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The Talented Mr. Ripley & Purple Noon
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Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) has been one of my favorite films since I saw it on the big screen while living in darkest Atlanta. A few years later, post-red pill, I bought the DVD and was struck anew at the brilliance of the script, performances, and direction. But I was also struck by the sheer whiteness of this film, which is set in 1958 and 1959 in New York City and Italy (Rome, Venice, the Bay of Naples). There’s nothing new about the idea of “escapist” entertainment. But when I first watched this film, I was not aware that one of the things I was escaping from was diversity.

Minghella’s movie is based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel of the same name. Most film adaptations of novels are inferior to the original, but not Minghella’s. Spoilers ahead: To talk about the novel and its adaptations, I am going to have to summarize the story. But the film has not been in the theaters in 20 years. And don’t worry: You’ll still want to see it.

Highsmith’s Thomas Ripley is not a likeable character. He’s simply a sociopath who makes money through forgery and other scams. In his early 20s, Ripley meets shipping magnate Herbert Greenleaf at a party. Ripley was passingly acquainted with his son, Dickie, at Princeton. The elder Greenleaf pays Ripley to go to Italy and persuade his wastrel son to come back and work for the family business.

In Italy, Ripley ingratiates himself with Dickie and becomes increasingly attracted to his lifestyle. Dickie’s girlfriend Marge Sherwood is skeptical of Ripley, accusing him of being homosexual, and eventually Dickie tires of Ripley as well, especially after he catches Ripley wearing his clothes and imitating his mannerisms.

On a trip to San Remo, Ripley murders Dickie, assumes his identity, breaks off his relationship with Marge, and moves to Rome. Dickie’s friend Freddie Miles locates the Rome apartment where Ripley is living as Dickie. Ripley kills Miles and dumps his body.

Since Dickie is now a murder suspect, Ripley can no longer lead his life. Thus Ripley leads Dickie’s family to think he has committed suicide and begins to live in Venice under his own name. Mr. Greenleaf transfers Dickie’s trust fund to Ripley, in accordance with a will that Ripley has forged. Ripley ends up wealthy and free, but fears that he may eventually pay for his crimes.

It is a cleverly written book, and even though Ripley is not a sympathetic character, Highsmith manages to slowly seduce the readers into becoming accomplices in his crimes.

Minghella’s adaptation is far more three-dimensional and ultimately tragic. But Minghella understands that to make Tom Ripley tragic, he must also evoke some sympathy and admiration. Thus Minghella’s Ripley (one of Matt Damon’s finest roles) is not introduced as a calculating sociopath. Instead, he is an American middle-class everyman, an insecure, upwardly-mobile phony, an impoverished aesthete whose good looks and good taste offer him an entrée into high society. (Ripley slides into a slow-burning murderous rage when a Princeton silver-spoon describes his apartment as “bourgeois.”)

Ripley plays classical piano. (Bach’s Italian Concerto is one of his favorites.) One day, Ripley substitutes for a pianist at a classical recital, borrowing the fellow’s Princeton jacket. When Herbert Greenleaf spies the jacket and asks Ripley if he knew his son Dickie at Princeton, one gets the feeling that Ripley lies with no specific aim, just a general desire to ingratiate and keep the conversation going.

Mr. Greenleaf’s offer allows Ripley to enter a world of beauty and high culture he cannot otherwise afford, transported from his noisy basement apartment in the meatpacking district in a chauffeured limousine—the driver telling him that the Greenleaf name opens a lot of doors, foreshadowing what Ripley will do with that name—to a Cunard luxury liner for a first class voyage to Italy.

When Ripley arrives in Mongibello, the fictional town on the Bay of Naples where Dickie and his girlfriend Marge Sherwood are living, the chemistry is far more complex than in Highsmith’s novel. Marge, beautifully played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is charmed rather than repelled by Ripley. And Ripley’s relationship with Dickie—brilliantly played by Jude Law—is far more intense.

According to Highsmith, the character of Ripley is not homosexual. That was just Marge’s jealousy speaking. (A lesbian herself, Highsmith certainly had no hang-ups about homosexuality. She just didn’t see Ripley that way.) In Minghella’s film, however, Dickie Greenleaf is fearsomely handsome and charismatic, and Tom Ripley doesn’t just fall in love with his money and lifestyle, he falls in love with the man himself, and he is tormented by Dickie’s own seeming ambiguity on the subject. These changes to the story send the dramatic tension and conflict off the charts and make Ripley’s eventual murder of Dickie a tragic crime of passion, not merely a sociopath’s cold-blooded kill.

