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.


John Byrum


W. Somerset Maugham (novel), John Byrum (screenplay) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Murray ... Larry Darrell
Theresa Russell ... Sophie MacDonald
Catherine Hicks ... Isabel Bradley
Denholm Elliott ... Elliott Templeton
James Keach ... Gray Maturin
Peter Vaughan ... Mackenzie
Brian Doyle-Murray ... Piedmont
Stephen Davies ... Malcolm
Saeed Jaffrey ... Raaz
Faith Brook ... Louisa Bradley (Isabel's mother)
André Maranne ... Joseph, the Butler (as Andre Maranne)
Bruce Boa ... Henry Maturin
Serge Feuillard ... Coco
Joris Stuyck 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:

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Did You Know?


Columbia executives wanted the film to take place in modern times, but Murray insisted that the film stay true to the novel, and be a period piece. In a 1993 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Murray admitted "I was wrong, and they were right." See more »


There is ice and snow in the mountains, but you can't see anyone's breath. See more »


Larry Darrell: You just don't get it.
See more »


Referenced in Portlandia: Pickathon (2016) See more »

User Reviews

Very enjoyable film - good pace/feel/look/ideas.
14 May 2004 | by moore104See all my reviews

"The Razor's Edge" is based on a novel of the same title.

"The Razor's Edge" takes place over at least a decade, moving from the midwestern U.S to WWI in Europe to Paris and what might be Tibet and back to Paris again. It's a nice film to look at, as the period and place production really sucks one into the story, and has what I thought of as a cozy pacing, but what some might think drags on a little (it was a great, alone-on-a-rainy-Sunday, laying-on-the-couch rental for me).

The film does a good job of playing ideas with scenes, and playing the ideas/scenes off of seemingly drastically different ones, from the barren emptiness of a battlefield to the uplifting emptiness of the Himalayas, to the warm loneliness of a Paris café, to the cold loneliness of a rich man's death bed.

This is obviously a true labor of love for Bill Murray. He nails his character and the ideas the script attempts to channel through his character's development. Hopefully, now that somehow people can "accept" Bill Murray as not "just" an overtly comedic actor (with the success of "Lost in Translation") people will be more open to enjoying this very good film.

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Release Date:

19 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Razor's Edge See more »

Filming Locations:

Belgium See more »


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,411,311, 21 October 1984

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)


Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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