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Slideshow

PURPLE NOON

France/Italy, 1960
Directed by René Clément
Starring Alain Delon, Marie Laforêt, Maurice Ronet, Erno Crisa
Screenplay by Clément and Paul Gégauff
35mm. Approx. 115 min.

 
As the sun beats down on a boat in the Mediterranean, two men loll back: scapegrace playboy Maurice Ronet and hanger-on Alain Delon (“My perfect Ripley” – Patricia Highsmith), sent by Ronet’s dad to bring him back. Which one’s going to leave that boat alive? And can he get away with pretending to be the other man? Delon’s star-making thriller smash, adapted from Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Reviews

“Delon is terrifically good in the role: his almost unearthly perfection is creepy itself, as if he is imitating a human being. This is a man, you think, who has grown used to a dazed, rapt expression on the faces of people talking to him, accustomed to their submissive awe, and yet with a diabolical insight into how that magnetism can be harnessed to manipulate and coerce. Delon's Ripley is a Dorian Gray portrait of male beauty and unscrupulous daring,
untroubled by conscience.”

– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“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… succeeds in making his film as beautiful on the surface and strange and sinister below deck as Ripley himself.”
– Dave Calhoun, Time Out

“When he starred in Rene Clément’s PURPLE NOON, Delon was 25, at the peak of his sleek, cool beauty, and in this his international breakthrough role he indeed seemed to embody the lethal charm and sexual ambiguity of Ripley to perfection.”
– Philip Kemp, Sight & Sound

Film Forum