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Plein Soleil: The Original Talented Mr Ripley


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Old 02-09-2013, 12:37
Trsvis_Bickle
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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There's a newly restored print of this 1960 film directed by Rene Clement showing in cinemas. The story is based on the same Patricia Highsmith novel that was subsequently filmed by Anthony Minghella as The Talented Mr Ripley 40 years later.

It's certainly interesting to compare the two films. The extraordinarily handsome Alain Delon plays Tom Ripley in Plein Soleil and turns in a masterful performance, certainly better than Matt Damon's effort on the later film. Maurice Ronet plays (Philippe) Greenleafe and it's astonishing how closely Jude Law imitated his mannerisms for the same role in 2000.

The photography in Plein Soleil is fabulous; the Mediterranean has never looked so gorgeous and the scenes at sea are beautifully shot. There a few narrative differences between the two films; Minghella's Ripley is overtly homosexual and displays emotion whereas Delon is a chillingly emotionless psychopath. The endings of the two films are also different.

In terms of plotting, I think The Talented Mr Ripley has the edge. The story unfolds at a more natural pace and we get to know more about Ripley and the development of his relationship with Dickie and Marge. Plein Soleil starts in Rome and the exposition later on feels a bit rushed. The later film's plot is also undoubtedly more complex and ingenious.

So, 2 marvellous films. Anyone seen both and care to comment?
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