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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John G. Adolfi
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.
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 <email@example.com>
In the sequence set on the Riviera, Maugham says that he is staying at his "cottage" at Cap-Ferrat. This was an inside joke. For the past twenty years Maugham had owned the Villa Mauresque, no cottage but a huge and palatial home, set in sizable grounds, where he entertained royalty and high society. See more »
After a promising beginning, in which the clothes and hairstyles of 1919 are pleasantly and reasonably accurately interpreted, as soon as it gets to 1920, then on to 1930, and beyond, Gene Tierney's hairstyle is in an unchanging, although very attractive, 1946 mode, and all of her clothes, designed by husband Oleg Cassini, except for lower hemlines, are strictly 1946, complete with the ubiquitous shoulder pads of that era. Anne Baxter's ensembles look more like Tierney/Cassini rejects, an unhappy compromise between opposing styles. See more »
[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.
[Referring to the turning down of the invitations]
Maybe he just didn't want to.
That's the most incredible reason for refusing an invitation I've ever heard in my life.
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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 »
This film, and the book on which it is based, made strong impressions on me in my youth, but even more so now that I am past middle age. A magnificent cast - Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Anne Baxter, Clifton Webb, John Payne, Herbert Marshall, help to tell the story of a man who walks "in another man's shoes" -- and totally to his own drummer -- after the first world war. In his quest for spirituality and goodness, he is at odds with the materialism and obsession around him. The different layers of "The Razor's Edge" demand attention: Larry's physical desire for Isabel, a woman it turns out he doesn't even know; Isabel's cold-heartedness and desire to possess Larry; and Larry's search for the meaning of life, while the people he loves disintegrate around him from lack of values or hope. These are all seen through the eyes of Somerset Maugham, played by Marshall. Larry's final confrontation scene with Isabel (Tierney) about Sophie (Baxter) is bone-chilling -- Power, who had a tendency to be sometimes stiff and a bit removed from his material, uses that flaw to excellent advantage as Larry Darrell. It's not a showy role, but he's wonderful, and he's reading of poetry in Sophie's room is unforgettable.
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