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The Razor's Edge (1984)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance, War | 19 October 1984 (USA)
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.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elliott Templeton
Gray Maturin
Louisa Bradley (Isabel's mother)
André Maranne ...
Joseph, the Butler (as Andre Maranne)
Henry Maturin
Serge Feuillard ...
Joris Stuyck ...
Bob MacDonald
Helen Horton ...
Red Cross lady


Larry Darrell returns from the battlefields of World War I to America a different person. His fiance (Isabel) resigns herself to a delay in the wedding plans when Larry heads off to Paris. There he finds he prefers a simpler existence and begins to read. One book inspires him to visit India and on to Nepal where he finds spiritual help from a lama. On returning to Paris he finds Isabel and some old friends. Everyone has changed. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of one man's search for himself.


Drama | Romance | War


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Auf Messers Schneide  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,411,311, 21 October 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Byrum and Murray wrote the screenplay over the course of 18 months while driving around the United States. See more »


[after Sophie's murder]
Larry Darrell: When Piedmont died, I had to pay him back for my life. I found out there's another debt to pay - for the privilege of being alive. I thought Sophie was my reward for trying to live a good life. Uh uh. There is no payoff - not now.
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Remake of The Razor's Edge (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

Hey, I loved it!
10 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

The remarks of the detractor in this array of reviews is confusing and confused. Look. I read Maugham's book in the late 40s and saw the Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb film. So what? This film was neither one but that's beauty of art, dudes. It doesn't have to. The Razor's Edge is an odyssey of a man in search of himself. The transit nature of life and the brutality of war turn him into a "superfluous" man, who goes off on a quest to find himself. We can inundate this issue with metaphors until the cows come home, but that's Maugham's story. Old Somerset, a closet homosexual who was a volunteer in the horrorific WW1 went through a similar transformation and in a way, this novel, which he began back in the 20s, reflects that journey. Murray takes the character of Larry Darrell into a new domain. Why shouldn't he? He's not Tyrone Power. He's a comedian who plays a tragic role straight. There is much in this film that makes it superior to the 40s version. A stronger statement of the tragedy of the entanglement of the two women and a more intense presentation of the character of Larry. I saw this film when it first aired and recalled a young high school kid remarking to a friend upon exiting, "Man, this is a totally awesome movie." I agree. Alas, the critics and comedy-addicted Murray fa ns didn't and it flopped. Pity. It is a totally awesome movie.

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