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Razor's Edge [VHS]

4.5 out of 5 stars 207 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne, Anne Baxter, Clifton Webb
  • Directors: Edmund Goulding
  • Writers: Darryl F. Zanuck, Lamar Trotti, W. Somerset Maugham
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: March 13, 1995
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303333079
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,166 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael C. Smith VINE VOICE on May 26, 2005
Format: DVD
The newly released DVD of 20th Century Fox's production of W. Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge" is a cinematic treasure. The direction by Edmond Goulding is top notch and captures the glamour and decadence of post World War I Paris in glittering perfection. Much praise must go to the art and set direction by Richard Day and Nathan Juran. Over 80 sets were constructed; some only glimpsed for a few moments evoke the period and splendor of the time and place. The production values of this picture are of the highest quality of this, Fox's "Important Picture for 1946".Goulding was famous for long takes and he is aided by the brilliant cinematographer Arthur C. Miller. The score by Alfred Newman is magnificent though surprisingly sparse for a film from the 1940's His use of source music and songs of the period help to inform the viewer of character and mood. His main theme is majestic and stirring and its reprise at the end is something near to epic played against a close-up of Tyrone Power and dissolves into the crashing waves against a tramp steamer.

Though a little too old and too handsome for the role of Larry Darell Tyrone Power, turns in a beautifully felt performance of a man in search for himself and his place in the world. A very modern and complex idea for the 1940's involving a trip to India and consultations with a guru. Gene Tierney is perfect as the woman who loves him and will stop at nothing to get him. This underrated beauty gives one of her best performances in an unsympathetic role. Anne Baxter, who won her Oscar as Sophie, is at times touching, real and yet manages to chew her share of the scenery toward the end of the picture. She is just plain fun to watch. But the picture is completely stolen by the wonderful, prissy and perfect performance of Clifton Web.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
'The Razor's Edge' is truly a rare masterpiece. this movie is slowly paced but not at all plodding. a profound message lies within the sophisticated dialogue. the viewer must have a mature patience to reap the enriching experience from this excellent film. this one was definitely a superior film. it deserved the oscar but unfortunately there were 2 other masterpieces released tha year (1946), one of which garnered the oscar (The Best Years Of Our Lives). a true classic that deserves more recognition than it has received thru the years.

as for the DVD, it is a good clean transfer. the only true extra is the commentary. it is still well worth the money.
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Format: VHS Tape
Goulding's intrepretation of Maugham's novel is elegant and visually alluring. It doesn't hurt to have Tyrone Power as Larry and the stunning Gene Tierney as Isabelle. Anyone that loves dramatic cinema that is thought-provoking and leaves you feeling satiated will enjoy this movie. Although most movies don't compare with the novels they are based on, this one comes close.
This is a movie about a non-conformist; Larry doesn't want to live the life society expects of him, he wants to savor life on his own terms. Isn't that what your life should be about anyways? Somehow you sense that in the 21st century Larry would not be driving an SUV and a gas grill would not be sitting on his patio underneath the satellite disk. Perhaps it would be more accurate to state that Larry is his own man and that he is more concerned about what he thinks of himself versus what others think of him. Clifton Webb is perfect as Elliott Templeton, the quitessential snob who is catty and generous in equal turns. John Payne is a self-effacing Gray and Anne Baxter shines as Sophie. At the movies conclusion, the only person you can envy is Larry, because he is living life exactly the way he wants.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The plot synopsis above tells you the story line, and this very unconvential story is remarkable in having been made. At a time when some other movies were being made in color, this was still in black and white, which tells you where the movie moguls placed it in "rank". Color was reserved for block busters, and despite the epic sweep of this story, they didn't expect it to sell. (Also, "serious" dramas were often done in B&W.) It fits very well in black and white, both with it being set in the 1920s, and much of its story line is dark.
Tyrone Power does some of his best acting work in this film. Perhaps his military service deepened him, or the story line seemed more important and personal to him, but I believed his quest for something beyond the conventional, comfortable life. Unfortunately, as a fan of Gene Tierney, I find this her worst work. Even at her best she can be alittle blank, but here, a level of mental machinery is required of this manipulative, calculating character, and we are left always seeing only an beautiful empty surface. Her eyes betray no inner life. And yet, as soon as you dismiss her as an empty shell, she will have a really lovely moment of total truth, ususally in the most odd places. She is perfectly cast as the pampered, narrow minded patrician. She does look a bit like Kathryn Hepburn, who was considered for the role, but determined to not have enough charm - and it is true. Hepburn in this role would have had more fire and spirit, but not this genteel icy sweetness. We do see why he loves her inspite of knowing how rotten she is.
Contrast Tierney's blankness with a very young Anne Baxter who has a very demanding role; first mousy and insecure, heartbroken and heartbreaking, and then alcoholic and defeated.
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