This 1997 film clashes drastically with David Mamet's 1999 the Winslow Boy which he also wrote. Yet is stands as a testament to Mamet's ability to craft unique characters who survive amidst difficult circumstances. Critics consensus calls The Edge - an entertaining hybrid of brainy Mamet dialogue with brawny outdoors action.
As with any of Mamet's scripts, the brainy dialogue is welcome especially now in a world of streaming films that have become exhausting to watch due to overwritten, loose and less than memorable dialogue. Truthfully - can you remember any lines or quotes from the movie you watched last night? The Edge provides a number of memorable quotes set against the equally vivid and rugged backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness.
Mamet's style of writing dialogue, marked by a cynical, street-smart edge, precisely crafted for effect, is so distinctive that it has come to be called Mamet speak. It is generally not appropriate for children and likely would offend a large audience. Thus isn't the case with The Edge. Although far from a children's movie, the story is a powerful look at man and survival.
Though not written as a personal experience for Mamet, he has overcome some large hurtles in life. The biggest transition would be his political outlook. "I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind," he penned in an article entitled, "Why I Am No Longer a Brain Dead Liberal."
I tire easily from watching the stop-and-go repetitive-methodical thinking Anthony Hopkins puts into his characters. But...for The Edge and his role as billionaire Charles Morse, it seemed to work to a degree. Morse performs in an almost out of body manner as he's whisked on a photo shoot with his beautiful model wife, Mickey Morse, played by Elle McPherson, only to eventually find himself lost in the Alaskan wilderness.
Co-Star, Alec Baldwin plays Robert Green, McPherson's manager who has also joined the weekend photo shoot. Aside from Baldwin's role as Jack Ryan in The Hunt For Red October, this is by far my favorite and most believable role he has played.
Hopkins and Baldwin make up the majority of the film as the two take on survival in the Alaskan wilderness with little more than a home made compass and book of matches. Oh... and then there is the bear of course. Jaws with Claws. Between the three of them, only one can survive.
Jerry Goldsmith has more than 250 credits to his name as composer. From Dalton Trumbo's 1960's classic, Lonely Are the Brave with Kirk Douglas, to Lillies of the Field with Sydney Pottier, Papillon, Chinatown, The Wind and the Lion, Extreme Prejudice, the Ghost and the Darkness, Air Force One - all equally notable themes.
Not only are these notable themes, but melodies that envelop our spirit in light of the characters and action we are viewing.
In 1962 he met the influential film composer Alfred Newman who hired Goldsmith to score the film Lonely Are the Brave (1962), his first major feature film score. An experimentalist, Goldsmith constantly pushed forward the bounds of film music: Planet of the Apes (1968) included horns blown without mouthpieces and a bass clarinetist fingering the notes but not blowing. He was unafraid to use the wide variety of electronic sounds and instruments which had become available, although he did not use them for their own sake. (source: IMDb)