“If Ruth and Jim and Ismael decided they were going to make a film out of a script or one of Ruth’s books, Ismael would raise the money,” says editor Humphrey Dixon in Merchant Ivory. “There was no question that he would do it. You don’t find many producers able to do or say that.”
Get an insider’s look at the art and craft of Merchant Ivory productions in this exclusive clip from the documentary that explores the oeuvre of the landmark cinematic team. Merchant Ivory, directed by Stephen Soucy, dives into the collaborations of late producer Ismael Merchant, director James Ivory, and late screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Over several decades, Merchant Ivory Productions delivered some of the cinema’s most celebrated period films and great adaptations, including A Room with a View (1986), Howard’s End (1992), and The Remains of the Day (1993), all of which scored Oscar nominations including Best Picture. The hidden gem City of Your Final Destination marked the final collaboration between James Ivory and Ismael Merchant and was released in 2009 following Merchant’s death in 2005. The duo made 44 films together during their partnership and broke ground as independent filmmakers who could create lavish works on par with Hollywood’s best.
In this clip, Ivory, who won an Oscar for writing the 2017 romance Call Me By Your Name, reflects upon his early relationship with Merchant. Other collaborators like Hugh Grant and Humphrey Dixon are among the 50 interviewees who share their perspectives in the documentary. Merchant Ivory is the first definitive feature documentary about the filmmakers. It premiered at DOC NYC last fall and screens at Palm Springs later this month.
Watch an exclusive clip from Merchant Ivory below: