Tom Ripley
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Quotes for
Tom Ripley (Character)
from Purple Noon (1960)

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The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Tom Ripley: I always thought it would be better, to be a fake somebody... than a real nobody.

Peter: Sorry, I'm completely lost.
Tom Ripley: I know. I'm lost, too. I'm going to be stuck in the basement, aren't I, that's my, that's my... terrible, and alone, and dark, and I've lied about who I am, and where I am, and now no-one will ever find me.
Peter: What do you mean... lied about who you are?
Tom Ripley: I always thought it'd be better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody.
Peter: What are you talking about? You're not a nobody. That's the last thing you are.

Freddie Miles: In fact the only thing that looks like Dickie is you.
Tom Ripley: Hardly.
Freddie Miles: Have you done something to your hair?
Tom Ripley: Freddie, do you have something you'd like to say?
Freddie Miles: What? I think I'm saying it. Something's going on. He's either converted to Christianity... or to something else.
Tom Ripley: I suggest you ask Dickie that yourself. Otello's is on delle Croce, just off the Corso.
Freddie Miles: Is it on "delle Croce, just off the Corso?" You're a quick study, aren't you? Last time you didn't know your ass from your elbow, now you're giving me directions. That's not fair, you probably do know your ass from your elbow. I'll see you.

[first lines]
Tom Ripley: If I could just go back... if I could rub everything out... starting with myself.

Dickie Greenleaf: Everybody should have one talent, what's yours?
Tom Ripley: Forging signatures, telling lies... impersonating practically anybody.
Dickie Greenleaf: That's three, nobody should have more than one talent.

Tom Ripley: [imitating Dickie's father] "Oh yes, Jazz... it's just insolent noise."
Dickie Greenleaf: I feel like he's here. Horrible. Like the old bastard is here right now!
[pause in disbelief, Dickie moves in to hold Tom's hand]
Dickie Greenleaf: Brilliant. How do you know him ?

Meredith: [sheepish] I'm sorry, I wouldn't have made a joke if...
Tom Ripley: [cuts her off] Don't be sorry. I've never been happier. I feel like I've been handed a new life.

Tom Ripley: You're the brother I never had. I'm the brother you never had. I would do anything for you, Dickie.

Tom Ripley: First of all I know there's something. That evening when we played chess for instance it was obvious.
Dickie Greenleaf: What evening?
Tom Ripley: Oh sure, no, no, it's too dangerous for you to take on. Oh, no, no, we're brothers. Hey. And then you do this sordid thing with Marge. Fucking her on the boat while we all have to listen. Which was excruciating, by the way! And you follow your cock around and now you're getting married! I'm bewildered, forgive me. You're lying to Marge and then you're getting married to her. You're knocking up Silvana. You're ruining everybody. You wanna play the sax, you wanna play the drums. What is it, Dickie? What do you actually play?
Dickie Greenleaf: Who are you? Huh? Some third class mooch? Who are you? Who are you to say anything to me? I really, really don't want to be on this boat with you right now. I can't move without you moving. Gives me the creeps.
[enraged by his on-the-fly suspicions]
Dickie Greenleaf: You give me the creeps!

Tom Ripley: Well, whatever you do, however terrible, however hurtful, it all makes sense, doesn't it, in your head. You never meet anybody that thinks they're a bad person.

Marge Sherwood: The thing with Dickie... it's like the sun shines on you, and it's glorious. And then he forgets you and it's very, very cold.
Tom Ripley: So I'm learning.
Marge Sherwood: When you have his attention, you feel like you're the only person in the world, that's why everybody loves him so much.

[inspector asks a question in Italian]
Peter: [translating] Are you a homosexual?
[under his breath]
Peter: Interesting non sequitur...
Tom Ripley: No!
Peter: [translating] No.

Tom Ripley: I suggest you ask Dickie that yourself. Otello's is on delle Croce, just off the Corso.
Freddie Miles: Is it on "delle Croce, just off the Corso"? You're a quick study, aren't you? Last time you didn't know your ass from your elbow, now you're giving me directions. That's not fair, you probably do know your ass from your elbow. I'll see you.

Tom Ripley: And that's the irony, Marge. I loved you. You may was well know it, Marge: I loved you. I don't know... maybe it's grotesque of me to say this now, so just write it on a piece of paper or something and put it in your purse for a rainy day. 'Tom loves me.' 'Tom loves me.'

Marge Sherwood: Why do I think there's never been a Ripley rainy day?
Tom Ripley: What?
Marge Sherwood: [leans closer] I know it was you.

Meredith: Dickie?
Tom Ripley: Hello Meredith!
Meredith: Oh my God! I hardly even recognized you.
Tom Ripley: Well, you spotted me so you get the reward.

Tom Ripley: What are you trying to say?
Freddie Miles: I think I'm saying it.

