My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and this movie opened in New York City on the same day, March 7, 1986. Both movies featured Daniel Day-Lewis in prominent and very different roles: in this movie, he played a repressed, snobbish Edwardian upperclassman, while in Laundrette, he played a lower-class gay ex-skinhead man in love with an ambitious Pakistani businessman in Thatcher's London. When American critics saw Day-Lewis, who was then virtually unknown in the U.S., in two such different roles on the same day, many (including Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times and Vincent Canby of The New York Times) raved about the talent it must have taken him to play such vastly different characters.
During the process leading up to placing trade ads for the Oscar nominations, Daniel Day-Lewis made it known he was not interested in campaigning for an Oscar nomination. As a result, the production company concentrated on promoting Denholm Elliott in the supporting actor category. Elliott was enthusiastic in participating in the process and eventually won an Oscar nomination.
Not just producers together, Merchant and Ivory were lovers, or what passed in 1985 for a gay married couple. James Ivory would come out later and say they were in a committed relationship for 44 years.
Charlotte Bartlett (Dame Maggie Smith) and Eleanor Lavish (Dame Judi Dench) discuss the plotline of E.M. Forster's other Italian novel "Where Angels Fear to Tread" when on the picnic. Helena Bonham Carter starred in the movie adaptation of the novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991).
During a moviemaking discussion with Gus Van Sant during the Oregon Sesquicentennial Film Festival, James Ivory stated that he chose to make this movie because he wanted to return to Italy.
In the book, Lucy kisses George in a field of violets, but it was the wrong season for this when filming so just a plain field of barley was used.
This movie was part of a mid 1980s to early 1990s cycle of mostly theatrical movie adaptations of works and novels by E.M. Forster. The others being (in order): A Passage to India (1984), Maurice (1987), Billy Budd (1988), Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991), and Howards End (1992).
In a BBC interview aired in 1986, Daniel Day-Lewis described his character as being "the sort of person you imagine you might be in your worst nightmares."
Included amongst the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
George's (Julian Sands') confession to Lucy (Helena Bonham Carter) is included in Dream Theater's song "Space-Dye Vest".
The cast includes three Oscar winners: Dame Maggie Smith, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Dame Judi Dench; and three Oscar nominees: Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott, and Richard Robbins.
Helena Bhonam Carter was still living with her parents when she made this movie. In fact, even though she was a successful actress, she lived at home with her parents past age thirty.
Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench later shared the screen in four other movies: Tea with Mussolini (1999), Ladies in Lavender (2004), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015).
Helena Bonham Carter and Dame Maggie Smith reunited in the Harry Potter film franchise, this time as adversaries. Rupert Graves played a significant role in Extreme Ops (2002) side by side with Rufus Sewell and Devon Sawa.
This E.M. Forster movie adaption had settings in Italy like the later E.M. Forster movie adaptation Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991), which also starred Helena Bonham Carter.
The re-release in Spain was only in three theaters: Madrid (Conde Duque, Verdi) and Barcelona (Verdi). This movie was only projected one day in a subtitled version.