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The Razor's Edge (1946) Poster

Trivia

The traditional Twentieth Century Fox opening fanfare theme was not used in this film.
Fox purchased the screen rights to the novel in March 1945 for $250,000 plus 20% of the net profits. To avoid another $50,000 specified in the contract if the principle photography was not started by 2 February 1946, producer Darryl F. Zanuck provided for location shooting in the mountains around Denver, Colorado (the Himalayas in the film) in August 1945. The cast had not yet been set, so the character of Larry was played by a double and seen only in long-shot. Zanuck hoped to get Tyrone Power to star and delayed casting until Power was released from military service in Januay 1946.
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The wedding dress Oleg Cassini designed for Gene Tierney and worn by her was actually designed for their wedding in 1941. It was never made since they eloped. After filming, Gene Tierney's stand-in Kay Adell Stork wore it at her own wedding.
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W. Somerset Maugham was hired to write a screenplay, which is still on file in studio records. It is uncertain how much of his version, if any, was used in the final script.
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Gene Tierney was W. Somerset Maugham's original choice for Isabel but Zanuck cast Maureen O'Hara instead. According to O'Hara, Darryl F. Zanuck told her to keep it a secret but she told Linda Darnell. Zanuck found out, fired O'Hara, and hired Tierney.
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Christopher Isherwood and Henry Cannon are considered by many Maugham biographers to be the inspiration for the characters of Larry Darrell and Elliott Templeton.
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The Breen Office requested a translation of the Russian lyrics sung during the nightclub scene in case they contained a subversive or salacious message.
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When filming the hospital scene, Anne Baxter drew upon an experience from her childhood, when she lost her three-year-old brother. Speaking of it years later, she said the scene was the best in her career, and still gave her chills.
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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.
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Betty Grable and Judy Garland were considered for the role of Sophie but both turned it down as too depressing.
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89 different sets were built for the film, which had the longest shooting schedule for any film at the studio to that date. According to some news items, the film broke all previous studio box office records.
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Like Larry Darrell, the character he played, Tyrone Power also served as a pilot during the war. Power served in World War II as a Marine airman, rising from the rank of private to first lieutenant.
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The bittersweet song, "Mam'selle", was introduced in this film, and became one of the biggest hits of 1947.
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After his stint in the Marines during WWII, Tyrone Power wanted to tackle meatier roles. This was one of his first upon his return to Hollywood.
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Alec Knox, Anne Revere, Marcel Dalio and Philip Merivale (who was actually born in India) were earlier choices for the roles played by Herbert Marshall, Elsa Lanchester, Robert Barron, and Cecil Humphreys.
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Although Fox did not use W. Somerset Maugham's screen adaptation of his own novel, it felt it owed the author something. George Cukor suggested giving him a fine modern painting, which the director later recalled was a Matisse.
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Edmund Goulding was a director actors either loved or hated. He had a habit of asking to "be" the actor to get what he wanted. In her autobiography, Gene Tierney relates exactly how Goulding did it: "When he wanted to describe to you how a particular scene should be played, he would step in front of the camera and say, 'May I be you?' Then he would promptly act out the entire scene." Tierney found it delightful and even wrote, "I don't recall a set where there was more cheerfulness." Others, like Clifton Webb, adamantly disagreed, remarking, "He had everybody entranced but me, and I'm afraid I remained cold to this type of thing to the very end."
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Tyrone Power y got along well with Edmund Goulding. He later remarked that Goulding was his personal favourite even after Goulding made a strange request of him on the set. To capture the essence and mindset of Larry Darrell, the film's protagonist, Goulding asked Power not to have sexual relations until after the scenes with the Yogi in the east had been shot. Power happily agreed and later said, "I know by personal experience that in nothing are the wise men of India more dead right than in their contention that chastity intensely enhances the power of the spirit." Later, when Power found out Goulding asked this of all his leading men as a way of achieving a certain look, he broke into laughter.
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Tyrone Power got along well with Gene Tierney. In the movie, her character falls for his, but on the set, it was Power who fell for Tierney. As soon as this was noticed, rumours began to fly that the two were romantically involved in real life. After the premier, Power brought her a scarf with the word "Love" embroidered on it as a gift and she had to tell him she was seeing John F. Kennedy, one of the sons of Joseph Kennedy, still years away from his political victories in the U.S. Senate and the Presidency. Power understood and made no more advances. Tierney's own husband, Oleg Cassini, was working on the movie too, designing her dresses but the two had already decided to divorce and there was no tension between them at any point during the shoot.
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Anne Baxter had to leave the set for several weeks and when she returned found she felt like an outsider, everyone else having developed working relationships in her absence. She liked this and used it, since her character Sophie is also on the outs and not able to cope with the loss of her husband and child.
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After principal shooting, Darryl F. Zanuck took over, instructing editor J. Watson Webb Jr. on what to cut and how to cut it. The Fox mogul took control of post-production like few producers today and directors working with him understood, implicitly, that once the principal photography was done, the movie was out of their hands. It wasn't a bad deal, as Zanuck had a good feel for pacing and the final result, coming in at almost two and half hours, moves along at an easy pace. It wasn't the Oscar® hit Zanuck wanted, but it was a box office success all the same, with almost everyone who worked on it, even Clifton Webb, expressing delight with their experience.
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Fox purchased the screen rights to the novel in March 1945 for an advance of $50,000, plus 20% of the net profits derived from the motion picture.
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W. Somerset Maugham's contract stipulated that unless principle photography was begun by February 2, 1946, the studio would have to pay the author an additional $50,000. Location shooting began in Denver in August 1945, thus meeting the terms of the contract.
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Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland were being considered for the role of Isabel.
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According to studio publicity materials, the production cost around $4,000,000 to film, used eighty-nine different sets and enjoyed the longest shooting schedule in the studio's history to date.
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According to a studio publicity item, the wedding gown worn by Gene Tierney in the picture was based on a sketch that Oleg Cassini had made for his and Tierney's wedding. The couple eloped, however, and so the dress was never made until the production of this film.
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Darryl F. Zanuck experienced conflicts with the PCA over the depiction of alcoholism in the film. In materials contained in the PAA/PCA files at the AMPAS Library, Zanuck argued in a April 1, 1946 letter to Joseph I. Breen that he could not comply with any of the requests to eliminate drinking from the picture because "alcoholism is the basic foundation of out plot."
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Darryl F. Zanuck wrote thirty-seven additional scenes for the picture.
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Nancy Guild originally considered to play Sophie.
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Darryl F. Zanuck suggested Anne Revere for the part of Miss Keith, Glenn Langan for Gray, and Mark Stevens for Bob MacDonald.
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Anabel Shaw was offered the role of Sophie. Bonita Granville was about to be cast when Anne Baxter asked to try out for the part.
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Philip Merivale was set to play the holy man, but he died seventeen days before the start of production.
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Although a December 1945 studio publicity item states that Marcel Dalio was to play a French police inspector, he does not appear in the released film.
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Orry-Kelly was originally to design the costumes for the picture.
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Although various Hollywood Reporter news items add Jamiel Hasson to the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Roman Bohnen was also mentioned in a Hollywood Reporter news item, but he was not in the film.
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A July 1946 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that the film incorporated footage excerpted from a photographic expedition shot by the Bombay Film Co. in the Himalayan mountains.
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The film broke all previous Fox box office records.
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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.
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