Minghella’s treatment of the murder of Freddie Miles (loathsomely played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) and the aftermath is very close to the book. When Ripley reverts to his own character, leaving behind the beautiful wardrobe and apartment he has purchased with Dickie’s money, he makes a fateful choice, taking Dickie’s rings, which were gifts from Marge. As he closes the lid of his piano, a single blurred reflection divides like an amoeba into two separate faces. Ripley is Ripley again.

Later in Venice, Ripley meets with Mr. Greenleaf and Marge. When Marge finds Dickie’s rings in Ripley’s flat, there is a tense scene, in which Ripley panics and contemplates killing Marge to silence her. The whole thing is absurd. Marge is certain that Dickie never took off his rings. All Tom had to do was say that Dickie took off his rings whenever he contemplated being unfaithful to Marge, which is plausible and probably even true. In short, Minghella’s movie has the audience making up better lies than Ripley. Thus the film is far more adept at making the audience Ripley’s accomplices than Highsmith’s novel.

Mr. Greenleaf has hired a private investigator, Alvin MacCarron, to investigate Freddie’s death and Dickie’s disappearance. It turns out that Dickie once violently assaulted a Princeton classmate. They have concluded that Dickie probably murdered Freddie in a similar rage and then committed suicide. To thank Ripley for his loyalty—and to buy his silence—Greenleaf has decided to give Ripley a portion of his son’s trust, making him a wealthy man. As in the novel, it looks like Ripley is going to get off Scott free.

But no. Minghella’s movie also introduces new characters, who add dramatic tension and tragic pathos. When Ripley arrives in Italy, he meets Meredith Logue, bewitchingly played by Cate Blanchett. Again on an apparent whim, he lies and introduces himself as Dickie Greenleaf, a lie that will have consequences when he runs into her again in Rome after having killed Dickie and assumed his identity. Meredith has excellent taste, so she and “Dickie” become friends, shopping and attending the opera—Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, in which the title character kills a friend in a duel. Then they seem to slip into a romance, although one has to wonder if she is really Ripley’s type, being a girl and all.

Peter Smith-Kingsley, played by Jack Davenport, is a musician and musicologist living in Venice. He is dangerous to Ripley’s ruse because he is friends with Meredith, who knows Ripley as Dickie, and with Marge, who knows him as Ripley. This makes for some tense cat-and-mouse drama. Smith-Kingsley is also homosexual, and given their mutual interest in music, he is a good match for Ripley, so when Ripley leaves Rome for Venice, he and Peter become lovers.

At the end of the movie, Ripley and Peter leave on a boat for Athens. Once out to sea, Ripley bumps into Meredith. This is a problem. She knows Ripley as Dickie, and she knowns Peter, who knows him as Ripley. She’s traveling with family, so he can’t just toss her overboard. And they he can’t just stay in the cabin, because Peter has seen them together. (Kissing, no less.)

At this point, Ripley could have just come clean with Meredith about how his impulsive imposture, when he thought he would never see her again, snowballed because he could never summon up the courage to come clean. She probably would have accepted it. He could have even come clean with Smith-Kingsley about everything, and he probably would have accepted it. But instead, Ripley strangles Peter, probably the only person who ever loved him. Ripley may never be arrested, but he’s never going to “get away with” this kind of crime.

It is a wrenchingly tragic conclusion to an incredibly rich and powerful drama, and far more satisfying than Highsmith’s tiny, pro forma nod to the fact that Ripley, though untroubled by a conscience, will always fear the police.

The Talented Mister Ripley is one of the few films I find simply flawless. The script is brilliant both literarily and psychologically. The performances are uniformly excellent. These are Matt Damon’s and Jude Law’s best roles. It is Minghella’s best-directed film: an unapologetically Eurocentric, absolutely voluptuous vision of Italy at its most beautiful and America at its civilizational peak. Try it if you want to escape into the world of 1950s and early-1960s glamorous romantic thrillers like To Catch a Thief or Charade. Ripley turns darker than those films, but it is also more emotionally powerful and rewarding.

If you can’t get enough of Ripley, I’ve got good news: There’s another big screen adaptation, René Clément’s 1960 film, Plein soleil (Purple Noon), starring Alain Delon in his first major role. Purple Noon is highly absorbing, but as a work of art, it falls far short of Minghella’s film.

