- Director: René Clément
- Writer: Patricia Highsmith; René Clément
- Producer: Raymond Hakim; Robert Hakim
The first cinematic outing of Tom Ripley...the creation of Ms Highsmith - a misanthropic, caustic American, alcoholic, anti-semitic, racist bisexual...by all accounts, not a particularly pleasant lady.
Comparisons have to be made...when dealing with this enduring character.
Easily forgotten are the Dennis Hopper, Barry Pepper and John Malkovitch portrayals...all rather grim.
So...Delon versus Damon, Clément versus Minghella...
The major problems with Purple Noon are numerous (1) the acting, (2) its transition...from being solidly American, mutated into a French context - the constant references to San Francisco don't make sense...take him back to Paris...why SF? (3) the lack of detail, style and composition and all those clawing errors.
Mighella gets to know Ripley - Clement merely scratches at the surface. Delon is too much the erratic, doomed pretty boy, Damon's Ripley is a controlled young man...capable of growing.
Those drowning in nostalgia will prefer Purple Noon - they are as dated as the film.
Tom Ripley is sent to Europe by Mr. Greenleaf to fetch his spoiled, playboy son, Philippe, and bring him back home to the States. In return, Tom will receive $5,000. Philippe toys with Tom, pretending he will go back home, but has no intentions of leaving his bride to be, Marge, and honoring his father's wishes. After some time passes, Mr. Greenleaf considers the mission a failure and cuts Tom off. Tom, in desperation, kills Philippe, assumes his identity, and lives the life of a rich playboy. However, he will need all his conman abilities to keep Philippe's friends and the police off the trail.