm really disappointed with this certain edition (Merchant Ivory Collection). It has a lot of nice extra features, but it lacks subtitles entirely. Not even the main feature has subtitles to offer. I can't understand why one chooses to release a classic like this without it. For us who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or other neurological difficulties, it's important to know before buying. Now I have to supplement my collection with the other version too: Maurice [DVD] [1987]
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