The Razor’s Edge (1946)

razor

Starring: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne, Anne Baxter, Clifton Webb, Herbert Marshall

Director: Edmund Goulding

Summary: A young man’s quest for spiritual peace threatens his position in society

Other Nominations: Supporting Actor (Webb), Supporting Actress (Baxter)*, B&W Art Direction

Positives

-Gene Tierney and Clifton Webb are by far the best things this movie has going for it and add a lot of life to this otherwise awful movie-it kinds of reminds of of Anthony Adverse in a way, where Gale Sondergaard and Claude Rains were way better than anything else, also playing the villains of the movie.

Negatives

-This movie reminded me so much of Lost Horizon, and if you read my review of that movie, you know that’s not a good thing. First, I’m not very sympathetic to Power’s character at all. He starts out as a kid from a wealthy family who doesn’t want to work but instead wants to “discover himself”, which leads to him doing nothing in France for a year and then he goes to Tibet to study religion with basically the Dalai Lama for the next 9 years until he returns home as basically a saint on earth. How many people can afford to spend a year abroad doing nothing and then pay airfare to get Tibet and back, and then, as far as I can tell, not work once he comes back? What makes this guy so above everybody else, a guy who says he doesn’t work a desk job like other people-we never see him do any works of charity, live on humble means or anything that would give us reason to think of him the way the movie clearly wants us to. He only looks great because the villains are so over the top. Second, the author of the source material, W. Somerset Maugham is actually a character and I hate him too. He does nothing except for tell all the bad guys that they’re jerks, but we don’t see him do anything more than sit on his butt and going to parties and social events. This movie has a Capra-esque aura of smugness about it that I absolutely hate and is completely unjustified.

-Power’s character wants to find himself after seeing the senseless of WWI first-hand; this makes total sense, but almost no mention is made about what his specific experiences, and he looks and acts completely fine in every way when we see him, bearing no obvious ill-effects from his service.

-I actually thought Baxter was pretty bad here despite winning the Oscar, she’s constantly over acting; to be fair, this is better than Power’s non-acting in the lead where he was horribly miscast.

Other Stuff

-During filming, Power and Tierney started a romantic relationship with each other (even though both were married at time, although Tierney was separated and about to divorce). Tierney however ended their relationship around the time of the film’s premiere because she had begun another relationship, this time with a young WWII veteran from a wealthy family: John F. Kennedy.

-Actual line from the movie: “the dead are so terribly dead when they’re dead.” Makes sense in context, but much like the infamous “people die when they’re killed” line from Fate/Stay Night, it’s hilarious out of context.

Overall

I hated this movie and almost everything about it, save for a couple of entertaining characters and performances. Because there’s at least something I really liked and because it’s completely fine on a technical level, I give it a…

Rating: D

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