Tom Ripley: Don't you just take the past, and put it in a room in the basement, and lock the door and never go in there? That's what I do.
Peter: God, yes. Though in my case, it's probably a whole building.

Tom Ripley: Don't you just take the past and put it in a room in a basement and lock the door and never go in there? That's what I do, And then you meet someone special and all you want to do is to toss them the key and say; open up, step inside, but you can't, because it's dark, There's demons and if anybody saw how ugly it is. I keep wanted to do that, fling the door open just let light in and clean everything out.

Dickie Greenleaf: You're so white! Have you ever seen a guy so white, Marge? Grey, actually.
Tom Ripley: It's just an undercoat.
Dickie Greenleaf: Say again?
Tom Ripley: You know a primer.
Dickie Greenleaf: That's funny. Margie likes that 'cause she's so white too.
Marge Sherwood: Yes, I do and you're not funny.

Tom Ripley: That ring is superb.
Marge Sherwood: Oh, Tom, I love you! See?
Dickie Greenleaf: I had to promise, capital p, to never take it off. Otherwise I'd give it to you.
Marge Sherwood: Isn't it great? I found it in Naples. I had to bargain for it for about two weeks!
Dickie Greenleaf: Uh, I hope it wasn't cheap, Marge?
Marge Sherwood: Oh, it was!

Tom Ripley: Nothing is more naked than your handwriting. See how nothing's quite touching the line? That's vanity.
Dickie Greenleaf: Well, we certainly know that that's true.

Dickie Greenleaf: We're all only children. What does that mean?
Tom Ripley: It means we've never shared a bath. I'm cold, can I get in?
Dickie Greenleaf: No.
Tom Ripley: I didn't mean with you in it.
Dickie Greenleaf: Okay, get in. I'm like a prune anyway.

Marge Sherwood: I don't believe a single word you've said.
Tom Ripley: You're shivering, Marge. Look at you, Marge. Can I hold you? Will you let me hold you?

Tom Ripley: No matter what you do, no matter how awful, no-one ever thinks that they're a bad person.

Peter: Meredith Logue. You were kissing somebody. Looked like Meredith.
Tom Ripley: Hardly kissing. Kissing off, maybe.
Peter: That's not what it looked like...

Marge Sherwood: [about Tom Ripley] I like him.
Dickie Greenleaf: Marge, you like everybody.
Tom Ripley: [Imitating in Marge's voice] I like him.
[Imitating in Dickie's voice]
Tom Ripley: Marge, you like everybody.

Peter: Can you imagine, though, if he did kill Freddie, what that must be like? Just to wake up every morning. I mean, how can you? Just wake up and be a person? Drink your coffee?
Tom Ripley: Well, whatever you do, however terrible, however hurtful, it all makes sense, doesn't it, in your head? You never meet anybody who thinks they're a bad person
Peter: Well maybe, but you're still tormented. You must be. You've killed someone.
Tom Ripley: Don't you just take the past and put it in a room in the basement, and lock the door and never go in there? That's what I do.
Peter: God, Yes. But, of course, in my case, it's probably a whole building.
Tom Ripley: And then you meet someone special and all you want to do is toss them the key. Say "Open up. Step inside." But you can't, because it's dark, and there are demons. And if anybody saw how ugly it is...
Peter: Now that's the music talking.
Tom Ripley: I keep wanting to do that, Fling the door open. Just let the light in, clean everything out. If I could take a giant eraser and rub out everything, starting with myself. The thing is, Peter, if... if... , No.
Peter: No key, huh?


The American Friend (1977)
[first lines]
Derwatt: Who is it?
Tom Ripley: It's Ripley.
Derwatt: The door is open.

[last lines]
Tom Ripley: We made it anyway, Jonathan. Be careful.
Tom Ripley: [singing] Pity the poor immigrant... whose...

Jonathan Zimmermann: Why did you spread this rumor that I am with one foot in the grave?
Tom Ripley: Remember that day we were introduced at the auction? You said, "I've heard of you." You said that in a very nasty way.
Jonathan Zimmermann: That was all?
Tom Ripley: Isn't that enough?

Derwatt: What's wrong with you?
Tom Ripley: I'm confused.
Derwatt: Don't try to be a nice guy.
Tom Ripley: I want to go home.
Derwatt: Let me love you for your money.
Tom Ripley: I'm confused!
Derwatt: Close the doors, they'll come in through the windows... A little older, a little more confused.

Tom Ripley: It's December 6th, 1976. There's nothing to fear but fear itself. I know less and less about who I am, or who anybody else is.

Derwatt: Do you wear that hat in Hamburg?
Tom Ripley: What's wrong with a cowboy in Hamburg?

Tom Ripley: Even this river - this river reminds me of another river.

