The Razor's Edge

( 4 )


After several years' service with the Marines in World War II, Tyrone Power made his much anticipated return to the screen in The Razor's Edge. Power is appropriately cast as disillusioned World War I vet Larry Darrell, who returns from hostilities questioning his old values. To find himself, Larry joins several other members of the Lost Generation in Paris. He is disillusioned once more when the society deb whom he loves, Isabel Bradley Gene Tierney, marries another for wealth and position. She returns to ...
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After several years' service with the Marines in World War II, Tyrone Power made his much anticipated return to the screen in The Razor's Edge. Power is appropriately cast as disillusioned World War I vet Larry Darrell, who returns from hostilities questioning his old values. To find himself, Larry joins several other members of the Lost Generation in Paris. He is disillusioned once more when the society deb whom he loves, Isabel Bradley Gene Tierney, marries another for wealth and position. She returns to Larry's life to break up his romance with unstable, alcoholic Sophie MacDonald Anne Baxter in a powerhouse Oscar-winning performance. After Sophie's death, Larry determines that the life offered him by Isabel is not to his liking, and continues seeking his true place in the scheme of things. Acting as a respite between the plot's various intrigues is Clifton Webb as a waspish social arbiter, who ends up a lonely, dying man, imperiously dictating arrangements for his own funeral. The Razor's Edge was based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham, who appears onscreen in the form of Herbert Marshall. The film would be remade in 1984, with Bill Murray in the Tyrone Power role. This film re-teamed Tierney and Webb two years after their appearance together in Laura.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by film historians Anthony Slide and Robert Birchard; Movietone news footage ("Honoring Somerset Maugham's Book," film premiere and Oscar presentations); Full frame format (aspect ratio: 1.33:1); Audio: English stereo, English mono, Spanish mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge becomes Edmund Goulding's The Razor's Edge in this sprawling, opulent production -- and that is not a bad thing, as the novel lent itself to that sort of treatment, with a rich array of characters and settings. And Goulding may have been exactly the right director -- given his history with Grand Hotel -- to bring such a story to the screen, especially as he got powerful performances out of his entire cast. Tyrone Power, with a great deal to prove in his first post-war role, lives up to expectations and then some, with Clifton Webb, Gene Tierney, Anne Baxter, John Payne, and Herbert Marshall (as Maugham close behind -- and even those in the smaller roles (most notably Fritz Kortner as a defrocked priest) rise to the occasion in stunning fashion. The cinematography and music are also lush in the extreme, and the entire work would be overwhelming if Goulding didn't keep things moving at a good clip. Ultimately, the 146 minute movie is an amazing balancing act that comes off in all departments -- the kind of high-toned, highly literary work that Hollywood usually seemed to do more reliably in the silent era.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/24/2005
  • UPC: 024543172383
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Repackaged / Full Frame
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:25:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 12,155

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Demetrius Alexis Abbe
Tyrone Power Larry Darrell
Gene Tierney Isabel Bradley
Walter Bonn Butler
John Payne Gray Maturin
Anne Baxter Sophie MacDonald
Eugene Borden Sea Captain
Clifton Webb Elliott Templeton
Renee Carson Sophie's Friend
Herbert Marshall Somerset Maugham
André Charlot Bishop
Noel Cravat Russian Singer
Jean de Briac Lawyer
Ray DeRavenne Bartender
Jean del Val Police Clerk
Cecil Humphreys Holy Man
Fritz Kortner Kosti
Isabelle Lamore Maid
Elsa Lanchester Miss Keith
Frank Latimore Bob MacDonald
Henri Letondal Police Inspector
Frances Morris Nurse
Forbes Murray Mr. Maturin
Albert Petit Albert
Harry Pilcer Specialty Dancer
Lucile Watson Mrs. Louise Bradley
John Wengraf Joseph
Cobina Wright Sr. Princess Novemali
Dorothy Abbott
Frank Arnold
Louis Bacigalupi Miner
Patti Behrs Guest
Mary Brewer
Marcel dela Brosse Conductor
Mme. Louise Colombet Concierge's Wife
Eddie Das Hindu
George Davis Concierge
Juan Duval
Fred Farrell
Bess Flowers Matron
Sol (Saul) Gorss Drunk
Greta Granstedt Hospital Telephone Operator
Hassan Khayyam Hindu
Louis Mercier Little Frenchman
Mayo Newhall Kibitzer
Barry Norton Escort of Princess
Peggy O'Neill
Albert Pollet Man
Frances Ray Trollop
Richard Shaw Intern
George Sorel French Surete Man
Adele St. Maur Nurse
Hermine Sterler Nurse
Blanche Taylor
Roger Valmy Coco
Marek Windheim Waiter
Bud Wolfe Corsican
Technical Credits
Edmund Goulding Director
Oleg Cassini Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Day Art Director
Paul S. Fox Set Decoration/Design
Mack Gordon Songwriter
Nathan Juran Art Director
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
W. Somerset Maugham Source Author
Arthur C. Miller Cinematographer
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Harry Pilcer Choreography
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Lamar Trotti Screenwriter
J. Watson Webb Jr. Editor
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [1:34]
2. Dinner Party [6:31]
3. Ripples [3:17]
4. Survivor Guilt [4:55]
5. Checklist [2:02]
6. A Visit to Paris [3:44]
7. Asking Too Much [4:30]
8. Last Fling [4:59]
9. The Inevitable [:13]
10. Running From God [8:42]
11. Razor's Edge [:34]
12. Tragic Accident [4:49]
13. Infinite Beauty [5:11]
14. Catching Up [:47]
15. Healing Powers [5:12]
16. Slumming [3:23]
17. Lapsed Purity [5:00]
18. Phone Call [1:37]
19. Noble Sacrifice [5:47]
20. At the Ritz [6:07]
21. Temptation [:11]
22. The Search [1:43]
23. Sophie's Death [8:46]
24. Slighted [2:38]
25. RSVP Regrets [2:09]
26. Second Chances [5:21]
27. Awful Truth [2:13]
28. Goodness/End Titles [2:15]
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Side #1 --
   Language Selection
      Languages: English Mono
      Languages: English Stereo
      Languages: Spanish Mono
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
      Commentary by Anthony Slide and Rob Birchard
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Commentary by Anthony Slide and Rob Birchard: On
      Commentary by Anthony Slide and Rob Birchard: Off
      Fox Movietone News: Somerset Maugham's Book "The Razor's Edge" Is Honored
      Fox Movietone News: Along Broadway
      Fox Movietone News: Motion Picture Academy Awards "Oscars" for Film Achievements
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A great movie if you read the book.

