Monday, November 23, 2009


The Razor's Edge(1946), First film version of W. Somerset Maugham's 1944 novel. Cast: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne, Anne Baxter, Clifton Webb, Herbert Marshall. Director: Edmund Goulding.

The story begins as Maugham a novelist, thinking back to when he first met Larry Darrell. It was during a dinner party at a Chicago country club. Louisa is unhappy about her daughter Isabel engagement to Larry, a man with no ambition. Louisa thinks Gray Maturin, the son of a wealthy stockbroker a better match. At the party, Maugham also meets Isabel's, childhood friend, a very sweet Sophie. When Larry arrives Isabel asks him why he turned down a wonderful position with the Maturins. Larry shares a wartime experiences. And he feels that there is more to life than money. After hearing his story Isabel thinks it best to postpone their wedding.

Months later, Isabel stops by to see Larry in Paris. Shocked by Larry's living conditions, Isabel, breaks off their engagement. Isabel then returns to Chicago and marries Gray.

In Paris, Larry is working in the coal mines when he meets Kostis, a priest. When Kostis tells Larry about a saint who lives In India, Larry still looking for life's answers, decides to travel to India to find him. In India, the holy man tells Larry that the road to salvation is as the sharp a RAZOR'S EDGE.

In Chicago, Sophie looses her husband and baby in a terrible car accident, leaving Sophie grief stricken .

Larry finished with his studies, travels to the top of the mountain. Some time later, the holy man comes to visit. Larry tells him, that he now believes he is one with God. The holy man agrees that Larry is ready to return to his life.

Years later, Elliott crosses paths with Maugham in a Parisian Shop and Elliott tells him that he has moved to the Rivera and gave up his Paris apartment to Isabel and Gray, who fell on hard times. Larry decides to visit Isabel, who is feeling sorry for herself, even though she is living in luxury.

Later that night, Isabel wants to go to the nightclub on the Rue de Lappe where they meet a drunk Sophie. Larry remembers a loving Sophie. Soon, Larry announces that Sophie, has stopped drinking and they are engaged to be married. Wanting to stop the marriage, Isabel demands Maugham, to come see her and asks him to advise Larry not to marry Sophie. Isabel invites Sophie to the apartment to go shopping for a wedding dress. There, Isabel shows Sophie a picture of her daughter, bringing back the sad memories of her own little girl. Saying she had to run a quick errand, Isabel leaves Sophie alone with a bottle of liquor. Will Sophie succumb to temptation? Will Isabel win back Larry?

Cast: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne, Anne Baxter, Clifton Webb.

Betty Grable and Judy Garland were considered for the role of Sophie.

Maureen O'Hara was the original choice for Isabel.

The Razor’s Edge is a book by W. Somerset Maugham published in 1944.

You can watch this movie on you tube.

The story is about Larry Darrell a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of his spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brilliant characters - his fiancée Isabel whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions, and Elliott Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob. Maugham himself wanders in and out of the story, to observe his characters struggling with their fates.


Paul 2 said...

Dawn, one of ny favorite Tyrone Power Films. Why"They" let Bill Murary remake it is beyond me.

Dawn said...

Paul, I do not plan to see Bill Murary's remake..I really am not a fan of his.