The Razor’s Edge, 1946

This is based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham, which I haven’t read.

Tyrone Power plays a young veteran of the first world war who searches for meaning in his life. He reads in the library, travels to Paris, goes to India to talk to a holy man, goes up into the Himalayas on a retreat. He’s largely successful at finding meaning. There’s not much of a plot, but surprisingly it isn’t boring. The story is driven by the protagonist’s interactions with his friends, and told as personal reminiscence of Maugham himself, who has a prominent role in the story. Herbert Marshall’s performance as Maugham is notably good. The other characters are engaging and mostly sympathetic. The acting is solid, and the photography carefully thought-out. Maybe proto-hippies in 1946 found it life-changing. It think it’s a bit long and a bit talky, but a pretty good movie on the whole. I don’t plan to watch it again, but might read the novel.

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