Delon’s Ripley is simply a cold sociopath, although one wants him to be more, because Delon is stunningly handsome. None of the other characters are particularly likable either. Dickie Greenleaf (called Philippe here) is simply a bully, and Marge is a shrew. Freddie Miles is exactly the same. Minghella clearly cast his Dickie and Miles to look like their counterparts in Purple Noon.

Minghella’s treatment of the death of Freddie Miles also owes a lot to Purple Noon. In Purple Noon, however, Ripley calmly cooks and eats a meal while Miles lies dead in the next room, a nice way to indicate sociopathy.

Whereas Minghella’s departures from Highsmith add depth and drama, Clément’s diminish the story, particularly the end, when Ripley gets caught. Let that be a lesson to you.

This ending was probably necessary in 1960, for The Talented Mr. Ripley in all of its incarnations drives moralists to distraction. Highsmith’s Ripley is a sociopathic murderer as anti-hero, the kind of thing that was hot during Generation Existential. Clément brings him to the screen as a pinup. If he didn’t get caught, French men would have pretended to be sociopaths too, French girls would have thrown themselves at them, and 1968 would have come early. When Minghella’s film came out, I heard it denounced as diabolical because it makes a sympathetic anti-hero out of a “gay serial killer.” But I’m not buying it. Save it for Hannibal Lecter, Sweeney Todd, and Dexter. Minghella’s Ripley is the American middle-class everyman. He’s just good Will Hunting gone bad.

 
• Category: Arts/Letters • Tags: Hollywood, Movies 
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  1. Kim says:

    I think there are three Ripley novels. There is one set in his later life where he is married to a woman with some money and a good family (in France) while Ripley is involved in some art forgery hijinks. A good read.

    And as to the flicks, there is a second Ripley featuring John Malkovich as the much older protagonist. Set in northern Italy. That is also good (fun) but nothng like “The Talented…” which is indeed a masterpiece.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Pheasant
    , @Ian Smith
  2. I agree. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a great movie which I’ve watched a number of times. One of the few older movies I haven’t deleted from my Amazon watchlist.

    As you have pointed out, Jude Law does a simply outstanding job of depicting how a confident, wealthy, cultured person should enjoy his money. His clothes–and the way he wears them–are enviable. Whoever chose his wardrobe deserves an award. They are post-WW2 Italian at their finest, loose and casual, flowing with the body as it moves–and Law moves with the easy grace of a young man in his physical prime of life. He wears his wealth like he wears his clothes, unselfconsciously, as though born to them.

    The Italy of the time is so appealing it hurts.

    What Dickie couldn’t stand in Ripley was Ripley’s annoying habit of profusely thanking Dickie for kindnesses or gifts which he bestowed upon him as a matter of course. Crumbs falling from Dickie’s table Ripley looked upon as boons. While Dickie just wanted to act naturally, Ripley wanted to relish the idea that he was in the presence of wealth and class. It was Ripley, not Dickie, who wouldn’t let Ripley forget his middle-classness. When Dickie threw this in Ripley’s face, Ripley killed him.

    • Replies: @Poco
    , @Pheasant
    , @follyofwar
  3. It is Minghella’s best-directed film: an unapologetically Eurocentric, absolutely voluptuous vision of Italy at its most beautiful and America at its civilizational peak.

    Not sure what that means in this context. The LA DOLCE VITA lifestyle on display seems more exotic and eccentric than Euro-centric. What is Dickie’s main passion? Jazz. All his gods are black, and he has no sense of responsibility, no sense of obligation except to self-indulgence. He’s utterly selfish and individualistic, even as he mooches off his father. In the novel, his passion is painting, but in the movie it’s Jazz, which I suppose is more cinematic and exciting for the soundtrack. Ripley is another moocher. Dickie and Ripley are the perfect avatars of the soulless new Western Man. The post-war boom and economic peak were certainly not the civilizational peak for they elevated materialism and ‘self-actualization’ as the highest goals of life. By the way, it is a terrific movie, one of the most intelligent to come out of Hollywood.

