René ClémentFrance118 minutes1960ColourFrench
RESTORED DIGITAL PRESENTATION!
Alain Delon — "impossibly beautiful, impossible to read, cold, cool" (Dave Calhoun, Time Out London) — was never more ravishing than in this gripping thriller based on Patricia Highsmith's novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. (Compare and contrast with Matt Damon's performance in the plush Hollywood adaptation of same, also screening this season.) Tanned, tousled, and sleekly corrupt, Delon plays Tom Ripley, a wayward young American who is hired by the wealthy father of an old school chum to track down the prodigal son in Europe and bring him home. Dazzled by the blinding blue sea and the scent of money, Ripley enjoys sharing the high life on the Italian coast with his ne'er-do-well pal and the playboy's pouty girlfriend, and soon comes to covet both for himself. Surprisingly explicit about its homosexual undercurrents, this Hitchcockian tale of identity theft and murder is given a sheen of sun-struck decadence by Henri Decäe's insinuating cinematography (in retina-testing Eastmancolor) and Nino Rota's brooding score.