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.
This semi-autobiographical film was the second of E. M. Forster’s novels, published in 1971 (after A Room with a View) to be adapted for the screen by Merchant Ivory.
It was about the problem of coming of age of a homosexual in a restrictive Edwardian society in pre-WWI 1910 between two Cambridge undergraduates:
Maurice Hall (James Wilby), blonde
Clive Durham (Hugh Grant), moody and young
In one of the film’s sexier scenes, Clive rested his head on the white flannel-trousered knee of Maurice as they stroked each other’s hair before embracing.
Later in the film, Clive gave up his ‘forbidden’ or illegal love (referred to as ‘the unspeakable vice of the Greeks’, but never consummated), leaving Maurice to “share” himself with lower-class gamekeeper Alec Scudder (Rupert Graves). The scene included both rear and frontal male nudity.
Director: James Ivory