The Razor’s Edge (1946), starring Herbert Marshall, Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne, Clifton Webb, Anne Baxter
Why did survive? That’s the question that World War I veteran Tyrone Powers is trying to answer in The Razor’s Edge – putting all else aside
Synopsis of The Razor’s Edge
Narrated by on-screen observer Maugham (Herbert Marshall); this intriguing tale centers on a soul-searching World War I veteran (Tyrone Power). He finds he cannot settle back into the world of the upper class. He shuns his planned marriage and career. Power’s character travels abroad to seek the meaning of life and career. This causes his distraught fiancee (Gene Tierney) to seek solace with another man (John Payne).
The first film version of W. Somerset Maugham’s novel features Tyrone Power as Larry Darrell, a WWI vet who turns his back on his materialistic, upper-class friends and embarks on a global search for the meaning of life. To conduct this journey, he also sacrifices his relationship with his fiancée (Gene Tierney)-who can’t give up on their love even after she gets married to another man. Clifton Webb, Best Supporting Actress Oscar-winner Anne Baxter, and Herbert Marshall as Maugham co-star. 145 min.
Cast of characters
- Tyrone Power (Nightmare Alley, Witness for the Prosecution) … Larry Darrell. The protagonist, who’s searching for meaning in his life. And he thinks he’s found it, rejecting materialism.
- Gene Tierney (Laura, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) … Isabel Bradley. Larry’s former fiancée, whom he rejects as he searches for meaning. And she’s hurt, and marries Gray on the rebound. But still has feeling for Larry …
- John Payne (Springtime in the Rockies, Kansas City Confidential) … Gray Maturin. Isabel’s husband, Larry’s rival.
- Anne Baxter (Angel on My Shoulder, All About Eve) … Sophie MacDonald. She’s a friend of Larry and Isabel’s. After the loss of her husband and child, her life’s hit the skids. She’s self-medicating with alcohol, and in an abusive relationship. Larry tries to help her, but he’s undermined by Isabel, because she sees Sophie as a romantic rival.
- Clifton Webb (Titanic 1953, Woman’s World) … Elliott Templeton. Isabel’s snooty, upper-class, social climbing uncle.
- Herbert Marshall (The Fly, Five Weeks in a Balloon) … W. Somerset Maugham. The famous author, who serves as narrator.
- Lucile Watson (Watch on the Rhine, The Women) … Louisa Bradley. Isabel’s mother, Elliot’s sister.
- Frank Latimore (Black Magic, Shock) … Bob MacDonald
- Elsa Lanchester (The Bishop’s Wife, Come to the Stable) … Miss Keith
- Fritz Kortner … Kosti
- Cecil Humphreys (Withering Heights 1939) … Holy Man