6.6/10
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114 user 18 critic

The Razor's Edge (1984)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance, War | 19 October 1984 (USA)
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

Writers:

W. Somerset Maugham (novel), John Byrum (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Murray ... Larry Darrell
Theresa Russell ... Sophie MacDonald
Catherine Hicks ... Isabel Bradley
Denholm Elliott ... Elliott Templeton
James Keach ... Gray Maturin
Peter Vaughan ... Mackenzie
Brian Doyle-Murray ... Piedmont
Stephen Davies ... Malcolm
Saeed Jaffrey ... Raaz
Faith Brook ... Louisa Bradley (Isabel's mother)
André Maranne André Maranne ... Joseph, the Butler (as Andre Maranne)
Bruce Boa ... Henry Maturin
Serge Feuillard Serge Feuillard ... Coco
Joris Stuyck Joris Stuyck ... Bob MacDonald
Helen Horton ... Red Cross lady
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Storyline

Larry Darrell returns from the battlefields of World War I to America a different person. His fiance (Isabel) resigns herself to a delay in the wedding plans when Larry heads off to Paris. There he finds he prefers a simpler existence and begins to read. One book inspires him to visit India and on to Nepal where he finds spiritual help from a lama. On returning to Paris he finds Isabel and some old friends. Everyone has changed. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of one man's search for himself.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf Messers Schneide See more »

Filming Locations:

Belgium See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,411,311, 21 October 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,551,987
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scenes that were deleted from the final cut include:
  • Larry and a Red Cross nurse in an ambulance, drinking beer from a stolen barrel.
  • Larry reads a book in a seedy Paris café and sees a lesbian couple having a fistfight.
  • Larry and Gray go out drinking in Paris and talk about Isabel on the night before they are sent to the battlefield.
  • Larry tells Isabel about his quest as they stroll through a cathedral.
  • An alternative ending in which Larry is working in a factory and leads his fellow workers in a rendition of "Frère Jacques".
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Quotes

Tibetan Monk: The pathway to salvation is as narrow and as difficult to walk as a razor's edge.
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User Reviews

 
One of my all-time faves
3 March 2004 | by rickbkisSee all my reviews

I was prepared to hate this movie, when I first rented it. It was a 'curiosity pick': I liked the title, I didn't have anything else in mind, and my thought was, of course, "Bill Murray!?"

It turned out to be one of my all-time favorite movies in the 'character-transformation' genre.

It's a compelling story of choices in life and how those choices affect or disaffect perceptions of that life. Murray is perfection in this role, because we seem him change from something we recognize to something quite different. It is a palpable and comprehensible transformation - the movie draws us in, it allows us to change with him.

The rest of the characters are well cast and provide definitive counterpoint to the protagonist - the bon-vivant aristocratic uncle Elliot who simply lives his life appreciatively, the unthinking and manipulative Isabel concerned only with her own comforts and social standing, the uncertain Sophie that allows her uncertainty to trap and destroy her, the practical yet contemplative Raaz who challenges Darrell's notion of things, constructively, and leads him to further his quest. Good character development, all around.

Finally, I was impressed with the faithfulness to the book. It's difficult for a movie to be that, and still be an watchable movie.


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