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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?


Scenes that were deleted from the final cut include:
  • Larry and a Red Cross nurse in an ambulance, drinking beer from a stolen barrel.
  • Larry reads a book in a seedy Paris café and sees a lesbian couple having a fistfight.
  • Larry and Gray go out drinking in Paris and talk about Isabel on the night before they are sent to the battlefield.
  • Larry tells Isabel about his quest as they stroll through a cathedral.
  • An alternative ending in which Larry is working in a factory and leads his fellow workers in a rendition of "Frère Jacques".
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Larry Darrell: It's very easy to love someone like you.
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Referenced in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Is Bad at Math! (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

One of my all-time faves
3 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

I was prepared to hate this movie, when I first rented it. It was a 'curiosity pick': I liked the title, I didn't have anything else in mind, and my thought was, of course, "Bill Murray!?"

It turned out to be one of my all-time favorite movies in the 'character-transformation' genre.

It's a compelling story of choices in life and how those choices affect or disaffect perceptions of that life. Murray is perfection in this role, because we seem him change from something we recognize to something quite different. It is a palpable and comprehensible transformation - the movie draws us in, it allows us to change with him.

The rest of the characters are well cast and provide definitive counterpoint to the protagonist - the bon-vivant aristocratic uncle Elliot who simply lives his life appreciatively, the unthinking and manipulative Isabel concerned only with her own comforts and social standing, the uncertain Sophie that allows her uncertainty to trap and destroy her, the practical yet contemplative Raaz who challenges Darrell's notion of things, constructively, and leads him to further his quest. Good character development, all around.

Finally, I was impressed with the faithfulness to the book. It's difficult for a movie to be that, and still be an watchable movie.

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