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
I found this film more interesting than the recent Minghella opus because the people were more disturbing.
Alain Delon is too good-looking to be dismissed as the geeky wannabee Matt Damon plays. His insanity in a pretty package is as unsettling as Gene Tierney's in "Leave Her to Heaven." Delon looks like Maurice Ronet's brother, and you can see him wonder why if he's just as handsome as the other guy, why doesn't he have as much money? Ronet is more unpredictable than Jude Law as the whimsical rich boy and his death is every bit as shocking.
I can't imagine that Anthony Minghella hadn't seen this version before making his own. He probably regrets Scorsese's reconstruction of Rene Clement's film so we can all make the comparison. Some scenes play like a shot-for-shot remake. Billy Kearns's brutal Freddy Miles is an obvious template for Philip Seymour Hoffman's more calculated and less powerful performance, and Gwyneth Paltrow's final breakdown is VERY close to that of Marie Laforet's.
All through the 1999 film, I kept wondering why everybody couldn't see what was wrong with the toad-like Damon. In this one, Delon's plausible, even glamorous exterior made the success of his deceptions more understandable, and more frightening.
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