Purple Noon (1960)

Purple Noon (Plein soleil)
Directed by Rene Clement
Adapted by Rene Clement and Paul Gegauff from the novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
1960/France/Italy
Robert et Raymond Hakim/Paris Film/Paritalia/Titanus
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental

 

Philippe Greenleaf: It seems awfully complicated. You’d be caught immediately. Tom Ripley: Not necessarily. I might not look it, but I’ve got lots of imagination.

This excellent movie makes me want to head straight to the Italian coast.  Not with Tom Ripley, obviously …

Philippe Greenleaf is a rich and self-satisfied ne’er-do-well who is on a permanent vacation in Europe.  Philippe’s father hired Philippe’s “childhood friend” Tom Ripley to fetch his son back to San Francisco.  Tom amuses Philippe and they are now raising hell together. It is clear right away that Tom is jealous of Philippe’s money and lifestyle.  This envy is exacerbated by the fact that Philippe treats Tom the way he treats everybody else – badly.

Eventually, Philippe, Philippe’s fiancee Marge, and Tom set off for a cruise on Philippe’s yacht.  Marge wants more private time and Tom learns of Philippe’s intention to eject him. This sets in motion Ripley’s elaborate plan to take Philippe’s money, girlfriend and life.

The whole film is bathed in sun but it is at bottom the darkest of film noirs.  Alain Delon makes an utterly attractive and charming psychopath.  I love the ironic witty dialogue throughout and the fabulous cinematography and compositions. Nino Rota’s score is another plus. Highly recommended.

Restoration Trailer

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I’m going to Las Vegas for a few days to see my new grand-niece.  Will be back to reviewing January 29.

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