Ripley's Game (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  7 February 2003 (Italy)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 14,205 users  
Reviews: 107 user | 55 critic

Tom Ripley persuades a man to commit a murder for a large sum of money. The situation goes out of control, and that man must escape trouble.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Uwe Mansshardt ...
Hanns Zischler ...
Art Dealer
Maurizio Lucà ...
Franco's Assistant
Evelina Meghnagi ...
Sam Blitz ...
Matthew Trevanny
Emidio La Vella ...
Shoe Shop Owner (as Emidio Lavella)
Nikolaus Dutsch ...
Dr. Wentzel (as Nikolaus Deutsch)
Wilfried Zander ...


Tom Ripley - cool, urbane, wealthy, and murderous - lives in a villa in the Veneto with Luisa, his harpsichord-playing girlfriend. A former business associate from Berlin's underworld pays a call asking Ripley's help in killing a rival. Ripley - ever a student of human nature - initiates a game to turn a mild and innocent local picture framer into a hit man. The artisan, Jonathan Trevanny, who's dying of cancer, has a wife, young son, and little to leave them. If Ripley draws Jonathan into the game, can Ripley maintain control? Does it stop at one killing? What if Ripley develops a conscience? Luisa prepares for her concert. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Older. Wiser. More talented. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language, some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

7 February 2003 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

El amigo americano  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£244,457 (UK) (30 May 2003)


$228,171 (Brazil) (16 April 2004)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In Patricia Highsmith's original novel, most of the action takes place in France, not Italy, Tom Ripley and Jonathan Trevanny are both married to Frenchwomen who are named Heloise and Simone, not Luisa and Sarah. The character of Reeves is also different, in the novel he is an American fence whose motives are more obscure than they are depicted in the movie. See more »


When Ripley and Trevanny leave the train station, they are supposed to have arrived in Düsseldorf. The approaching police cars have license plates with a 'D' designating them to be in Düsseldorf. However, behind the police cars, the letters "City Carré Passage" can be seen on a building. There is no shopping area with this name in Düsseldorf. They are still in Berlin, at the main train station. See more »


Reeves: Well... you can't just go around killing people... Even bastards have friends...
Reeves: ...even dead bastards
See more »


Version of The American Friend (1977) See more »


Symphony No.3 Opus 36
(Symphony of Sorrowful Songs)
Composed by Henryk Mikolaj Górecki (as Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki)
Performed by Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra
Courtesy of Philips Classics
Licensed by kind permission from The Film and TV Licensing Division, part of the Universal Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

A very good movie that asks disturbing questions
25 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The talented Mr. Ripley is in retirement in Europre; his last job that he carried out before retirement is shown early in the movie when the very elegant, suave, etc. Mr. Ripley turns and commits a very foul crime that shows his inner ruthlessness. The purpose of this scene is to introduce his cohort in crime as well as remind the viewer what sort of man Mr. Ripley is and the people he deals with.

Years past and Ripley is seemingly absorbed into proper society; though there are rumors about his past. Nonetheless life seems to be going well for Mr. Ripley; living in a fashionable Italian villa as well as being in love with a world class musician. Then, his former associate in crime arrives unexpectedly at the villa. As unwelcome as this associate is Ripley does not throw him out immediately; that would be too rude even in private life. The visit is, unfortunately, not a personal one. Rather, it is business. The associate has some problems in Berlin with the new Russian crime bosses. He needs to find somebody who will take out one of these bottom dwellers. Does Ripley know a good hit man for the job? Ripley mulls it over and determines that the best hit man for a job like this would be somebody who has never done this sort of stuff before. Can an innocent man be persuaded to do this? This is not an easy question in the movies or in real life. In any civilized society murder is condemned harshly. Even if the victim of a murder is a low life him/herself the crime is treated as murder. Are there any circumstances where killing is allowed? Yes, there are some killings allowed such as on a battlefield during war. But, that is state sanctioned. Shooting somebody in a mob type killing is hardly allowed- or is it?? Can it be justified? But, even if a "suitable" victim is found does that give anybody the right to shoot them?? And, even if the person is deemed "suitable" for elimination by some standard- will the killing end with this individual or will there be retaliation? And, if there is, who can one call for help?? Does the end justify the means? This movie asks the question of whether a non-criminal can be induced to commit murder. It also asks other questions; some of them quite disturbing to even contemplate. In a way it is a continuation of movies that go back to "The Man who Shot Liberty Valence"; movies that question what ordinary people can do in extraordinary circumstances.

Realistically I doubt that a man such as Tom Ripley even exists. He seems as improbable as James Bond. Yet, James Bond was (supposedly) modeled on some real life individuals. Such a man as Tom Ripley may actually be out there. If so, he (or they) will probably resemble the character John Malkovich portrays. It is a very good portrayal of a very complex person.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Ripley lost the game? arthur_11
Without Gwyneth they oughtn't have bothered damienstreets
This movie is a remake of The American Friend (Der Amerikanishe Freund) dredzo
Why straight to DVD in America? coko-2
Which is better? smileyru
the movie felt cheap punch-drunk_love
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