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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 6 August 2005
The newly released DVD of 20th Century Fox's production of W. Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge" is a cinematic treasure. The direction by Edmond Goulding is top notch and captures the glamour and decadence of post World War I Paris in glittering perfection. Much praise must go to the art and set direction by Richard Day and Nathan Juran. Over 80 sets were constructed; some only glimpsed for a few moments evoke the period and splendor of the time and place. The production values of this picture are of the highest quality of this, Fox's "Important Picture for 1946".Goulding was famous for long takes and he is aided by the brilliant cinematographer Arthur C. Miller. The score by Alfred Newman is magnificent though surprisingly sparse for a film from the 1940's His use of source music and songs of the period help to inform the viewer of character and mood. His main theme is majestic and stirring and its reprise at the end is something near to epic played against a close-up of Tyrone Power and dissolves into the crashing waves against a tramp steamer.
Though a little too old and too handsome for the role of Larry Darell Tyrone Power, turns in a beautifully felt performance of a man in search for himself and his place in the world. A very modern and complex idea for the 1940's involving a trip to India and consultations with a guru. Gene Tierney is perfect as the woman who loves him and will stop at nothing to get him. This underrated beauty gives one of her best performances in an unsympathetic role. Anne Baxter, who won her Oscar as Sophie, is at times touching, real and yet manages to chew her share of the scenery toward the end of the picture. She is just plain fun to watch. But the picture is completely stolen by the wonderful, prissy and perfect performance of Clifton Web. His bravery as an actor in his last scene when he cries "There are going to be fireworks" is to be applauded. He perfectly captures the futile collapse of a shallow man as not many in Hollywood at that time might have dared.
There is one scene that epitomizes the skill and craft of film making in the end of the golden age and that is the chapter on the DVD entitled "Last Fling". All the powers of the actors, director, cinematographer, set designers, lighting technicians, and composer come together in this nearly silent montage and the subsequent scene at dawn in Tierney's Paris apartment. Larry's and Isabel's night on the town moves through a sumptuous Paris nightclub, to a Russian restaurant, and on to a hot jazz club where a fist fight ensues. Watch the extras in this scene. They are the stars here and each have a tale to tell in there brief moments on screen. I was reminded of Scorsese's Coconut Grove scenes in "The Aviator" by this impeccably directed montage and wondered if it had in fact influence him being the film historian he is.
But the best is yet to come, upon arriving home Isabel and Larry move through a brilliantly choreographed scene that leads up to a kiss and then a rejection. There is no dialog, only the pantomime of the actors and the accompaniment of the musical score. In this we learn all we need to of her motives and desire and his reaction and acceptance. It is very sexy and intense and the only bit of clothing that is lost is her shawl. It is brilliant and movie storytelling at its best.
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on 17 March 2013
The Razor's Edge is one of my favourite novels. I think this book lends itself to a mini series rather than a movie where it can explore character development in depth. This 1946 movie version was well made with a very good cast. It does a pretty good job of capturing the essence of the book but I would have liked it to explore more about the character of Larry as it is in the book. Still, it is worth a look. The cast do a very good job on the whole and the production values are high. Warning! Above all avoid the version made in the 1980's by Bill Murray. It's God awful!
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on 20 April 2015
I enjoyed every minute of this, and - and this is quite something - so did my wife. Running to just over 1¼ hours, the film keeps up a great pace, and involves the viewer intensely in the unfolding dramas that affect not just the main player (Larry Darrell, played consummately well by Tyrone Power), but also those through whose circles he moves, including Isobel (portrayed in a stellar performance by Gene Tierney), her uncle Elliott (played brilliantly by Clifton Webb), and Sophie (played by Anne Baxter, whose performance won her an Oscar). For a sojourn in glittering society in Chicago, Paris and the Riviera, all between the two world wars, with visits also to the high Himalayas and to low-life Paris dives, as Larry seeks a meaning to his post-WW1 life, this 1946 film is a worthy representation of W. Somerset Maugham's best-selling novel.
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on 16 February 2016
I watched this wonderful film immediately! I have not seen it for years and always meant to own a copy of it as I was very impressed by it. It is a long and thought-provoking film - very entertaining. The actors are marvellous, as is the script. I am delighted to own it. Great value for money too.
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on 22 June 2015
Wonderful film a real classic and a must have for anyone loving the old type film with great actors. A film about love, kindness and wonderful performances from Anne Baxter and Clifton Webb along with Tyrone Power. Eileen d
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 October 2011
20th Century Fox presents "THE RAZOR'S EDGE" (1946 145 min/B&W) -- Starring: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne, Anne Baxter, Clifton Webb & Herbert Marshall

