The Razor’s Edge appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.33:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not flawless, the image worked fairly well.
Sharpness remained strong. The movie usually presented an accurate and detailed image that lacked substantial problems, as only minor signs of softness or fuzziness marred the picture. Jagged edges and moiré effects seemed absent, and I noticed no edge haloes.
Contrast looked vibrant and smooth. Black levels came across as deep and tight, and low-light shots were natural and detailed.
Print flaws caused almost occasional concerns. A few specks and blemishes showed up along the way, though these stayed modest. I didn’t think this was one of the best “old movie” restorations I’ve seen, but it satisfied.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA monaural audio, it held up well for its age. Speech seemed concise and clear, without edginess or other issues; the vintage of the material meant the lines lacked much real warmth, but they appeared positive.
Similar thoughts greeted the music and effects. These elements came across as fairly full and accurate for material recorded in the mid-1940s. No problems with source noise occurred. While not an ambitious mix, the track suited the film.
When we shift to extras, we locate an audio commentary with film historians Anthony Slide and Robert Birchard. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion. Though not without its charms, the commentary suffers from one major issue: dead air. We find acres and acres of empty spots, and these really drag down the discussion.
That’s too bad, for when the men speak, they often offer useful notes. We learn about the book and its author, the adaptation and changes made for the film, the cast and filmmakers, locations and sets, various production details, and the movie’s reception.
The pair also occasionally critique the flick. The notes about those involved with the movie’s creation get a little grittier than usual, as we hear the dirt about some of sordid elements. These topics make the conversation quite engaging – when it occurs. Unfortunately, too much dead space happens to allow this track to prosper.
Three Fox Movietone News newsreels also appear. These last a total of three minutes, 11 seconds and include “Someset Maugham’s Book The Razor’s Edge Is Honored” (0:30), “Along Broadway” (1:23) and “Motion Picture Academy Awards ‘Oscars’ For Film Achievements” (1:16). None seem all that interesting, but they’re minor fun for historical purposes.
With a good source story, The Razor’s Edge could become a solid character drama. Unfortunately, some issues with casting and adaptation turn it into a lackluster film. The Blu-ray comes with pretty good picture and audio as well as an inconsistent audio commentary. While I don’t think this is a bad movie, it doesn’t work as well as it should.