Edward Karam
May 23, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Razor's Edge (Movie - 1946)

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Gene Tierney, Tyrone Power, Clifton Webb
director
Edmund Goulding
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

Darryl F. Zanuck spent a bundle to make W. Somerset Maugham’s masterpiece, The Razor’s Edge about the spiritual quest of a WWI vet (Tyrone Power). With thousands of extras and generous French dialogue, rare for Hollywood, the scenes of ”Lost Generation” Paris boast beaucoup de vérité. (Alas, Zanuck cut corners on Himalayan scenes, with low-cost horizons.) Power stretches himself as a man in turmoil who forsakes wealth and joins the proletariat, while Tierney plays a variation on Scarlett O’Hara as the scheming ex-fiancée who wants him back. Long but seldom flat, the film is terrifically acted, especially by Clifton Webb as a prissy snob who notes, ”I do not like the propinquity of the hoi polloi.” EXTRAS A commentary, which reveals that director Edmund Goulding supposedly asked Power to abstain from sex so his face would be purged of carnality.

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