Directed by Edmund Goulding

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 woman 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.

The Razor's Edge was based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham, who appears on screen in the form of Herbert Marshall. The film re-teamed Tierney and Webb two years after their appearance together in Laura (1944)

The Razor's Edge garnered an Oscar win for Anne Baxter and nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Clifton Webb) and B&W Art Direction.

1. Edmund Goulding Director)
Date of Birth: 20 March 1891 - Feltham, Middlesex, England, UK
Date of Death: 24 December 1959 - Los Angeles, California

2. Tyrone Power
Date of Birth: 5 May 1914 - Cincinnati, Ohio
Date of Death: 15 November 1958 - Madrid, Spain

3. Gene Tierney
Date of Birth: 19 November 1920 - Brooklyn, New York
Date of Death: 6 November 1991 - Houston, Texas

4. John Payne
Date of Birth: 28 May 1912 - Roanoke, Virginia
Date of Death: 6 December 1989 - Malibu, California

5. Anne Baxter
Date of Birth: 7 May 1923 - Michigan City, Indiana
Date of Death: 12 December 1985 - New York City, New York

6. Clifton Webb [aka: Webb Parmalee Hollenbeck]
Date of Birth: 19 November 1889 - Indianapolis, Indiana
Date of Death: 13 October 1966 - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

7. Herbert Marshall
Date of Birth: 23 May 1890 - London, England, UK
Date of Death: 22 January 1966 - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 145 min on DVD ~ 20th Century Fox ~ (May 24, 2005)
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on 2 June 2014
In my opinion, this is the original and best rendition of Somerset Maughm's acclaimed spiritual classic. It stars Tyrone Power in the role of Larry Darrell, an American pilot, who traumatised by his war time experiences, rejects the comfortable material world of his fiancée in search of enlightenment. A must for students of the Perennial Philosophy, it contains scenes and dialogue which, true to the novel, stay in the mind for years.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1
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on 27 February 2016
One of the greatest films ever made, this wonderful adaptation of the Maugham classic, is a privilege to watch. Ty Power and Gene Tierney are perhaps the most beautiful actors ever to grace the screen, and the supporting cast is excellent especially Herbert Marshall, Clifton Webb and the Oscar-Winning Anne Baxter.
This film has been described by a few critics as "pretentious". I view it as full of depth and meaning----as well as simply wonderful entertainment.
Highly recommended as one of the 30 or 40 Best Films in cinema history.
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VINE VOICEon 29 April 2003
In 1946 this movie won the Academy award for best supporting actress "Anne Baxter." There is an all star cast including Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney. With all the star power the actors did not outshine the characters they were portraying. I will always thing that Somerset Maugham looks like Herbert Marshall. The screenplay by Lamar Trotti stuck close to the book and message of W. Somerset Maugham. A few adventures were compressed and maybe an improvement as far as this media goes. Tyrone Power ...Larry Darrell did get to do some things that were acts of W. Somerset Maugham in the book and it was difficult to imagine Gene Tierney ...Isabel Bradley was supposed to be a pudgy child. Over all this is a story of different people from different backgrounds and how they deal with adversity. The main character has to figure out in his mind, why someone else died to save his life at the very end of the war? Does he figure it out?
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on 6 May 2016
Not to everybody's taste but I like this film although what exactly Tyrone Power learns from his period
of meditation is difficult to fathom.Marshall and Tieney [two vastly underrated performers] excellent as ever
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