At the tail end of the Second war, a rath of films appeared that were for all purposes, state of the nation films. Based often on classic works, they ostensibly were ‘Quality’ Films, ‘good’ films or ‘worthy’ films. However they were a bit more. Often meditating o the post war state of America and even, for want of another word, her soul. Reflecting her peoples view of themselves after a recession and war and then victory. Rich and timely issues aside, they also created much stir due to their content. THE RAZORS EDGE lands in the beginning part of this. Written by W. Somerset Maugham and released as a book in 1944, it encapsulated a mindset of deeply troubled youths who wanted more than the life of their others.

Despite being offered an impressive job after World War I, Larry Darrell (Power) opts for another way of life. He wants to see Paris, living in a bohemian neighbourhood and finding more of life. All good, after the horrors of the trenches, its death and decay, you need a little light relief. The problem is he has things that hold him back. His lady love, the beautiful maybe fiancée (Gene Tierney). She has lost patience with this spiritual seeking and wants a yes or no answer to a yes or no question. Will he settle down and live the 9 to 5 life or shall she marry a wealthy man? The classic quandry of the man and time. Love and commitment. There are other issues. A mutual friend called Sophie (Anne Baxter) has a deeply troubled mind and has descended into hell. Adding a bleaker tone to a bleak enough topic indeed. Though you will not find much hope here, the truth is darker than fiction and the sad sting of a country, soaked in drink and soldiers is not to be missed

The H D transfer is average, in truth it is only passable thanks to the stock being well held by Fox and given a little dusting of after the Disney accquistion. The real value here comes in the exemploary commentary from Anthony Slide and Robert Birchard, who drench you in facts, points and reference that you might need to watch it a few times to drink it all in. Point by point. Person and factoid by Place and fact.

Special Features:

High-Definition Transfer
UK Blu-ray Premiere
Original Mono Audio
Optional English SDH Subtitles for the Main Feature
Commentary by Film Historians Anthony Slide and Robert Birchard
Movietone News Footage (“Honouring Somerset Maugham’s Book”, Film Premiere and Oscar Presentation)

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