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The Razor's Edge

Plot

He had everything and wanted nothing. He learned that he had nothing and wanted everything. He saved the world and then it shattered. The path to enlightenment is as sharp and narrow as a razor's edge.

Release Year: 1984

Rating: 6.2/10 (2,766 voted)

Director:
John Byrum

Stars: Bill Murray, Theresa Russell, Denholm Elliott

Storyline
Larry Darrell returns from the battlefields of World War I to America a different person. His fiance (Isabel) resigns herself to a delay in the wedding plans when Larry heads off to Paris. There he finds he prefers a simpler existence and begins to read. One book inspires him to visit India and on to Nepal where he finds spiritual help from a lama. On returning to Paris he finds Isabel and some old friends. Everyone has changed.

Writers: W. Somerset Maugham, John Byrum

Cast:

Bill Murray

Larry Darrell


Theresa Russell

Sophie MacDonald


Catherine Hicks

Isabel Bradley


Denholm Elliott

Elliott Templeton


James Keach

Gray Maturin


Peter Vaughan

Mackenzie


Brian Doyle-Murray

Piedmont


Stephen Davies

Malcolm


Saeed Jaffrey

Raaz


Faith Brook

Louisa Bradley (Isabel's mother)


André Maranne

Joseph, the Butler

(as Andre Maranne)


Bruce Boa

Henry Maturin


Serge Feuillard

Coco


Joris Stuyck

Bob MacDonald


Helen Horton

Red Cross lady

Taglines:
The story of one man's search for himself.

Release Date: 19 October 1984

Filming Locations: Belgium



Box Office Details

Budget: $13,000,000

(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $2,411,311
(USA)
(21 October 1984)
(1 Screen)

Gross: $6,551,987
(USA)
(18 November 1984)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:

Byrum and Murray wrote the screenplay over the course of 18 months while driving around the United States.

Quotes:

Tibetan Monk:
I am sad because I am losing my cook.



User Review

A Truly Exceptional Movie and All Time Favorite

Rating: 10/10

If you are an intelligent viewer who is looking for a significant and
possibly mind expanding movie event then `The Razor's Edge' is for you.
It
has remained one of my favorite films for fifteen years, and I have owned
it
and replayed it many times.
If you look at the viewer feedback for this film you will find that the
vast
majority of people rate is as `Excellent' movie (29% of IMDB viewers give
it
a perfect `10/10' rating). Those who fail to see it's qualities can be
divided fairly equally into the `don't get it' camp (Unlike the typical
Hollywood lowest denominator flicks, the minimum IQ for viewing is Razor's
Edge is probably at least 100, and that leaves ½ the population out), and
the `disappointed' crowd, who have so typecast the star (Bill Murray) that
they wanted `Caddyshack' and just can't allow him to be a serious actor.
You must set aside your prejudices and give the man a chance-Bill Murray
is
a Harvard grad who co-wrote the screenplay-this was a labor of love for
him.
Just because he has a sense of humor does NOT make him a lightweight, as
this film demonstrates for anyone with the eyes to see
it.

Based upon the 1942 W. Somerset Maugham novel, it follows the evolution of
a
spoiled upper class boy from Illinois (Larry, Bill Murray), who volunteers
to be an ambulance driver in WW I for a little `fun and adventure' and
instead gets a dose of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). His world
was
forever changed by the events he experienced. He literally could not go
home again after the war. He tried, and found the lives of those around
him
to be shallow and meaningless, and their pursuits and interests just
trivial. There had to be a reason why he was here, and this sets the
stage
for the real point of the movie, which is an exploration of the meaning of
life. (I told you it wasn't Caddyshack!)

Obsessed with these existential issues, and finding that alcohol did not
make the need go away, Larry travels to Paris, and starts to read, serious
books on philosophy and religion, supporting himself as a laborer. He
does
not care much for his surroundings-his lack of materialism is in marked
contrast to his peers and friends from before, whose dreams are to grow
wealthy in the stock market. As such Larry was an early Bohemian. I
found
this particularly poignant, realizing as I watched this movie that it
foreshadowed yet another stock market boom and bust: a whole new
generation
of crass materialists have had their world was just as rocked by a stock
market crash in 1999 as in 1929. History does repeat, and these themes
are
timeless.
His fiancee could not deal with his `common' friends and lack of modern
plumbing, and left him to marry someone she did not love but who had
money.
Another contrast to the shallow and materialistic, which is a recurring
theme throughout the film-what brings happiness to a man?

Larry's journey took him to India, and Hindu religion, and then on to
Tibet
to discover Buddha-the scenes filmed there are absolutely breathtaking, so
I
hope you can find a letterbox laserdisc or they finally bring this out on
DVD-it is worth it to see the whole screen.
There is romance, and love, and loss. I won't reveal the ending, which
is
truly bittersweet, and a bit nihilistic. This is truly the best thing
this
fine actor ever accomplished, and I rate it a strong `10'. This should
have won many awards, and should also be considered a true classic; I am
disappointed in my fellow man that they so typecast the star that they
could
not see what a great contribution he made with this effort here. Not
light
fare, and a long film, but one worth seeing.