Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Plein Soleil
France/Italy, 1960. Robert et Raymond Hakim, Paris Film, Paritalia, Titanus. Adaptation and dialogue by Rene Clement, Paul Gegauff, based on the novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. Cinematography by Henri Decae. Produced by Raymond Hakim, Robert Hakim, Goffredo Lombardo. Music by Nino Rota. Production Design by Paul Bertrand. Costume Design by Bella Clement. Film Editing by Francoise Javet.
Terrific adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley features a scintillating performance by Alain Delon in the lead. Tom Ripley (Delon) is a poor American bumbling around Italy with rich playboy Philippe Greenleaf (Maurice Ronet) and Philippe’s underappreciated girlfriend Marge (Marie Laforêt). Ripley has been hired by Philippe’s magnate father to bring his son home, but our dubious hero has other plans: his desire is to murder his friend and take over his privileged life. Director Rene Clement does a surprisingly effective job of turning our sympathy towards the villain in this gorgeously shot, engrossing thriller that isn’t as faithful to the novel as Anthony Minghella’s 1999 version (for instance, Ripley only wants Greenleaf’s money, not his ass) but is a worthy rival for cinematic quality.