Merchant Ivory's Maurice

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E.M. Forster's Maurice was one of the first gay novels that I read. I think the book was published just after I came out. I remember being disappointed but not why.

I'd never planned to watch the movie adaptation of Maurice. A friend recently sent me a list of gay movies he likes. Maurice was on the list.

I enjoyed most of the movie. Maurice's eventually failed affair with Clive was touching and convincing. I suspect the surprise happy ending was what put me off the novel. Older, I don't begrudge Forster his wish-fulfillment ending.

Didn't work for me in the movie either. In an old musical comedy it'd be what you expect. Maybe Maurice should've emigrated to a less homophobic country like Reggie Turner.


I remember reading in a bio of Forster that an earlier version of Maurice had an aftermath along these lines: Years later Clive wanders through a country village and thinks he sees Maurice and Alec bewhiskered and working as blacksmiths or laborers, and ponders what it would mean to drop out of society and live exactly as he pleased. I think a friend of Forster’s had done something along those lines. I guess he dropped that part to leave the ending open ended.

I just dimly remember reading that myself. The explanation I think that I read was that Forster thought that ending too unrealistic. Not really sure. Thanks.

the thing to remember is that most films up to this point with gay characters have hated themselves, been killers, protrayed as sad and unhappy people who killed themselves or died lonely as i gay people cannot be happy. so this was a first and if you read the book even E M Forster was unsure about the happy ending so the wrote others too. if you know the character of E M forster you will understand he had a fascination with the working class and loved foreign places and found the english cold - this shows in the way he sends up tradition and also the british. I loved the maurice - the new version has a CD of extras interviews and loads of deleted scenes and a whole different beginning part to the movie.

I only started getting caught up with post Boys in the Band gay movies a few years ago. By the time I saw Maurice I’d seen so many happy endings I was beginning to tire of them. Not that I like unhappy endings either.

I wish I’d known the new edition was coming out and waited to see it.

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