McGill-Queen’s Univ. (Queer Film Classics). Sept. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9780228018780. pap. $21.95. FILM
When the Merchant Ivory film Maurice was released in 1987, it received mixed reviews. Greven (English, Univ. of South Carolina; The Bionic Woman and Feminist Ethics) succeeds in restoring it to an honored place among significant movies that feature a gay protagonist. The book begins by noting the impact the film had on the author as a young man. But this is more than a personal reflection; Greven carefully situates Maurice in multiple contexts, including its historical significance in gay cinema of the 1980s. This book compares how the film closely followed E.M. Forster’s posthumous novel of the same name, but it also made some notable departures. The book points out how several deleted scenes, only available on special-edition DVDs, might have made the movie stronger. The concluding chapter, theoretically strong and informed by queer theory and film studies, is sophisticated yet accessible to a broad audience. Greven writes with a clarity that will likely appeal to general audiences and film scholars alike. A more complete bibliography of criticism of the film would have made a nice addition.

CORRECTION: This review originally misspelled the author’s last name; it has been corrected. LJ regrets the error.

VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of Maurice and general film buffs, who will likely enjoy and learn from Greven’s detailed and historical perspective.
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