Tom Ripley: I like this room. It's got a good feel to it. It's quiet and peaceful. Just like you. I envy you. The smell of paint and wood. Must be good to work here. Then when you finish something, you can see what you've done.
Jonathan Zimmermann: It's not that easy. Not that safe and easy. What do you make?
Tom Ripley: I make money. And I travel a lot. I'm bringing the Beatles back to Hamburg.

Derwatt: I think you're not a very serious man.
Tom Ripley: [Hands Derwatt a wad of cash] I think this is serious. I sold one painting, I'm ready to sell another one.
Derwatt: How much?
Tom Ripley: That's $2,000 for you. I told you I've got a good eye.
Derwatt: Take care of it. A new one's hard to find.
Tom Ripley: Don't you think I know that?

Tom Ripley: Listen. I know rock musicians. I know lawyers. I know art dealers, pimps, politicians. But murder? I don't want to be involved. Period.

Tom Ripley: Gantner told me you were a good craftsman. I admire that. I've always wanted to be able to make something with my hands. But, well, some people have it and some people don't.

Jonathan Zimmermann: I don't like people who buy paintings as an investment.
Tom Ripley: Well, you count me out.
Jonathan Zimmermann: No. I count you in.

Tom Ripley: I would like to be your friend. But friendship isn't possible.
Jonathan Zimmermann: That makes me feel very comfortable.


Ripley's Game (2002)
Tom Ripley: Hold my watch, because if it breaks I'll kill everyone on this train.

Tom Ripley: You know the most interesting thing about doing something terrible? After a few days, you can't even remember it.

Tom Ripley: I want you to call the man who sent you here. I want you to tell him you got a very long look at the two of us, we were definitely not the people on the train. Do you understand? If you do that, you do it convincingly, you walk out of here, we give you half a million dollars, okay? If you don't do it convincingly, I take you out back, and I run my fucking tractor over your head the rest of the day. Okay?

Jonathan Trevanny: Are you scared?
Tom Ripley: No,
[pause, still calmly]
Tom Ripley: I am fucking terrified.

Jonathan Trevanny: Oh, hi. You're here, then. Excellent. We were hoping you'd come.
Tom Ripley: Why?
Jonathan Trevanny: Well, to... to add spice to the evening.
Tom Ripley: Meaning?
Jonathan Trevanny: You're a bit of a local personality.
Tom Ripley: Meaning?
Jonathan Trevanny: People have heard about you.
Tom Ripley: Meaning?
Jonathan Trevanny: Nothing. Just... nothing.

Jonathan Trevanny: I've just never been the sort of person to get away with things. At school, other kids got away with all sorts. But not me. I always got caught.
Tom Ripley: You know why you got caught?
Jonathan Trevanny: Why?
Tom Ripley: Because you didn't think of just killing your teachers.

Tom Ripley: You're not planning on singing me through the door, are you?
Reeves: I've got the Carregio in here.
Tom Ripley: Well, you're not coming in.
Reeves: I'm fucking coming in.
Tom Ripley: No, because it's not a Carregio, it's a *Correggio*. Just like it's not tacco but *ta-a-cco*. Not pasto but *pasta*, see? Your entire education comes from classic car magazine and you dress like you're on a condom run for the mob. By the way, it isn't a Correggio, it's a fake Rembrandt and until you know that, you're not coming in with me.
Reeves: Don't fuck me over here, pratt.
Tom Ripley: Don't threaten me. I'm not the one wearing an ear ring.

Tom Ripley: She's the best cook in the Veneto.
Reeves: I'll bet she is. But eggs is eggs.

Tom Ripley: It never used to be so crowded in first class.

Tom Ripley: I'm a creation. A gifted improviser. I lack your conscience and when I was young that troubled me. It no longer does. I don't worry about being caught because I don't believe anyone is watching. The world is not a poorer place because those people are dead. It's one less car on the road. It's a little less noise and menace. You were brave today. You put some money away for your family. That's all.
Jonathan Trevanny: If you lack my conscience, why did you help me on the train?
Tom Ripley: I don't know, but it doesn't surprise me. The one thing I know is we're constantly being reborn.

Jonathan Trevanny: One of them's still alive.
Tom Ripley: How do you know?
Jonathan Trevanny: Well, I heard it on the world news.
Tom Ripley: Jesus. I always figured you for a talk radio man. Okay, well, I guess I didn't strangle him long enough. It's not like a garrote comes with a manual.
Jonathan Trevanny: Ah, one of them got a very, very good look at me.
Tom Ripley: Jonathan, that's the first rule of the game. Don't ever worry about anything you can't control, ever. Anyway, I don't think they can trace us here and if they get close, I'll let you know.
Jonathan Trevanny: What about my family? I'm just worried about my family.
Tom Ripley: Well, don't worry. If they come for anyone, they'll come for me. I think these Balkan types tend to take strangling quite personally.

Luisa Harari: He's got leukaemia.
Tom Ripley: Is drunken pomposity a symptom?
Luisa Harari: No. He's just English.