"he thought it was probably a scene from a Merchant Ivory film"

Merchant Ivory Productions is a film company founded in 1961 by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory.

The company has made over 50 films, but is particularly renowned for elegant period productions based on novels set in Edwardian England. Notable Merchant Ivory films include A Room with a View (1985), Maurice (1987), Howards End (1992) and The Remains of the Day (1993).

The company has also made three films based on Henry James novels: The Europeans (1979), The Bostonians (1984), and The Golden Bowl (2001).