7.4/10
4,941
85 user 29 critic

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)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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.

Director: John Byrum
Stars: Bill Murray, Theresa Russell, Denholm Elliott
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When an heiress finds out that the friendly young man she's met at Sun Valley is really an investigative reporter, she ruins his career by falsely claiming they're married.

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Reginald Gardiner
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Cheated out of his estate by his sadistic uncle, young Benjamin Blake goes to the South Seas to make his fortune so he can return to claim his birthright.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders
Action | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The O'Leary brothers -- honest Jack and roguish Dion -- become powerful figures, and eventually rivals, in Chicago on the eve of its Great Fire.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Although she comes from an aristocratic family, beautiful Prudence Cathaway defies convention by joining the WAAFs and becoming romantically involved with an AWOL soldier.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Fontaine, Thomas Mitchell
Johnny Apollo (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A singer becomes a star in the Ziegfeld Follies, but her marriage to a con man has a bad effect on her career.

Director: Gregory Ratoff
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Al Jolson
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A writer falls in love with a young socialite and they're soon married. But her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of them both, and everyone else around them.

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain
Crash Dive (1943)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A submarine lieutenant and his commander fall in love with the same girl.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews
Dragonwyck (1946)
Drama | Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A simple Connecticut farm girl is recruited by a distant relative, an aristocratic patroon, to be governess to his young daughter in his Hudson Valley mansion.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Vincent Price
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Blake is in love with an aristocratic woman whose husband seriously injures him. Blake's friendship with Lord Nelson provides the basis for Blake's part in the growth of Lloyd's insurance ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Madeleine Carroll, Freddie Bartholomew
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A July 1946 "Hollywood Reporter" news item notes that the film incorporated footage excerpted from a photographic expedition shot by the Bombay Film Co. in the Himalayan mountains. See more »

Goofs

At 1:17:13, the way Gray holds the coin changes. See more »

Quotes

W. Somerset Maugham: Elliott has no friends, only acquaintances.
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

Referenced in Otto; or, Up with Dead People (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Frère Jacques
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Susan Hartmann and Suzanne O'Connor
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Somerset Maugham's epic novel becomes a glossy, ambitious, ultimately flawed piece, packed with serious star wattage.
22 August 2001 | by gbrumburgh-1See all my reviews

British storyteller W(illiam) Somerset Maugham's 1944 speculative novel "The Razor's Edge," as did his earlier semi-autobiographical "Of Human Bondage," won a devoted following when it hit the book shelves, and so 20th Century-Fox wasted no time in securing the screen rights to this mammoth war-era adventure into existentialism. It was a difficult, elephantine undertaking but they somehow managed to carve out a screenplay and present the whole package within two years of the novel's first print.

Awesomely produced and directed, the resulting movie, for the most part, propels Maugham's central theme -- that there is good and bad in all human beings. The focus centers in on the long, spiritual quest of Larry Durrell, a basically virtuous individual who, surrounded by wealth, beauty and privilege, abandons his enviable but superficial trappings to pursue a more humble, meaningful life. Oddly enough, it's the superficial elements of the story and the more pretentious characters that hold up "The Razor's Edge," while the spiritual scenes grow flat and weary, often times stopping the action dead in its tracks.

In casting Tyrone Power as the protagonist, one finds THE major flaw in its presentation. Tagged as a pretty boy for most of his career, he managed to show only glimpses of dramatic aptitude from time to time ("Witness for the Prosecution" comes to mind). Earnest and utterly sincere in his approach, Power simply lacks the power (sorry) and the depth to carry off this complex, confused, anachronistic soul-searcher. His Durrell seems better suited amongst the shallow and superficial. One only wonders what a Robert Donat or Fredric March might have done with such a role.

Surrounding Power, however, is a stellar list of names that gussies up this production, and it is in them that we find the film's emotional impact. In particular, Gene Tierney offers one of her finest performances as Isabel, the grasping, captivating socialite obsessed with Durrell, who shows her true colors in the end when goodness and all else fails to win her the love of a man. Like Power, Tierney is a flawless, incredibly photogenic beauty who tended toward posturing instead of acting. Here she is allowed to capitalize on her tendency towards elegant frippery, offering a cool, intriguing portrait of a woman who can and will never have enough.

We are also blessed with the presence of Clifton Webb, the epitome of smug elegance, who is true to form here as the meticulous, wasp-tongued prig who is not use to being told "no." As in the classic "Laura," Webb is handed the film's most delicious lines as his character goes about buffering his unhappiness with scorn and witty sarcasm. He would warm over this character recipe many times in movies, but darned if you don't keep going back for second helpings. He is delightfully hateful and absolutely mesmerizing. Anne Baxter as the helpless, tragic Sophie is heart-wrenching, giving a florid, Oscar-winning performance that lingers long after the final reel. She, not Power, is the heart and ravaged soul of this piece. The hospital scene following her horrific accident will rip you apart, as will her subsequent degradation into alcohol and prostitution. Known for her flashy, theatrical roles, Baxter plays Sophie for all its worth.

John Payne is typically upright and appealing and does what he can in a rather stiff, thankless "other man" part, while suave Herbert Marshall, who, in reality, lost a leg in WWI but continued to act (often in a chair), portrays Maugham himself with customary flair.

Granted, "The Razor's Edge" is no "Lost Horizon" in the metaphysical department, but on its own it is quite admirable and engrossing entertainment. It manages to hold up exceedingly well under its great length and weight, feels only slightly dated, and prides itself with gorgeous production values and a handsome, handsome cast.


20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 85 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed