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The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  25 December 1999 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 126,710 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 693 user | 197 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy, named Dickie Greenleaf. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 69 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sergio Rubini ...
Inspector Roverini
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Alvin MacCarron
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Aunt Joan
Fiorello ...
Fausto (as Rosario Fiorello)
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Ivano Marescotti ...
Colonnello Verrecchia
Anna Longhi ...
Signora Buffi
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Sergeant Baggio
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Storyline

The 1950s. Manhattan lavatory attendant, Tom Ripley, borrows a Princeton jacket to play piano at a garden party. When the wealthy father of a recent Princeton grad chats Tom up, Tom pretends to know the son and is soon offered $1,000 to go to Italy to convince Dickie Greenleaf to return home. In Italy, Tom attaches himself to Dickie and to Marge, Dickie's cultured fiancée, pretending to love jazz and harboring homoerotic hopes as he soaks in luxury. Besides lying, Tom's talents include impressions and forgery, so when the handsome and confident Dickie tires of Tom, dismissing him as a bore, Tom goes to extreme lengths to make Greenleaf's privileges his own. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How far would you go to become someone else. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

25 December 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Strange Mr. Ripley  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,738,237 (USA) (24 December 1999)

Gross:

$81,292,135 (USA) (21 April 2000)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As noted, the opera excerpt is a scene from Eugene Onegin, by Tchaikovsky. The title character in the opera is, like Ripley, an attractive, charismatic, and clever young man, who aspires to be accepted by people of a higher social standing. This is best portrayed at the beginning of the third act when Onegen crashes a dinner party where he is clearly over his head and is quickly spotted as a poseur. See more »

Goofs

When Tom Ripley is trying to learn to identify jazz musicians from recordings, he's listening to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie's "Ko Ko", and he "recognizes" Parker's playing during Gillespie's break. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The opening title uses all the adjectives of the complete title before cutting to the final "The Talented Mr. Ripley". See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Ultrachrist! (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

WE'RE CALLED GONDOLIERI
from "The Gondoliers"
By William S. Gilbert (as W.S. Gilbert) and Arthur Sullivan (as A. Sullivan)
Performed by Matt Damon and Jack Davenport
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A poor, bloated adaptation, miscast and misdirected...
28 December 1999 | by (Toluca Lake, California) – See all my reviews

Having been a fan of the Ripley books for some years, I was hopeful that at last someone had made at least a watchable adaptation of the most intriguing sociopath in modern literature. So much for hope...

There was no point to the silly sub-plots, additional characters and various 'stuff' the film makers added to Highsmith's exceptionally elegant and sparse story. Perhaps someone felt they had to 'improve' on Highsmith (yikes!) in order to justify their paycheck. The effect is disastrous, making an interminable film longer than it needs to be. Worse, now no one can have a whack at it again for 20 years or so!

Matt Damon seems like he was willing to perform, but slid into being boring instead of being understated. The characterization of Dickie as a playboy is unfortunate, but at least Jude Law shows signs of life. Miss Paltrow's Marge is far too knowing, rather than puppet-like. We are deprived of the uncomfortable sensation we feel in the book when she succumbs to Ripley's story. Cate Blanchett does as best she can, with a character that never existed in print and isn't even needed for the film.

Ripley is far more subtle than the over-baked re-telling given it by Minghella and Co. For example, why start him off living in abject poverty? Highsmith smartly had him already toying with an underground career when Mr. Greenleaf pursues him, knowing that he went to school with Dickie. The Highsmith setup makes for a much more interesting 'acquaintance becomes a devil and takes over your life' dynamic. Further bad choices are made concerning the coup de grace and ensuing action. The demise of Dickie, THE CENTRAL MOMENT OF THE STORY, is awkwardly contrived, seeming to come from nowhere and feeling out of place rather than organic and plausible. Perhaps this is the consequence of the bad plot leads going before, and poor filmmaking choices that leave the film's texture uneven.

Read the book instead.


18 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did he ever feel anything? (Vulnerability, weakness, etc.) Lily1357
why did Tom not kill Meredith? mikeos3
The P.I.'s chat with Tom donalsinnott
Freddie - most watchable hateable character I've seen in a long time daniel-grigg
Music was great daniel-grigg
The Italian Policeman asking Tom was he homosexual - why? Marsha_CutiePie
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