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
Financial difficulties caused shooting delays which meant director Liliana Cavani had to leave the production before filming had been completed, due to a previous commitment to direct an opera at La Scala in Milan. John Malkovich took over and completed the film, directing around a third of the footage. Consequently, this marks his unofficial debut as a director See more »
When Reeves is at Ripley's house, he prepares a tray with his breakfast and walks from the kitchen into the library. In the shot before he goes through the interleading door, the only bottle on his tray is his beer. When he sits down in the library he suddenly has a bottle of HP sauce on his tray as well. See more »
Taut, tense and terrific...gorgeous photography...
Anyone who starts watching this little known film will have a hard time turning away. It takes Patricia Highsmith's novel and turns it into a stylish thriller, full of handsome interiors and lush location photography in Germany and Italy. Given the benefit of expert performances by John Malkovich, Dougray Scott and Ray Winstone, it's a tale that moves along at a fast clip and never lets go of the suspense.
It's more absorbing to watch without knowing anything of the plot, so I'll skip plot details and just say it has elements of Highsmith's other suspense tales (innocent man drawn into a murder for hire scheme) and most closely resembles her "Talented Mr. Ripley" story so successfully brought to the screen a few years ago.
John Malkovich, with his strange acting mannerisms makes a quirky anti-hero as Ripley and gets excellent support from Dougray Scott who makes the innocent carpenter a believable and sympathetic collaborator. Ray Winstone makes the obnoxious Reeves a vivid character. The train sequence involving the second murder is extremely well done.
Highly recommended as a vivid, colorful thriller.
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