One of the finest adaptations after the novels written by W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge reunited the legendary and lovely couple Tyrone Power-Gene Tierney. These two beautiful creatures were really meant for each other and it surprises me that they weren’t a real couple in real life, too. At 145 minutes, this drama consists of a very complex plot, with many twists and turns. The story develops over 10 years, a period of time in which the lives of the main characters go through multiple changes. This is the story of a socialite lady who loses true love and who struggles to get it back after many years of separation. Isabel Bradley (Gene Tierney) is a wealthy and extremely attactive young woman who is desperate to become the wife of a handsome man, Larry Darrell (Tyrone Power). Her only problem is his indecision of turning himself into a prosperous businessman, and that is why he refuses the help from her family. He takes, instead, some odd jobs, below her expectations, and in the end she accepts the fact that she cannot live with him as a happy married couple. Larry tries to forget about the past and regains his strength in the Himalayas, where he finds an Indian guru who heals his inner wounds. From that moment, Larry becomes a different person and finds peace at last with himself. But Fate reunites him and Isabel after 10 years, even though she is now a married woman, mother of two children. No matter how much she fights to get him back, the old flame could never be the same…
As the action of the plot happens in Paris in the years between the two World Wars, the costumes and settings are typical to the late 20s. You will get to see Gene Tierney wearing some lovely dresses, designed by her husband, fashion designer Oleg Cassini. I might as well add here the stellar performances of Anne Baxter (winner of an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress) in the role of the rival of Isabel for Larry’s love, and of Clifton Webb (nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), as the pretentious, demanding and wealthy uncle of Isabel. The Razor’s Edge earned other two Oscar nominations, for Best Picture and Best Art Direction. Both Webb and Baxter won the coveted Golden Globes for their impressive roles. The great actor Herbert Marshall appears in the role of Somerset Maugham himself, as the close friend of the family, who tells the story of the main characters.
All in all, I highly recommend you to watch The Razor’s Edge, because it is a wonderful film and it was very much appreciated by the critics and moviegoers back in the 1940s, but also now, after over 65 years since its release.
You could watch the film here