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The Razor's Edge (1946)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir  |  December 1946 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,670 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 27 critic

An adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiancée in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.



(screen play), (from the novel by), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Razor's Edge (1946)

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He had everything and wanted nothing. He learned that he had nothing and wanted everything. He saved the world and then it shattered. The path to enlightenment is as sharp and narrow as a razor's edge.

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Complete credited cast:
Lucile Watson ...
Frank Latimore ...
Fritz Kortner ...
Joseph - Butler
Cecil Humphreys ...
Holy Man
Harry Pilcer ...
Specialty Dancer
Cobina Wright Sr. ...
Princess Novemali


Well-to-do Chicagoan, Larry Darrell, breaks off his engagement to Isabel and travels the world seeking enlightenment, eventually finding his guru India. Isabel marries Gray, and following the crash of 1929, is invited to live in Paris with her rich, social climbing, Uncle Elliot. During a sojurn there, Larry, having attained his goal, is reunited with Isabel. While slumming one night Larry, Isabel and company are shocked to discover Sophie, a friend from Chicago. Having lost her husband and child in a tragic accident, Sophie is living the low-life with the help of drugs and an abusive brute. Larry tries to rehabilitate her, but his efforts are sabotaged by Isabel who tries in vain to reignite Larry's interest in herself. Written by Richard Blinkal <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hunger no love . . . woman . . . or wealth could satisfy!


Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

December 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


George Cukor was originally assigned to direct, but was fired because Darryl F. Zanuck did not care for his more literal interpretation of the novel. See more »


When Tyrone Power is getting the invitation from Elsa Lancaster, the lighting from the front right casts the actors' shadows on the wall as they walk to the window. As Tyrone Power exits through the window, the shadow of a woman's head appears on the wall. See more »


Larry Darrell: If I ever acquire wisdom, I suppose I'll be wise enough to know what to do with it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the screenplay credits are shown, a curious symbol appears near W. Somerset Maugham's name. It's a symbol meant to ward off the evil eye, and it more often than not appeared on the covers of many of Maugham's novels. See more »


Referenced in It's a Grand Old Nag (1947) See more »


I'll See You in My Dreams
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Isham Jones
Played as dance music at the dinner party
See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliantly cinematic adaptation in the grand Hollywood style
31 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

I discovered this movie only recently and have watched it three times in the last two months. It's the kind of movie that rewards repeated viewings. The story, as others have commented, is moving and inspiring and way ahead of its time, dealing as it does with topics (the philosophical/spiritual quest for meaning in life, alcoholism, psychic healing, class divisions, post-war trauma, greed vs. self sacrifice) that one would expect in a movie taking place in the nineteen sixties rather than one taking place immediately following World War I. It offers the pleasure of Hollywood glamour of a very high order with one spectacular set-piece after another. Over and over, one is amazed at the staging of scenes set at balls, restaurants, night-clubs, Paris streets, factories, etc. Many jaw-dropping, pre-steadycam long takes involve the choreography of dozens of elements, e.g. one long take outside a Paris railway station, or another crane shot in a Paris night club as the camera searches the crowd for the protagonists. Everyone involved with the film seems to be working at his or her peak, from director Goulding to composer Alfred Newman, to all the perfectly cast actors. The screenplay is filled with brilliant cinematic story-telling devices (ironic voice-overs, montage sequences, foreshadowings, symbolism (the use of water and the ocean in so many scenes)that keep a long and complex story moving so smoothly that the two-hour-plus running time is hardly noticed at all. The cinematography by someone named Arthur Miller is gorgeous with lighting effects and moving camerawork that rank in the pantheon of Hollywood's visual creations. This is a great film.

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