    An odd thing. Even though TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is superior or equal to PURPLE NOON in just about every department — in acting, script, plotting, RIPLEY is superior, and in cinematography, it holds it own — , PURPLE NOON is the greater film, the one with classic status. Why would this be? Because cinema is more about magic than data. In its parts, TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is hard to beat as suspense, thriller, mystery, and even dark romance. The acting is only adequate in PURPLE NOON and the plotting is perfunctory. There isn’t much to Delon’s psychology. Still, PURPLE NOON has a mesmerizing quality lacking in TALENTED MR. RIPLEY. The ‘remake’ is more like maze, the Clement film is like a dream. You have to follow every twist to make sense of RIPLEY and enjoy it — and it is immensely enjoyable –, whereas you can forget about everything still be carried away by the romantic haze of PURPLE NOON.

    Still, two remarkable works based on the same novel. Rare in cinema for a novel to produce one good movie. But two is a charmer.

    Another fine adaptation and with Beatty as a budding star with real charisma(before he got a bit sappy). ALL FALL DOWN.

  4. I look forward to a review of another Patricia Highsmith movie adaption, The Two Faces of January.

  5. Ripley sucks. It’s boring. The things you people gush about. Next it’ll be Happy Days.

  6. fenestol says:

    Good Lord, you couldn’t be more wrong. Cate Blanchett’s character and the second murder are totally gratuitous. The only thing I gained from this movie is the thought that Gwyneth Paltrow really loves Dick(ie).

  7. Kim says:
    @obwandiyag

    Stuff White People Like?

    • Replies: @Montefrío
    , @obwandiyag
  8. AceDeuce says:

    Plein soleil literally translates to “Full sun”.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  9. @AceDeuce

    Yes indeed. Purple Noon is an odd title. I hesitate to even call it a translation.

  10. @Priss Factor

    Even though TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is superior or equal to PURPLE NOON in just about every department — in acting, script, plotting, RIPLEY is superior, and in cinematography, it holds it own — , PURPLE NOON is the greater film, the one with classic status. Why would this be? Because cinema is more about magic than data. In its parts, TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is hard to beat as suspense, thriller, mystery, and even dark romance. The acting is only adequate in PURPLE NOON and the plotting is perfunctory. There isn’t much to Delon’s psychology. Still, PURPLE NOON has a mesmerizing quality lacking in TALENTED MR. RIPLEY. The ‘remake’ is more like maze, the Clement film is like a dream.

    Critical reputations change over time. Purple Noon has a 39-year head start.

  11. Stogumber says:
    @obwandiyag

    When I read the book, I found that Ripley was simply lacking a dimension – the moral/social dimension. Which makes him less interesting, not more interesting (as Highsmith seems to believe).

    • Replies: @Alden
  12. Stogumber says:

    On the other hand, for me Ripley’s killing Dickey comes over as the panicking reaction of a closeted homosexual. After sexual deviance became mentionable, it was just “progressive” writers who liked to depict sexual deviants as criminals (for that read e.g. Ross Macdonald or Margaret Millar). Of course, after the start of the Gay Liberation Movement, Highsmith would not admit that.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  13. Ripley is also one of my favorite films of all times. But you left out a few things.

    For one, the soundtrack is one of the best of all times: from the flourishes by Gabriel Yared to Sinead O’Connor to the 50s jazz pieces to Matt Damon himself singing the jazz standard My Funny Valentine, the soundtrack adds 100 percent to the atmosphere of the already unique and outstanding production values of the visuals.

    For another, the editor was the fantastic Walter Murch who cut the film with subtle flawlessness and should have received the Academy Award that year as his editing made the film more so I think than the director. In 1999 Murch said the following in an interview for FilmSound:

    Despite such dream elements, “Ripley” was fraught with challenges, not the least of which was the fact that it is told exclusively from the point of view of the title character — a complex creature who walks a fine line between the audience’s sympathy and scorn by doing some not-so-nice things.

    “I’m drawn toward complex material that, on the face of it, almost doesn’t work,” Murch said. “Risky scripts, like ‘Ripley,’ challenge me and the whole filmmaking process.”

    Seeing this film made me want to read Patricia Highsmith’s book and because I read it after I watched the film, I disagree with you on your conclusions about the book: it seemed to me to be very very close to the film, though I will agree that the film added some coloring and drama.

    I liked the book so much that I went on to read Highsmith’s two Mr. Ripley sequels and then all of her written work, including her book on how to write fiction.I found her work to be some of the best of that genre, a kind of pulp fiction from the 50s on.

    The Talented Mr. Ripley is one of the finest films ever made. I appreciate you calling attention to it.

