Rupert Graves Online: Film & Television.
Maurice.
Maurice Spacer

1987 - Merchant Ivory Productions.

Director - James Ivory.

Rupert Graves - Alec Scudder.
Review / Synopsis.

Merchant Ivorys faithful adaptation of EM Forsters novel "Maurice", is the story of a young mans search for love and happiness in the restrained atmosphere of Edwardian middle class society.

What confounds Maurices' life is that he is homosexual.
At Cambridge Maurice, played by James Wilby falls in love with another undergraduate Clive Durham (Hugh Grant).

Clive aspires to the higher ideals of Plato and insists that their relationship remain platonic and Maurice who at this stage is innocent and adoring, agrees. Their happiness lasts several years until Clive, heir to a country seat and mindful of his political aspirations conforms to social and family pressure and marries. Maurice is devestated, feeling increasing lonely and isolated, we see him struggle against his fate. First he seeks help from a family friend Dr Barry (Denholm Elliot)who neither understands Maurices plight nor does he wish to, and encourages him to find a pretty girl and marry.

He then turns to a hypnotist (Ben Kingsley) with similar affect.
But it is through Clive that Maurice eventually comes to meet Alec Scudder (Rupert Graves) the gamekeeper on Clives country estate.Alec being a country bred lad is not bound by the conventions of Maurice's education and upbringing, climbs a ladder one night to seduce him. Maurice, after initial fears of blackmail quickly comes to realise that his future happiness lies with Alec and that to find fullfilment they must live together as lovers and in the end both give up everything to be together.

This is an unabashedly romantic film, beautifully realised from the graceful spires of Cambridge to the Autumn landscapes of Wiltshire and with attention to period detail that is everything we have come to expect from a Merchant Ivory film. James Wilby portrays Maurice with a charm and vunerability that is close to Forsters ideal and the surperb ensemble cast add greatly to the finished product .

Rupert Graves plays his role with an understated sensuality, his boyish good looks and those appealing mannerisms make him a very fine Alec indeed. That love can survive when it cuts across the class divide is a very romantic notion. As the film closes with Maurice and Alec locked in each others arms, one cannot help but think with a twinge of sadness, how on earth are they going to survive?

But, as James Ivory said "What could their future have possibly been ? In a year or two end up in the trenches of World war ". Forster wrote in his notes that it was imperative that the story should have a happy ending or he shouldn't have bothered to write otherwise, he was determined that two young men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows.
Carol Martin.
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