Directed By: Edmund Goulding
Starring: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Anne Baxter, John Payne, Clifton Webb, Herbert Marshall, Lucile Watson, Frank Latimore, Elsa Lanchester
Written By: John Byrum, Murray Bill
Soundtrack composed by: Jack Nitzsche
Director of Photography: Peter Hannan
DVD Distribution: Fox
Length: 145 min.
Based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham.
This film is a highly praised adaptation of Somerset Maugham’s philosophical novel about a Man’s search for the meaning of life. Larry Darrell, a young pilot, returns home disenchanted by the horrors of World War I. He finds re-integrating into society very hard; and finds his fiancée with another man. Her infidelity sends him on a journey to find truth and spiritual peace that will take him from the squalid streets of Paris to the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. Four pillars support this classic film: Edmund Goulding’s inspired “craftsmanship” direction; a brilliant screenplay with exceptional balance; a wonderful mise-en-scène; and the amazing performances of a superb cast, dominated by Tyrone Power, in the role of the person looking for “that something extra” — a wonderful Gene Tierney, perfectly complemented by an aristocratic and cynical Clifton Webb – in a role that fits him perfectly,- a tortured Anne Baxter, -who received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress – and a sober but brilliant Herbert Marshall.
There is also an extraordinary score written by Alfred Newman (whose best works were for films with spiritual and religious themes) for one of his most inspired themes of a prolific career; as well as brilliant black and white photography and lavish artistic direction.
This is a highly spiritual film. We recommend watching Tyrone Power’s classic version rather than later versions. The viewer will find a stirring plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat, while arousing your need to find spiritual peace.
We recommend the following sequence with the protagonist in a retreat in the East: