Monday, September 28, 2009

Great Movies - Maurice

Merchant & Ivory ruled the period dramas for about a decade, employing some of the great British actors of the time telling the stories of some great British writers. Amongst those writers were E.M. Forster, whose novels, A Room With A View, Howards End, and A Passage To India had been made into movies by the same production team with great success. Maurice was not published until a year after he had died, as the scandal of a novel in which the main character is uncategorically gay, something the writer himself fought in his own lifetime. Forster was born in 1879, at a time when homosexuality was the love that dare not speak its name. He remained steadfastly closeted until his death in 1970.

Maurice Hall & Clive Durham

But in Maurice, we follow the character of Maurice Hall, a privileged young man, from his time at school in Cambridge, where he meets and falls in love with his good friend, Clive Durham. Maurice, played incredibly by James Wilby, has an affair with Clive, played in classic stiff, bumbling style by Hugh Grant, until it is ended by Clive, who is fearful of the shame it would bring on him and his family if they were caught. Maurice is crushed, but manages to move on when he discovers real love with Alec Scudder, played brimming with sexuality by hot Rupert Graves, a groundkeeper on the family estate. Maurice and Scudder leave to find happiness elsewhere, while Clive remains in place, living a lie with his young and frightened wife.

Maurice & Alec Scudder

Maurice was released in 1987, one of very few mainstream movies to feature a gay character, let alone a protagonist. It was brave to make the movie. And, I will always remember for being a very special first date I had with a dear ex.


  1. In the pics, Maurice looks like Prince Harry. That's kinda cool.

    Somehow, some way, I managed to never see this film. Over the years I looked for it whenever someone reminded me of it, but I can never find it :-(

  2. One of my favorite movies. I loved everything about it.

  3. "Maurice" is one of the bravest films, imho. Not only for the telling of the story but for the reputation of its actors: James Wilby, Hugh Grant, and Rupert Graves in particular, since playing gay in 1987 could result in career death. I think if it had been anything other than a Merchant-Ivory film the repercussions to their careers may have been devastating. And there's just no denying that "Maurice" is gorgeously filmed.

  4. What a great movie! I have seen it twice. And I like it is funny it was one of Hugh Grants first movies. On my last day home today, I'll be watching two gay movies a friend gave us over the weekend. The Edge of Seventeen and Get Real.

  5. I love Maurice & have seen many times since seeing it in the theatre. My favorite #1 movie of all time is A ROOM WITH A VIEW.

  6. Maurice is such a good film. We haven't seen it in a very long time. Now I want to watch it again, but I will have to file the appropriate paperwork and get it approved by the powers that be! :) He likes the film, too. So it may only take 3 or 4 weeks to go through the appropriate channels and get scheduled.

  7. Wow - I think I might be the only person who has not heard of this movie before - I have to see it now.
    Also try "Alive and Kicking" - it's a British movie about a gay dancer who falls for a AIDS councellor - it's really good and it has that unique British humour in it!

  8. Larry, you MUST see it.

    Bob, yes, it would be hard to find a single fault.

    Behr, I agree, it was brave and so well done. Excellent!

    Maddie, those are good movies, too!

    Stephen, I have my DVD copy as well.

    Stan, you should watch it again!

    SteveA, you much see it. I have also seen Alive & Kicking, another great movie.

  9. Howard - is Alive and Kicking on DVD? How can I get it?

  10. SteveA, yep, it is available on DVD at Amazon and CD Universe.



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