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Purple Noon (1960)

Plein soleil (original title)
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.



(novel), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Erno Crisa ...
Frank Latimore ...
Billy Kearns ...
Freddy Miles (as Bill Kearns)
Ave Ninchi ...
Signora Gianna
Viviane Chantel ...
The Belgian lady
Nerio Bernardi ...
Agency Director
Barbel Fanger
Lily Romanelli ...
Nicolas Petrov ...
Elvire Popesco ...
Mrs. Popova


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. Written by Humberto Amador/Peter Brandt Nielsen

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

evil man | plan | forger | mimic | moocher | See All (75) »


Passion at ten. Envy at eleven. Murder at noon. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for momentary violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

10 March 1960 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Lust for Evil  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Author Patricia Highsmith, on whose novel "Plein soleil" was based, expressed satisfaction with the film, which she called "very beautiful to the eye and interesting for the intellect," and with Alain Delon's performance as Tom Ripley. She was, however, disappointed with the film's ending, calling it "a terrible concession to so-called public morality." See more »


Alain Delon's belt goes over the middle belt loop on the back of his white Levis about eight minutes into the film. A couple of minutes later, the belt goes through the loop, though the action was continuous, with no possibility of him having removed his belt to correct this fashion fumble. See more »


Tom Ripley: That'd be naughty of you.
See more »


Edited into Spisok korabley (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Adventures In Paradise
18 May 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Visually, this film could serve as a cinematic poster for a Mediterranean cruise. Cinematographer Henri Decae draws us into the film with its alluring Italian locales and gorgeous panoramic vistas. Bright, complementary hues and high color contrast translate into eye-popping reds and yellows. And, of course, there's the deep blue color of the sea, and a brilliant sunlit sky. Such is the setting for a story wherein three attractive, young adults (Tom, Philippe, and Marge) test a 3-way relationship that is far more complex than it first appears.

Indeed, trouble lurks beneath the surface (so to speak), in this "Italiano paradiso" thriller. In the first forty minutes, the psychological motivations of our three beautiful people are unclear and subject to change. It's hard to tell who is doing what to whom. Subsequent to this narrative setup, we see exactly where the story is headed. Because "Plein Soleil" is a psychodrama, casting is important. The three leads (Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet, and Marie Laforet) are all convincing in their roles.

I have not read the Highsmith novel on which the screenplay was based. So I cannot make an intertextual analysis. I do think this 1960 film is superior, for various reasons, to the more recent remake.

Adroitly directed by Rene Clement, with a buoyant musical score by Nino Rota, "Plein Soleil" is a character study of an amoral pleasure seeker whose charming personality masks the evil within. The juxtaposition of inwardly criminal intent with outwardly idyllic scenes of Italy and the Mediterranean results is an art house film that is both picturesque and suspenseful. It's a film that appeals both to our eyes and to our brains.

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