The Razor's Edge

Hunger no love... woman... or wealth could satisfy!

Drama Romance History
145 min     7     1946     USA

Overview

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.

Reviews

HarrisonHanksHackman wrote:
I will admit after seeing Gene Tierney in Laura a few years ago I am always looking for movies on TMC with her in them. While this movie doesn't live up to several others I have seen with Ms Tierney, such as: Laura, Leave Her to Heaven, or Heaven Can Wait, it is certainly worth a viewing. The cast is first rate and even though I am not a huge Tyrone Power fan, he won me over a tad in this film. Clifton Webb is brilliant again (he was in Laura) playing a person who continues to remind everyone he is not a stuffy socialite who is all about wealth, control, and status, even though he is just that. Anne Baxter whose tour-de-force IMO will be four years later in All About Eve, has less to do here and a character that is there to serve as Tierney's victim; much like Jeanne Crain was in Leave Her to Heaven. Although in both movies Tierney is more or less her own victim. I have to also mention Herbert Marshall who plays the writer of the book this movie is based on. His voice does some narration in the movie. More about that in a moment. But we also see him being a confidant and adviser to this circle of "friends" as he sits back and observes their behavior that becomes his novel. My one problem with this movie that takes my rating from a 9 to a 7 is the length. At 2 hours 25 minutes it tends to drag and if I were editing I would start with Tyrone Powers journey to India. That could have been another place we could have used Herbert Marshall's narration. I suspect the reason they did not cut that scene is because they devoted so much time to several of the other characters that Power would not have found himself on screen as often as a male star of a movie would expect to be. So even if you are not someone like me that wants to gawk at Tierney or Mr Power (for you females), it is a movie well worth watching. Just be prepared for some moments that drag and a couple unanswered plot holes at the end.
CinemaSerf wrote:
W. Somerset Maugham's intense character studies are all but impossible to adequately reflect on screen - even in a film that takes 2½ hours. That said, Edmund Goulding assembled a strong cast here to deliver a complex and nuanced series of inter-connected stories that centred around the relationship between "Larry" (Tyrone Power) and "Isabel" (Gene Tierney). Suffering from itchy feet the former left his fiancée and set off into the world. After the Wall Street Crash, she is invited to live with her socially ambitious uncle "Elliott" (Clifton Webb) in Paris and some ten years after he left, she is reunited with her erstwhile beau. Now, she finds herself completely smitten even though she is now married to the somewhat aptly named "Gray" (John Payne) and this is where the scheming Tierney comes into her own. Deftly, sometimes even cruelly, playing a game that pays scant regard for the feelings of her husband and showing a gritty determination to get what she wants. Power plays his character well, too - a straight as a bat, decent, human being; and with an an excellent effort from Anne Baxter as the tragedy-struck, slippery-slope headed "Sophie"; an equally on form Webb and a measured effort (and narration) from Herbert Marshall as the author himself, the acting talent on offer here is formidable. The adaptation, though is a bit meandering and the production as a whole just lacks something. Passion? That spark? I don't really know how to put a finger on it, but somehow it just doesn't quite catch fire.

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