11 December 2012 8:00 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Remade forty years later as The Talented Mr. Ripley, René Clément’s Purple Noon from 1960 was the first attempt to bring amorphic rogue Tom Ripley, the subject of a series of popular crime novels by Patricia Highsmith, to the screen. Ripley was a precursor of today’s identity thieves, but instead of huddled in front of lonely computer, Ripley went to popular jet set locales and hobnobbed with the idle rich, getting to know every detail about the lives of his potential victims. Once Ripley had assumed their identities, no measure was too extreme to protect his secret or prevent his unmasking.

Now available in a spectacular Criterion blu-ray, Purple Noon features the then relatively unknown but equally spectacular Alain Delon as the crafty con artist. The film is set largely on the Italian coast, but frankly, the sensual, deep azure of the Mediterranean Sea has a hard time competing with Delon’s beauty. »

- David Anderson

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The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

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