I watched The Talented Mr. Ripley on video 15 years ago and don’t remember it awfully well, but still, as soon as Freddy appears in this movie (Bill Kearns, short-haired American with a bad french accent) I am disappointed that he’s not Phil Seymour Hoffman. The Fire Within star Maurice Ronet as the rich asshole is no Jude Law either, but I’m a fan of his fiancee Marge (Marie Laforet) and of course Alain Delon. Delon is the primary reason to even shoot a Mr. Ripley film, with his perfect, blank face. It’s a good thriller, Ripley getting to keep his murdered friend’s money and lifestyle as long as he keeps cruising Europe as Greenleaf did without running into any actual friends (sorry, Freddy). I expect Ripley to escape, because there’s a whole series of novels, but when he sells his (Greenleaf’s) boat, it’s lifted out of the water for inspection and Greenleaf’s body is found attached to the anchor line. Author Patricia Highsmith reportedly called this “a terrible concession to so-called public morality.” Watched in HD, but looked soft – I think the Hulu streaming and heavy film grain don’t get along so well.
When it first came out in America, Purple Noon was like an advertisement for a life of luxurious sensuality, with hints of La dolce vita–style decadence and New Wave–style modishness, pristinely opulent hotel rooms and lobbies, and large helpings of sand and sun. The passage of time has only accentuated that allure, since the Italy we sample here in such generous detail is a vanished tourist’s dream, underpopulated and unpolluted, a paradise for footloose Americans: the seaport waterfronts teeming with fresh-caught fish, the bodies bronzed from long and carefree afternoons in the sun, the luscious blues and greens of a sea made for open-ended yachting excursions.