The Razor’s Edge


razorsedge46In 1919, WWI veteran Larry Darrell (Tyrone Power) comes to a party in Chicago and tells his fiancé (Gene Tierney) that he intends to go to Paris and just loaf around; she’s far from thrilled. The first adaptation of a novel famed for having introduced Eastern philosophy to Western readers is long but solid, directed by a man who knew his melodramas well. The story addresses a sense of loss and bewilderment after the war and the shallowness of the wealthy; love is both a curse and a salvation. Well told, witty and entertaining, even though the central character becomes less interesting after a while. Good performances by Tierney, Anne Baxter and Clifton Webb.

1946-U.S. 146 min. B/W. Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. Directed by Edmund Goulding. Screenplay: Lamar Trotti. Novel: W. Somerset Maugham. Cast: Tyrone Power (Larry Darrell), Gene Tierney (Isabel Bradley), John Payne (Gray Maturin), Anne Baxter, Clifton Webb, Herbert Marshall… Elsa Lanchester.

Trivia: George Cukor was allegedly considered as director; Betty Grable and Judy Garland as Sophie. Remade as The Razor’s Edge (1984).

Quote: “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.” (Webb discussing Power)

Oscar: Best Supporting Actress (Baxter). Golden Globes: Best Supporting Actor (Webb), Supporting Actress (Baxter).

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