Plein soleil

Film, Drama
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Plein soleil

In 1960, French filmmaker René Clément was the first to adapt Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ for cinema – Anthony Minghella returned to it 40 years later with Matt Damon and Jude Law in the roles of Tom Ripley and Dickie Greenleaf, played here by Alain Delon and Maurice Ronet. Set in Italy, this sun-bleached, louche thriller, infused with a lively, on-location documentary style, tells how Ripley arrives from the US as an envoy of Greenleaf’s father, charged with bringing the rich, dissolute son back home. But Ripley’s growing infatuation with his wealthy friend turns murderous, and Greenleaf’s girlfriend, Marge (Marie Laforêt), is one of many caught up in a tale of deceit and desperation. In this version, it’s Delon – impossibly beautiful, impossible to read, cold, cool – who steals the film, and the most powerful scenes are on Ripley’s yacht, when Clément allows himself most freely to indulge the story’s otherwise muted homoerotic edge. Clément changes the ending so it’s less satisfactory than both the Highsmith and Minghella versions, but he succeeds in making his film as beautiful on the surface and strange and sinister below deck as Ripley himself.

By: Dave Calhoun


Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday August 30 2013
Duration: 119 mins

Cast and crew

Director: René Clément
Screenwriter: René Clément
Cast: Alain Delon
Marie Laforêt
Maurice Ronet

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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1 person listening
David Glowacki

Really fine adaptation of the famed book (apart from the different end) The whole film is dated but somehow it does not spoil the enjoyment. It is overacted and even hammy at times,the music is overblown.However the evocation of Italian life in 1960 is fascinating. The coolness and boldness of the assassin makes for a controlled tautness for the viewers.4 stars