RARA-AVIS: Ripley on Film

Tue, 14 Dec 1999 13:50:47 EST

 John Weaver:
 I have heard "The Talented Mr. Ripley" was a French-Italian motion pic in
 1960 titled Plein Soleil (Purple Noon). Has anyone seen this version?
  Martha Fischer:
 it's by rene clement, and stars alain delon as ripley. imho, it's an
 incredible film-- one of delon's best performances, with really gorgeous
 settings, shot in sumptuous color. it was re-released a few years ago with
 martin scorsese's name on it-- a beautiful print. clement wimps out at the
 end, but the ending he sticks on is, to me, as satisfying as one that
 diverges from that of the book can be.
 i've been very worried about this new version, esp the thought of matt damon
 trying to equal delon, but i must say the previews are starting to give me

I liked Plein Soleil (called "Purple Noon" at least in U.S.) quite a bit, though was sorry about the ending; the novel as I recall just sort of winds down though. I don' t want to judge a film by its trailer, but the Anthony Minghella (sp?)/Matt Damon-as-Ripley version looks as if it has lost some of the antic fun/hysteria of the novel (and in Plein Soleil) (which in part makes Highsmith so memorable). Also not to be missed--even if Ripley is bizarrely miscast (Dennis Hopper)--is Wim Wenders "My American Friend" (Mein Amerikanisch Freund?--es tut mir leid, mein deutche is sehr rostlich). --Doug

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