    Reading of the book is a great aid as the movie stays along the story line, I recommend this one over the remake of the Razor Edge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2003

    A faithful adaptation of Somerset Maugham's novel

    Somerset Maugham had no peer in describing the human condition in painstaking detail as anyone who has read The Razor's Edge or Of Human Bondage will attest. He is an author who is an expert in pacing and tone. Therein lies the challenge for anyone wishing to turn one of his books into a film. It is in this regard that Director Edmund Gouulding really shines. He manages to take the tone and pacing of the novel and translate it to the screen. Much of Maugham's work focuses on the human condition from the inside, so it is quite a feat to take the thoughts of the protagonist and make those thoughts come alive on screen without narration or explanatory dialogue, but he makes it happen. Tyrone Power plays the lead character, Larry Darrell, a World War I vet who has his life saved by another man who ends up dying in the attempt. Darrell, profoundly affected by this man's selfless act, can not stop wondering and searching for the reasons he has been allowed to live and what he is supposed to do with his life. No doubt that Power was probably as popoular a star as Hollywood had at the time and this role was his first after a stint in the Army during WWII, and we all realize that while Power was a very handsome man and probably a joy to photograph, he wasn't much of an actor. More of an action star really, who overacts terribly later on in the classic Witness for the Prosecution. But this film is probably his finest role. While not gifted as an actor, Power does his best to play the role with the restraint the role requires and he most definitely carriees himself with the air of a true movie star. At times he looks like a blank slate and one wonders what a James Dean might have done with the role if he had been around at the time, but Power was a child of the Hollywood studio system - there were no method actors around yet - so it may be a bit unfair to critisize him. You can't help but wonder if the balnks looks are part of the role or if he really just didn't know what expression to give the character. It's a tough role, not very glamorous, very internal,and with his limitations as an actor, he manages to pull it off. Gene Tierney, beautiful as ever, plays the cunning Isabelle, out for money above all else, consumed with status, privilege and lifestyle. My hat's off to her, she in no way tries to turn Isabelle into a sympathetic character. She plays it straight forward and lets you see the charater as, I believe, Maugham intended. If you have any doubt about her range as an actress, watch her in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and then watch her here. She goes completely from one end of the spectrum to the other. Clifton Webb is always excellent, and seems to do the same kind of acting as did Cary Grant or John Wayne - that is to say, that in no matter what role they play, they are always playing their film persona. Cary Grant is always Cary Grant, John Wayne is always John Wayne and Webb is always Webb. That's not to say that they can't act, just that in every role they play, their movie star imagine is not far from the surface. Webb does a tremendous job of turning an utter hypocrite into someone we actually feel sorry for. His deathbed scene near the end is right-on and delivers the emotional impact lesser actors would have not have been able to deliver. His film character transcends the character from the book. Few people ever comment on John Payne, an actor perhaps best known for playing Fred, the lawyer that defends Santa Clause in Miracle on 34th Street, but he turns in his usual sturdy peformance as a nice guy who's circumstances have gotten a bit out of control. Payne's character is the son of a Wall Street speculator who goes bankrupt in the panic that followed WWI, and now must try to find a way to earn enough money to satisfy Isabelle, who clearly is only interested in Larry, saving face and maintaining her lifestyle. The story's real jumping-off point occurs when Larry returns from t

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2010

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    Posted May 2, 2009

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