For me -- I don't think they make movies of this calibre any more with
probably some rare exceptions like James Cameron's "Titanic." Of course, the picture was
wonderful, and for many of us- it may have taken us back to an earlier period of
history which is special to us as we are the children of the immigrants who came to America
in the early 1900's.
"Titanic" - I'm sure you will agree was a beautiful love story, and the
characters were larger than life as was the whole movie. And then I recently found out
that Director James Cameron and his wife are both vegan- so I then liked the movie even more!
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Recalling some of the pictures being made when I was growing up made me
think that this was indeed a special period of movie making. Pictures like Mrs.
Miniver, Sargent York, The Yearling, Samson and Delilah, Ben Hur, and The Greatest Story
Ever Told are some of the movies which enchanted this young movie goer and certainly
enlarged my tiny world growing up in a small basically Slovak enclare called Birdtown.
It was named so because many of the streets were named after birds. With the help of a
mid wife, I was born on Robin Street. Most of the babies in Birdtown were born this way to
these early immigrant mothers.
But back to "The Razor's Edge." The characters here were well defined by
Somerset Maugham, and you couldn't help mistaking their dominant characteristics.
Isabel (Gene Tierney) was a self-centered, conniving woman who would do anything to get
her way. It even led to the downfall and death of Sophie (Anne Baxter) who, because of
the death of her husband and children in a car accident had fallen into a life of
despair, booze, and promiscuity.
There were other interesting characters in this story as well, and even
Maugham placed himself among them, but the outstanding part belonged to Tyrone Power who
played Larry. Despite early reverses and tribulations, he finds the true meaning of life
when the ship he was working on embarks in India.
While there, he is fortunate enough to connect with people of great
learning and spiritual gifts. When he comes back to France where his friends are, he soon
impresses them with his acts of kindness and concern for their well being. I loved his
character or trying to rescue Sophie from her unhappy life. He even plans to marry her until the
conniving Isabel traps her into falling off the wagon by tempting her with a bottle of booze.
Ashamed, she then flees the scene and ends up later murdered and floating in a river.
"The Razor's Edge" has indeed become one of my most favorite movies. The
ending was especially poignant and beautiful as when Maugham explains to the
self-centered Isabel why Larry has chosen to return to America -paying for his passage by
working aboard ship. He probably realized that he could do more good in America than among his
whose only purpose seemed to be self gratification. I think for once the
self-centered Isabel finally "gets it" when Maugham utters this last beautiful sentence which
ends the movie: Of Larry he said: - "GOODNESS is the most wonderful force in the world and
he's got it."
THE GOODNESS OF AN 83 YEAR-OLD MAN IN CLEVELAND
I'm glad my sister saves the Sunday Cleveland Plain Dealer for me, because
I don't subscribe to it because I am deluged already with too much to read. However, I am
grateful that she does, because I often find stories of inspiration in it. This was one of
For 11 years- Ed Skuza, --an 83 year-old man living in a Cleveland suburb
made morning and evening treks to the edge of the woods near the back of his apartment
building to feed more than a dozen stray cats. Thank goodness he has been relieved of this
duty of love by Voice in the Dark pet rescue volunteers who sucessfully trapped, neutered,
and relocated 15 cats including "Flower" who gave birth in February to five kittens after
being rescued from the artic winter. All 5 kittens were adopted, and Flower remains in a
Per Donna Miller, the PD reporter who wrote this column -- Ed had struggled
both physically and financially to care for them. Although he is relieved of this "duty,"
he says he misses his cats with whom he had spent so many of his days preparing bowls of
crunchy cat food as well as the canned - toting them to his van and whistling for the cats to
And come they did, and he happily rested on his tailgate -talking to them
while they ate at his feet. Isn't the picture of this elderly man tenderly caring for "his" poor
homeless cats a picture of love and GOODNESS?
Many of us have found this polar winter intolerable, but my thoughts often
went to the homeless cats and dogs who were dumped by cruel and uncaring people. I even worried
about all of them throughout the very cold top tier of the United States. Those who were
homeless and abandoned
must have suffered greatly because of the cruel polar blasts we were
experiencing. Did they even survive?
The wild horses of the West must have also suffered from the brutal cold
and no food. I feel sure that some of them did not survive. I believe that our government should be
mindful of their needs, but I sadly believe are not.
I one time also read that cattle owned by the cattle barons are allowed to
graze on our public lands. Is there any grass out there in winter? One bitter winter- many of
them froze to death. Did this happen again? I hope not. And of course, it is also wrong to allow
private interests to use public lands in the first place. These poor cows should have been
ensconced in barns at least.
And finally, I am thankful for people like Larry from the Razor's Edge,
Ed Skuza, the volunteers of Voice in the Dark pet rescue in Cleveland and others of their ilk who
know that "Goodness is the most wonderful force in the world."