A young veteran breaks off an engagement to travel the world and find himself, but his former fiancée will stop at nothing to be with him years later.
The Razor's Edge (1946)
Directed by Edmund Goulding
Written by Lamar Trotti
Starring Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne,
Anne Baxter, Clifton Webb, Herbert Marshall
Based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham
Oscar Wins - Best Supporting Actress (Anne Baxter)
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor
(Clifton Webb), Best Art Direction
Regardless of genre or decade, there are a few things in film that I don't care for. One is when rich people make up problems and act like they matter. Another is a story adapted from a novel that's known for being way over everyone's head and unnecessarily confusing. Yet another is a film that has no business being nearly two and a half hours long. The Razor's Edge checks all three of these irritating boxes, leading to a slow march to the finish line that I was not prepared for. I had high hopes for this one, but it's an incredibly boring mess of a film that has no real plot beyond how hot Tyrone Power is and how psychotic it has made Gene Tierney.
Larry Darrell (Power) is a nice guy. He's a veteran, he's adventurous, but he's poor. He's constantly reminded of it by Elliott Templeton (Webb), who is supposed to be a kind, older, incredibly gay (but this was 1946, so not officially) rich guy, yet he's constantly hating on Larry simply because he has no money. Moving on. Larry is engaged to Elliott's niece Isabel (Tierney), but after Larry confesses to Isabel that he doesn't want to be stuck behind a desk for a living, the engagement is broken. Larry spends ten years traveling the world to find himself, and meanwhile Isabel has married another man. When Larry returns, Isabel becomes dangerously obsessed with him, openly trying to cheat on her kind husband, even possibly murdering romantic rival Sophie (Baxter, who steals what little show there is to steal). All of this is dragged out over an insane runtime, which causes it to lose a lot of its punch.
The Razor's Edge has far too many characters, including the fucking author of the book who just shows up from time to time to check in on his favorite family of rich assholes. Elliott's whole shtick gets old quick, and apart from Sophie's loss of her husband and daughter and subsequent alcoholism, there's nothing to hold on to. Even Sophie's story gets snuffed out rather quickly. There's too much going on, and nothing to truly commit to.