Hello MCA/Kylie, hello Anon!
I have some extra answers to Anon’s two questions to add to MCA’s replies above. As Tumblr doesn’t accept further replies/reblogs on Ask replies, I’m going to do so in this bolt-on new post – and hope Anon is still around to see it.
In particular, I’ve gone into the Wayback Machine, and I found the ‘vanished’ 10 Aug 2011 post Anon mentions – so I can clear up that part of the mystery.
Is that OK? (If MCA still has one of Anon’s messages, maybe you could use ‘reply’ to alert her/him?)
Long post coming up below, taking both ‘Asks’ together…
– exponential63 x
First, some context. Like MCA, I’ve been around Maurice and its fandom for years (from 1987 onwards, seeing it many times in the cinema when it was first released, to some academic expertise today). I’ve always been fascinated by the rumours of ‘other versions’ of Maurice, so I try to track any debates/evidence around its production history and deleted scenes – and I have a pretty exhaustive Maurice cuttings collection, including (potentially relevant) media reports from the set during the shoot.
Recently, I’ve also had the massive privilege of some RL contact with a researcher who’s working in a very RTMI/RTOI area (she has actually seen/handled/studied Maurice’s WiP screenplays). While there are limits to what I can say/share publicly about someone else’s not-yet-published work, some of her discoveries were (i) startling even to me, and (ii) possibly of interest for Anon.
1) ‘I remember a scene in which M and C actually kiss, at college … a real kiss, given by C to a stunned M. So why isn’t this in the movie I can see today?…’
I agree totally with MCA’s reply and suggestions about which scenes you might mean. There’s no scene – either in Maurice the released (2hr20min) film, or in the c. 30mins of deleted scenes on Disc 2 of the 2004 Merchant Ivory Collection/Criterion Collection double DVD (the only DVD edition I’m aware of that gives deleted scenes) – where Clive actively kisses Maurice.
The only explanation I can think of is: is your longterm memory confusing Maurice with Clive? There’s more than one scene where Maurice gives a ‘stunned’ Clive a ‘real’ kiss: when he climbs in through Clive’s window at Cambridge; the attempt to kiss Clive (and more) as they lie in the grass in the fens; and the violent kiss/near-assault that ends their relationship. But it would be OOC for Clive to initiate a kiss like that, and (accordingly) the film doesn’t add it.
2) ‘I have read about someone having gotten hold of more scenes, I don’t know how, which were not even included on the DVD…’
MCA’s answer assumed that you already have the 2004 Merchant Ivory Collection DVD – the one with c. 30mins of deleted scenes – so I’m going to initially assume the same. Just in case you haven’t, it includes 13 alternate or deleted scenes, of which 6 1/2 are posted on YouTube (x onwards).
I went into the Wayback Machine (internet archive) last night and found your ‘missing’ post (by erastes, a ‘historic slash’ author) from 10 Aug 2011. Erastes’ personal domain had expired, but fortunately they’d crossposted the post you want to see on their LJ: erastes.livejournal.com/675217.html
Erastes’ post links to the ‘six deleted scenes [not] on [her] DVD extras’ – and they turn out to just be 6 (not all 7!) of the YouTube deleted scenes from the 2004 Maurice DVD. These were uploaded on YouTube by motherofpearl13 five years ago – so (sadly) nothing secret or new, and nothing you can’t see by buying the right DVD edition.
As MCA’s reply rightly points out, the omitted/alternate scenes that were included in the 2004 DVD were so extensive (almost 30mins of footage, much of it additional to a film that in its released version already ran to 2hrs 20mins) – and included scenes (video roughs) ‘that were in really bad shape’ – that it would be really surprising if much further unused footage, beyond that, had remained intact and ever been used in a cut of the film.
However, IMO it is less certain that ‘the film never screened with the deleted scenes intact’. It certainly wasn’t screened at film festivals, or to the public, in that longer form. What’s less clear to me – from what I’ve gleaned about Maurice’s script development – is how widely a version ‘with the deleted scenes intact’ was ever screened privately or to, say, distributors or critics.
The reason I’m no longer sure about this is that the script evidence (studied by my contact) indicates that Maurice’s ‘Final Draft/revised screenplay, used for shooting [the] film’ does not match the 2hr 20min released cut. It’s the script of a 3-hour version (very differently structured from Forster’s novel, with much use of flashbacks and complicated intercutting between past/present story events) that was actually shot.
M–I are known to work by filming scenes discarded from their final cuts, and the amount of rough footage ‘in really bad shape’ that they included as DVD extras tends to suggest that not all the footage they shot was ever processed to a quality usable in a polished 3-hour film. So, although so many fans are desperate to see the ‘deleted’ scenes ‘restored’, we can’t assume that this ‘lost’ cut was coherent enough to release, let alone a ‘better’ film. (In fact, on the basis of the ‘Final’ shooting script, my contact concluded the opposite.)
How far do the alternate/deleted scenes on the 2004 give us a good idea of what the 3-hour cut of Maurice (as represented in the ‘Final’ script) was like? In my judgement, the full alternative opening sequence included on the DVD (only the first half is YouTube) gives quite a close flavour of the approach my contact found/describes in the script. On the other hand, she describes other moments/elements in that script that were either never shot or never used (happy to go into more detail once her research is published!) – while some scenes we see in the released film are not in any of the scripts (suggesting improvisation/undocumented on-set revision?) And a US Vogue set report (May 1987) suggests that at least one ‘unscripted’ scene (the Risley pub/guardsman stitch-up) was shot with different dialogue from what we get in the finished film.
In short, it seems Maurice’s creation was far more complicated at every stage than the finished film looks: script (my contact writes: ‘of the three Merchant–Ivory E. M. Forster adaptations, it is Maurice which contains the most radical changes across its draft screenplays’), shooting, and post-production (the unclarity about how ‘complete’, or post-produced, the scripted 3-hour cut ever was).
Because the DVD extras interviews with Ivory and KHH say so little about the complexity of this hidden production story, part of me wonders if there’s more we don’t know. A further twist: as early as 1988-9, I remember reading that Ivory was ‘considering’ ‘re-editing’ Maurice as a 3-hour TV miniseries’. Putting 2 + 2 together, I’m thinking a 3-hour rough cut must have still existed at that date…
Thanks for your patience with such a long post, and I hope some of this is of interest!