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Maurice (1987)

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After his lover rejects him, a young man trapped by the oppressiveness of Edwardian society tries to come to terms with and accept his sexuality.

Director:

James Ivory

Writers:

E.M. Forster (from the novel by), Kit Hesketh-Harvey (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Wilby ... Maurice Hall
Hugh Grant ... Clive Durham
Rupert Graves ... Alec Scudder
Denholm Elliott ... Doctor Barry
Simon Callow ... Mr. Ducie
Billie Whitelaw ... Mrs. Hall
Barry Foster ... Dean Cornwallis
Judy Parfitt ... Mrs. Durham
Phoebe Nicholls ... Anne Durham
Patrick Godfrey ... Simcox
Mark Tandy ... Risley
Ben Kingsley ... Lasker-Jones
Kitty Aldridge ... Kitty Hall
Helena Michell Helena Michell ... Ada Hall
Catherine Rabett Catherine Rabett ... Pippa Durham
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Storyline

Two male English school chums find themselves falling in love at Cambridge. To regain his place in society, Clive gives up his forbidden love, Maurice (pronounced "Morris") and marries. While staying with Clive and his shallow wife, Anne, Maurice finally discovers romance in the arms of Alec, the gamekeeper. Written from personal pain, it's E.M. Forster's story of coming to terms with sexuality in the Edwardian age. Written by Susan Southall <stobchatay@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Морис See more »

Filming Locations:

Sicily, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,284, 20 September 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,130,592
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical movie debut of Julian Wadham (Hull). See more »

Goofs

When Maurice and Clive enter the auditorium at the Wigmore Hall, the boom mic is reflected in the polished wooden panels on the wall behind them. See more »

Quotes

Lady at Cricket Match: Captain has put himself into bat first. Clive Durham would've never done that.
Maurice Hall: He is our best man apparently.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some NTSC versions are scanned at 25fps and the running time is short and seems edited but the movie is intact. See more »

Connections

Featured in Retrosexual: The 80's (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Fens
(uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Arranged by Richard Robbins
See more »

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User Reviews

 
More Enlightened Times
24 March 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

E.M. Forster (1879-1970) as a gay man lived long enough to see the Stonewall Rebellion happen across the pond the year before his death at the age of 91. Though close friends knew he was gay, as prescribed by the mores of the times, Forster led a quiet, discreet, and circumspect life. He was not a political person, first and foremost he was a novelist, though in his writings you can some trenchant comments about the political, never more so in his A Passage To India.

My guess is that if Stonewall didn't happen here and other developments such as the Wolfenden report recommending decriminalization of homosexuality in the United Kingdom hadn't happened, Maurice might never have seen the light of day. My guess is that Forster would have opted for a time capsule, hoping this novel of young same sex love would see the light of day in more enlightened times. He got to see those enlightened times come before he died, so Forster's novel Maurice was published in 1971 and came to the screen in 1987.

Forster's protagonist is Maurice Hall a young man with some unwanted gay feelings, unwanted because at the time those things were not discussed. Young Maurice forms an attachment with school chum Clive Durham. To put it in more modern terms they're the British boarding school equivalent of Ennis Delmar and Jack Twist.

And they view their relationship differently as did Jack and Ennis. Maurice truly hates the stifling conformity of Edwardian Great Britain, but Clive wants to put it behind him, get married and do as proper British society demands of him.

James Wilby is Maurice and Hugh Grant in one of his earliest roles is the shallow Clive. Maurice takes a path that E.M. Forster took in life as a gay man, as open as he could be, but most discreet.

I do wonder who the Clive character was based on. I also wonder if in the future, the proper Mr. Clive might have been giving the toe tapping signal in some bathroom stall looking to satisfy his real and closeted lusts.

There is also a great performance by Rupert Graves as Alec Scudder the stable-hand at Clive's estate who Maurice eventually does establish a relationship and some measure of happiness. It will be a tough road for them, not very many places on the earth will be that hospitable in the years just before World War I.

Maurice was written around 1910, a decade or so after the Oscar Wilde scandal and six years before Roger Casement's diaries were opened to the public to justify hanging him as a traitor in the Easter Rebellion. The gay baiting there was a deliberate tactic by the British government to shake popular support away from the rebels in Ireland. These were not good times for Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered people.

E.M. Forster wrote the novel and tucked it away. It's a beautiful work and a beautiful film made from same. I'm glad in the final couple of years of life, Forster saw the more enlightened times come so we could have a glimpse of what life was like for a young gay male in Edwardian Great Britain.


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