    • Agree: Che Guava
    • Thanks: utu
  14. mh505 says:

    Only an American would favourably compare this remake with Plein soleil; and by extension Minghella (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency) with René Clement (Gervaise et al), even though the latter’s preoccupation with WWII may be considered somewhat overdone.

    Weak ending alright; but endings aren’t everything.

    And let’s not even get into Alain Delon vs Matt Damon.

    • Replies: @Charon
  15. roo_ster says:

    I appreciate the review of both films and plan to see “Purple Noon” in the future. On the other hand, I have no plans to see the Matt Damon variant.

    Frankly, it sounds entirely too gay for me. I get enough queer this and queer that that I can not avoid, wading through the sewage that is contemporary culture. I do my best to counterbalance the queer (broadly defined) with my elective entertainment choices. To that end, I rarely see a film without reading a review from a few trusted sources, Mr. Lynch being one of them.

    Again, thank you for the dual review and good day.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  16. One translation of “Plein Soleil” would be “High Noon,” but that was used by the iconic John Wayne film. “Purple” can mean full, or overfull, or saturated, as in “purple prose.”

    • Replies: @anon
  17. @Stogumber

    On the other hand, for me Ripley’s killing Dickey comes over as the panicking reaction of a closeted homosexual.

    That is not how it is played in Minghella’s movie. Dickie verbally assaults Ripley, who in a rage hits him to shut him up, and when Dickie lunges back at him, Ripley defends himself and kills Dickie in the process.

    Nor does it come off that way in the book.

  18. Kim says:
    @Priss Factor

    All Fall Down is currently available at p.i.r.a/t.e bay. Only a couple of seeds. Also “Two Faces of January”,

  19. anon[368] • Disclaimer says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    would be “High Noon,” but that was used by the iconic John Wayne film.

    Not John Wayne, rather Gary Cooper.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  20. Johnwho says:

    White people huh?
    I wakes up ever day in de mornin and duh firse think ah does is beat m’self wit a switch fo bein’ white.
    Funny thing is I don’t agree with all you’all racist here. It’s just that I cannot make comments on many Canadian sites less I drunk the coolaid. Even gubmint sites is agin duh law to disagree.
    That’s what I resent, that there is this new kinda ‘woke’ thing where if you don’t agree with the agreed upon theme you simply get your comment deleted. It was better with the old internet before the monied internet got control of it. Then you could go to your chosen sites and have reasonable discussions with reasonable people. Now those sites are getting shut down and there is nowhere to go except to sites where one cannot actually tell the truth if it collides with a predefined ‘paradigm’.
    Sorry for bendin’ your ear my friend, but this is one of the last sites I can even comment on. So, I hope this is the last time I post here, I hope I get up tomorrow morning and just decide to fuck everybody.
    It’s difficult though, because I never was that way and never wanted to be that way. Even so, as somebody once may or may not have said: ‘The secret to survival is to adopt your environment, no matter how far it may have been distant to your ideals.’

    • Replies: @Johnwho
  21. Johnwho says:
    @Johnwho

    What happens when you join sites like facebook or google or twitter or youtube or what have you?
    You are watched and know you are watched, either conciously or sub-conciously, and almost automatically trim your sails accordingly. Just sucks!

  22. Charon says:
    @mh505

    Purple Noon is subtle and intelligent, much like Highsmith herself. It does seem to have a bit of a dreamlike, seductive quality; and it’s totally free of the various clichés, tics, and devices of modern Hollywood filmmaking.

    In all of these regards it’s entirely unlike The Talented Mr. Ripley.

  23. MattinLA says:

    Interesting. You may find it notable that Minghella was involved in a serious fraud case revolving around a muti-million dollar Malibu estate, along with his wife or lover, Lindsay Dunlap. That case is still ongoing.

  24. Alden says:
    @Kim

    5 Ripley novels, everyone is great. Highsmith is a great writer.

  25. Poco says:
    @ThreeCranes

    Fuck a bunch of wealthy cocksuckers. I’m easily worth over a million dollars if I liquidated my assets but fuck them.

  26. Poco says:
    @obwandiyag

    Money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money money, money, money, MONEY! I could liquidate now and sell out to Faith Electric and have a couple millions but I won’t. Nor does my family want me to. I have sons and grandsons now. Maybe after I’m gone they’ll buy out Faith. Piss on the wealthy inheritors of money who lay around.

