Lovers Marianne and Jean-Paul spend their vacation in a villa on the French Riviera near St-Tropez. Marianne invites her former lover, Harry, and his teenage daughter to stay. Tension rises between them, especially when Jean-Paul seduces Penelope.
French filmmaker Rene Clement presents Alain Delon as a petty criminal on the run from the underground. On the Rivera, he seeks refuge in a flophouse whose soup line is served by Jane Fonda... See full summary »
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. However, he will need all his conman abilities to keep afloat.Written by
Humberto Amador/Peter Brandt Nielsen
Rene Clement's "Plein soleil" offers a young Alain Delon as Tom Ripley, a character known to more recent audiences as the hero of the Anthony Mingella 1999 "The Talented Mr. Ripley." It is nice to note that both films hold their own well, with the Mingella providing more character and background information than the Clement version.
Delon, who was to become a favorite actor of Visconti and other fine French and Italian directors, renders a skillful performance, along with Maurice Ronet as Phillipe Greenleaf (known as "Dickie" in the later Mingella opus).
Clement keeps the camera focused on the handsome M. Delon (as did Visconti) with stark closeups to show detailed emotional reactions. Delon manages to rise to the challenge in subtle ways, and to project a fully realized character. While Clement fails to provide much background as to why this character acts the way he does, Delon's photogenic countenance somewhat overcomes this void by masking it with personality and charm.
We can be thankful to Martin Scorcese for the fine reprint of this memorable French thriller, known in the UK and USA as "Purple Noon."
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