7.5/10
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The Razor's Edge (1946)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 25 December 1946 (USA)
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.

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(screen play), (from the novel by)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Fritz Kortner ...
Kosti
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Joseph - Butler
Cecil Humphreys ...
Holy Man
Harry Pilcer ...
Specialty Dancer
Cobina Wright Sr. ...
Princess Novemali
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Storyline

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 <phelam@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 December 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tyrone Power hadn't been cast when the Colorado (doubling for The Himalayas) scenes were filmed. The stars had not yet been cast; Larry Darrell was played by a stand-in and was filmed in extreme long shot. See more »

Goofs

At 1:17:13, the way Gray holds the coin changes. See more »

Quotes

Elliott Templeton: [Recounting a series of rejected invitations] And then when I asked him to dinner, he said he couldn't come because he had no evening clothes. If I live to be a hundred I shall never understand how any young man can come to Paris without evening clothes.
Louisa Bradley: [Referring to the turning down of the invitations] Maybe he just didn't want to.
Elliott Templeton: That's the most incredible reason for refusing an invitation I've ever heard in my life.
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 »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

April Showers
(1921) (uncredited)
Music by Louis Silvers
Played as dance music at the dinner party
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant script. Strong acting. Sensational Gene Tierney
7 March 2002 | by (Padova, Italy) – See all my reviews

"The razor's edge" has outstanding merits and, unfortunately, remarkable defects. Balancing the ones and the others, it stands as a sound, beautiful instance of classic movie.

The story, based on Somerset Maugham's novel, is certainly original, although some twists of the plot are hardly believable, others are naive and predictable. The spiritual quest by Larry (Tyrone Power) is an interesting theme. However, his yearning for living among workers and poor people is far-fetched, and fails to be touching. The director's job is just adequate. The cardboard backdrops are awful! The scenes placed in the fake Himalaya are laughable. The representation of French people is inaccurate and too picturesque. By the way, French people NEVER spoke a foreign language in those years (in truth, not much has changed nowadays).

Fortunately enough, the merits of the movie overwhelm the flaws. The script is brilliant. A thorough psychological study of the characters is made, through lines at times dramatic, at times permeated with typical English sharp wit. A great acting is a major strength of the film. The whole cast, minor roles included, makes an excellent job. Anne Baxter deserved to win the Oscar for the best supporting actress. Gene Tierney is fantastic: her Isabel, fully believable and realistic, is the most interesting character of the movie.

Gene's acting is willingly understated, but extremely subtle and accurate. Look at the glances she flashes to the drunk Sophie (Anne Baxter) at the tavern. Look at Isabel's expression when Sophie vulgarly sits down on the table, turning her back to Isabel and flirting with Larry. We feel that a mortal hate is soaring. The clash between Isabel and Sophie is a great scene. Baxter beautifully shows Sophie's tragic weakness, But Gene's icy attitude is even more effective. After all, let's take Isabel's point of view: we realize that she's perfectly right. It's true that Sophie is a hopeless drunkard. It's true that Larry wants to marry her just as an act of pity. And Isabel fights for her love. Why shouldn't she?

Yes, Isabel is selfish, spoiled, even ruthless... and so? For all his generosity, sense of duty and so on, Larry neglected Isabel just to avoid such an enormous self-sacrifice as to take a job! And then Isabel shouts "Love me, Larry, love me!" Come on, Larry! How on the earth can you resist to such an appeal? Why aren't we audience allowed to replace you, undeservedly over-lucky fellow? Alas! Larry is "completely out of mind", as Isabel puts it. By the way, Larry's incoherences, in a world of people ever following their own way (snobbery for Elliott, comfortable wealthy life for Isabel, poised literature for Maugham, debauchery for Sophie), by no means are a flaw of the movie. They rather make a fine artistic effect, even improving the realism of the story.

And how I like the scene when Herbert Marshall as Maugham makes a detailed description of Isabel's perfect beauty, loveliness, grace (Gene-Isabel staring at him with a half-dreaming, half-mocking smile). That's a much appreciated gift for all us devoted fans of Gene Tierney.

Yes, I don't hide the defects of "The razor's edge". But it is certainly entertaining, interesting, even profound at several moments. A beautiful film.


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