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7.9
/10
1,510 Ratings

Purple Noon

Plein soleil

Directed by René Clément
France, Italy, 1960
Crime, Thriller, Drama

Synopsis

Wealthy industrialist Mr Greenleaf hires Tom Ripley to bring back his son Philippe from Italy to the US, as he fears that his son is squandering his inheritance. But Tom becomes attracted to Philippe’s lifestyle and to his girlfriend, so he murders Philippe and attempts to take on his identity.

Our take

Patricia Highsmith is cinema’s muse of the thriller, an author to whom the best directors come for inspiration. You may know the Matt Damon version of Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, but Alain Delon’s magnificently blank face in this gorgeous 1960 version is cinema’s best vision of Ripley.

Purple Noon Directed by René Clément
René Clément’s film is luscious and sinister (two words that could describe Delon), and in this adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, the actor is on display, in full color, in various stages of stylishness or shirtlessness.
September 12, 2018
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The gorgeous cinematography (beginning with a credit sequence in which a recognizable Rome, seen from above, appears dipped in a series of intense colors) is only one aspect of the filmic beauty. Equally important is the casting: the luscious Alain Delon as Ripley, the hunky Maurice Ronet as Greenleaf, and even the seductive Marie Laforêt as Marge—the sole female character of note, who in Highsmith’s version is merely a gourd-shaped loudmouth aspiring to be Greenleaf’s steady girlfriend.
July 27, 2016
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The subtext of what we witness is open-ended and limitless in its ambiguity. However precise and elegant its surfaces, Purple Noon remains tantalizingly elusive, a beautifully made object always just out of reach—in that respect, just like its source novel.
December 05, 2012
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