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Maurice (1987)

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.



(from the novel by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Doctor Barry
Mr. Ducie
Mrs. Hall
Dean Cornwallis
Kitty Hall
Helena Michell ...
Catherine Rabett ...
Pippa Durham


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


Drama | Romance


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Морис  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$2,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of a number of mid-late 1980s period films featuring actor Hugh Grant. The movies include: Maurice (1987), The Dawning (1988), White Mischief (1987), La nuit Bengali (1988), Champagne Charlie (1989), Rowing with the Wind (1988), The Lair of the White Worm (1988), and The Lady and the Highwayman (1989). See more »


Wigmore Hall, where the boys meet in one scene, was known as Bechstein Hall until 1917. It was owned and operated by the German piano manufacturer Carl Bechstein & Sons. In1916 Britain seized German property in Britain. The hall was renamed Wigmore Hall on its reopening in 1917. So "Wigmore Hall" did not exist when the scene in the film (pre-war) takes place. See more »


Alec Scudder: Tomorrow's Thursday. Friday's packing. Saturday's Southampton, so it's goodbye, Old England.
Maurice Hall: You mean that you and I shan't meet again after now?
Alec Scudder: That's right, you've got it quite correct.
Maurice Hall: Stay with me.
Alec Scudder: Stay? Miss my boat? You daft? Of all the bloody rubbish. Order me about again, you would.
Maurice Hall: It's a chance in a thousand we met. You know it. Why don't you stay?
Alec Scudder: Stay? With you? How? And where? With your Ma? Oh yeah. What would she say if she saw me? All rough and ugly the way I am. My people ...
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Referenced in Clapham Junction (2007) See more »


The Goldberg Variations
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
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More Enlightened Times
24 March 2008 | by See 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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