    • Replies: @Johnwho
  27. Italy will never be the same, never as it was. It hurts to see what it’s become with all the imports. It’s unforgivable what the globalists have done to it. Utterly depressing to walk the streets of its once great centres of culture these days.

    • Replies: @follyofwar
  28. @Priss Factor

    The ‘remake’ is more like maze, the Clement film is like a dream. You have to follow every twist to make sense of RIPLEY and enjoy it — and it is immensely enjoyable –, whereas you can forget about everything still be carried away by the romantic haze of PURPLE NOON.

    That’s the distinction between story-driven American cinema and atmospheric French cinema, isn’t it?

  29. syonredux says:
    @Priss Factor

    Still, two remarkable works based on the same novel. Rare in cinema for a novel to produce one good movie. But two is a charmer.

    Indeed. Hollywood failed twice at adapting The Maltese Falcon before John Huston finally succeeded:

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  30. Pheasant says:
    @Kim

    I like both Ripleys game the book and the movie. There are 5 Ripley novels and all are quite different from one another.

  31. Pheasant says:
    @ThreeCranes

    ‘What Dickie couldn’t stand in Ripley was Ripley’s annoying habit of profusely thanking Dickie for kindnesses or gifts which he bestowed upon him as a matter of course. ‘

    It reminds me of Paul fussel’s book class where he relates a story about a member of the upper class inviting a middle class person over for lunch. The man compliments his wealthy host’s furniture whereupon he is summarily ejected without comment.

    In upper class circles good taste (at the least) and sometimes wealth is taken as a given; it must be annoying to be reminded of it by an outsider.

  32. @Kim

    Not necessarily. All too precious (“twee” in britishism) for us plain folk. In contemporary parlance, these movies sound awfully “gay”. Yawn.

  33. Biff says:

    Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) has been one of my favorite films since I saw it on the big screen while living in darkest Atlanta.

    The times when Hollyweird is worth a shit… Otherwise not..

    • Replies: @Seek
  34. @anon

    Not John Wayne, rather Gary Cooper.

    Thanks. There’s a reason I don’t review Westerns.

  35. @Pheasant

    ‘What Dickie couldn’t stand in Ripley was Ripley’s annoying habit of profusely thanking Dickie for kindnesses or gifts which he bestowed upon him as a matter of course.

    Not really, but Dickie does scold him for picking up after himself rather than letting the maid do it.

  36. @Charon

    I agree. Copies are only that: copies. And when one sees the kinds of scenario written, one has to ask this question: who is the sociopath, the depicted character or the writer himself?

    Especially after that conclusion:

    “Minghella’s Ripley is the American middle-class everyman.”

    What a confession!

    And my own conclusion: it is worth lying and killing! And it is what yankees are proud to do, isn’t it?

  37. It maybe your wet dream to live in the “white” America of the 1950s but I am afraid the likes of Mr. Greenleaf (it sounds rather Jewish) would have you as Tom Ripley and not as Dickie.

    As to Minghella, watch his “The English Patient” without any reference to Jews in spite of the story taking place in the middle of the WWII (every Jew I know didn’t like the movie … I wonder why).

    • LOL: Pheasant
    • Replies: @Pheasant
  38. Paul43 says:

    When i was young i dated a girl for a few weeks who completly invented and lied about her life and constantly made up stories too.

    This wasnt just a background but experiences everything, she had a thing for violence too.

    Crazy bitch!

    Anyone know if theres a mental condition that explains this?

    I dont think she was psychotic as she lived in the real world just compulsive lying.

    • Replies: @Thomasina
    , @Alfred
    , @Pericles
  39. brumpf says: • Website

    Rich people, murder and other depraved, sick activities, homosexuality. Sounds like CRAP to me.

  40. @Priss Factor

    What is interesting is- this is simply wrong way of viewing things (although an understandable one). In arts & sciences, there is no rational way of listing achievements. And in film- even less so.

    When one just glances on Sight and Sound top 100 movies of all times: https://www.bfi.org.uk/news/50-greatest-films-all-time – one is struck by its sheer absurdity. There is no measuring stick by which one could compare musicals & westerns & epics & dramas & thrillers & comedies… and, movies from the 1930s to the films of the 1990s.

    All one can say is that one prefers one to another.

