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The Razor's Edge (1946)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 25 December 1946 (USA)
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.

Director:

Edmund Goulding

Writers:

Lamar Trotti (screen play), W. Somerset Maugham (from the novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tyrone Power ... Larry Darrell
Gene Tierney ... Isabel Bradley
John Payne ... Gray Maturin
Anne Baxter ... Sophie MacDonald
Clifton Webb ... Elliott Templeton
Herbert Marshall ... W. Somerset Maugham
Lucile Watson ... Louisa Bradley
Frank Latimore ... Bob MacDonald
Elsa Lanchester ... Miss Keith
Fritz Kortner ... Kosti
John Wengraf ... Joseph - Butler
Cecil Humphreys Cecil Humphreys ... Holy Man
Harry Pilcer ... Specialty Dancer
Cobina Wright Sr. Cobina Wright Sr. ... Princess Novemali
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Storyline

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 <phelam@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Theirs was a love hunger no earthly love could satisfy! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

25 December 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge See more »

Filming Locations:

Denver, Colorado, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tyrone Power got along well with Edmund Goulding. He later remarked that Goulding was his personal favorite 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. See more »

Goofs

When Tyrone Power is getting the invitation from Elsa Lancaster, the lighting from the front right casts the actors' shadows on the wall as they walk to the window. As Tyrone Power exits through the window, the shadow of a woman's head appears on the wall. See more »

Quotes

Isabel Bradley: You think you're very clever.
Elliott Templeton: I don't think it. I know it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Featured in The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

April Showers
(1921) (uncredited)
Music by Louis Silvers
Played as dance music at the dinner party
See more »

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User Reviews

Best of the best!
17 December 2002 | by guil12See all my reviews

This has got to be one of my favorite films of all. It ranks in my books up there with PLACE IN THE SUN, REAP THE WILD WIND and THE HURRICANE.

Made in the 40s by 20th Century Fox and Producer Darryl F. Zanuck, it stars Tyrone Power as Larry Farrell, a man on a journey to find the values of life. This fascinating journey takes him all over the world until he reaches a summit in India and there he meets a Holy Man, superbly played by Cecil Humphreys, who helps him understand his questions and then sends him back to the real world where he must then take his place in life. Based on the 1943 book of the same name, by W. Somerset Maugham, it does the story justice with the help of Lamar Trotti in transferring it to the screen. I read the book before seeing the film and was not disappointed. Congratulations also goes to director, Edmound Goulding for bringing the truth of the book to life.

Other noteworthy performances were delivered by the lovely Gene Tierney, as Isabel, again in Cassini dresses, and yet another co-starring Tyrone Power film; John Payne, as Gray, in a different type of role as Miss Tierney's husband, Anne Baxter, as the doomed Sophie, in her Academy Award performance, and was she excellent, Clifton Webb as Elliott Templeton, another of Webb's limp-wristed performances and another Academy Award nomination. Herbert Marshall as Maugham himself. Did anyone get the "gay" relationship between he and Templeton? Then there's Lucile Watson, Frank Gilmore and the delightful Elsa Lanchester in supporting roles. I liked Fritz Kortner as Kosti, the de-frocked priest Larry meets at a bar when he is working the mines.

Ray Dorey along with Alfred Newman wrote the theme song "Mam'selle" for the film. This is the best of the times. You can't get better. Power was superb in this. He was an underrated actor because he was such a handsome man. Yet, his abilities as an actor were terrific. He brought the intelligence of Maugham's writing to focus. Miss Baxter showed you the stuff good performers are made of with her shaded performance in this film. Also watch Marshall's reactions. His eyes are fantastic. They way his looks go from actor to actor. And look for the gay undertones between he and Clifton Webb as the eccentric uncle who delves in the upper crust life. Even to the extreme of having a coat of arms embroidered on his underwear. In the final minutes of the film Marshall speaks to Isabel after Larry leaves her for good, saying, "Goodness is, after all, the greatest force in the world . . .and he's got it." This speaks for the film and it's greatness. I think Marshall should have been nominated for his underplayed performance. He is credited with many fine roles in his career. See this classic. It's on VHS. Not to be confused with the pale remake with Bill Murray.


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