The Razor's Edge (1946)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Romantic Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 1, 1946 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 146 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge becomes Edmund Goulding's The Razor's Edge in this sprawling, opulent production -- and that is not a bad thing, as the novel lent itself to that sort of treatment, with a rich array of characters and settings. And Goulding may have been exactly the right director -- given his history with Grand Hotel -- to bring such a story to the screen, especially as he got powerful performances out of his entire cast. Tyrone Power, with a great deal to prove in his first post-war role, lives up to expectations and then some, with Clifton Webb, Gene Tierney, Anne Baxter, John Payne, and Herbert Marshall (as Maugham} close behind -- and even those in the smaller roles (most notably Fritz Kortner as a defrocked priest) rise to the occasion in stunning fashion. The cinematography and music are also lush in the extreme, and the entire work would be overwhelming if Goulding didn't keep things moving at a good clip. Ultimately, the 146 minute movie is an amazing balancing act that comes off in all departments -- the kind of high-toned, highly literary work that Hollywood usually seemed to do more reliably in the silent era.