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FilmStubs: Purple Noon (1960)

Tom Ripley is a talented mimic, moocher, forger and all-around criminal improviser; but there's more to Tom Ripley than even he can guess. (PG-13, 117 min.)


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

7:00 PM

The FilmStubs series is Free and made possible by a grant from Friends of the Library.
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Alain Delon was at his most impossibly beautiful when Purple Noon was released and made him an instant star. This ripe, colorful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s vicious novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, directed by the versatile René Clément, stars Delon as Tom Ripley, a duplicitous American charmer in Rome on a mission to bring his privileged, devil-may-care acquaintance Philippe Greenleaf (Maurice Ronet) back to the United States. What initially seems a carefree tale of friendship soon morphs into a thrilling saga of seduction, identity theft, and murder. Featuring gorgeous location photography of coastal Italy, Purple Noon is crafted with a light touch that allows it to be at once suspenseful and erotic, and it gave Delon the role of a lifetime. [Janus]

Starring: Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet, Marie Laforêt
Director: René Clément
Languages: French, Italian, English
Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Thriller

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"It's Delon -- impossibly beautiful, impossible to read, cold, cool -- who steals the film."

— Dave Calhoun, Time Out

"Alain Delon excels as gentleman psychopath Tom Ripley in René Clément's beautifully restored classic."

— David Jenkins, Little White Lies

"Delon is a terrifically good in the role: his almost unearthly perfection is creepy itself, as if he is imitating a human being."

— Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

"Rene Clement's subversive direction makes us root for Delon to pull off a tricky tightrope disguise as suspicious police pursue him from hotel to apartment and town to town."

— Mike Clark, USA Today

"The tension is tantalisingly controlled, while the sight of the young Alain Delon languishing shirtless on a yacht provides a textbook definition of cool, and might be said to alone warrant the price of admission."

— Ryan Gilbey, Independent (UK)