    That doesn’t mean everything is relative. Sure, Kurosawa and Tarkovsky are certainly greater directors than, say, Spike Lee. But, who between them (and add Welles, Fellini, Bergman, Bunuel, Kieslowski,..) is “greater”- this is meaningless.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  41. I’ve seen this film long ago, but as I recall- the ending is different. Ripley is in his room & there is no way he could get out of that situation without being caught. He’ll be arrested, that’s for sure.

    Otherwise, the movie is very good, a brilliant piece of entertainment. But I don’t see much of a social weight Mr. Lynch attaches to it. This is a crime fiction turned into perhaps more complex film, but still -an entertainment. There is no “vision of life” in it.

    • Replies: @Alden
  42. Let me attach my favorite Bergman quotes I actually agree with (and boy, I laughed when I first read them). So, here is Bergman on:

    Citizen Kane

    A total bore. Above all, the performances are worthless. The amount of respect that movie has is absolutely unbelievable!

    Jean Luc Godard

    I’ve never been able to appreciate any of his films, nor even understand them… I find his films affected, intellectual, self-obsessed and, as cinema, without interest and frankly dull… I’ve always thought that he made films for critics.

    Alfred Hitchcock

    A very good technician. And he has something in Psycho, he had some moments. Psycho is one of his most interesting pictures because he had to make the picture very fast, with very primitive means…. He is completely infantile, and I would like to know more — no, I don’t want to know — about his behavior with, or, rather, against women.

    • Replies: @Hacienda
    , @Dumbo
    , @Alden
    , @Liza
  43. Jake says:

    If Tom Ripley is the American middle class everyman, then America, and not just Elite America, is evil, amorally evil.

  44. Please. Like Highsmith’s novel, PURPLE NOON is about demonic metaphysical envy — too deep a theme for the Hollywood re-makers to understand, who reduce it to banal all-too-intelligible homosexual attraction. And he who cannot see that the young Delon is a classic cinematic wonder to behold must be blind.

    • Agree: Liza
  45. Rocco and his brothers is the best movie of all times.

  46. Hacienda says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    And what does Bergman think of his own movies?

    Because every second I’ve been forced to watch Bergman or hear someone gush about him (teachers),
    I want that time back.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  47. @ThreeCranes

    I loved Lynch’s review (as I love most of them) and checked Netflix to see if they had it. Apparently they do, and I plan to see it again ASAP. I don’t remember much of it from the time I saw it years ago – probably drunk.

  48. @Commentator Mike

    Now that Italy has become the European epicenter for COVID-19, how long will it be before anyone not already stuck there dares to set foot in it? On the bright side, it should cut down on mass immigration, as long as Africans get the message.

    • Replies: @Dumbo
    , @Charon
  49. Ian Smith says:
    @Kim

    There is also Wim Wenders’s American Friend, with Dennis Hopper as Ripley.

  50. @obwandiyag

    “Next it’ll be Happy Days.”

    My review of Happy Days: First two seasons somewhat interesting and amusing. The show switched to taping before a studio audience beginning the third season. Fonzie, one of the show’s few ethnic characters, became the breakout star. That’s when the shark-jumping began. The focus should have been on Potsie.

  51. @syonredux

    Aspiring film directors should study John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon. The majority of the scenes in the film consist of people talking in rooms. The script, written by Houston, is top-notch; but even with a good story and actors to speak the dialog, it takes great skill to shoot these scenes lest they become static.

    • Replies: @Anon
  52. @Hacienda

    “I want that time back.”

    Bergman’s tedious navel-gazing was funded primarily by the Swedish government. He was a skillful conman.

    • Replies: @Jake
  53. Thirdeye says:

    Minghella’s Ripley was brilliantly portrayed. As one unfamiliar with any of the previous Ripley stories, the Ripley character was completely plausible as a well-intentioned and sensitive, if insecure and impulsive, young man who is driven over the edge by falling for someone shallow and somewhat boorish. The realization that the sympathetically-portrayed and tragic character is in reality a sociopath is a dramatic shock that gets you right in the guts.

    The timing of Minghella’s movie within three years of the murderous rampage of Andrew Cunanan, in which the fashion designer Gianni Versace was killed, makes me wonder if it’s merely coincidental.

  54. Dumbo says:
    @follyofwar

    I think Africans and others prefer to live in Italy/Europe with coronavirus than back home without. The refugees trying to storm into Europe from Turkey at the same time that the coronavirus impacts the continent is comedy gold.

    • Agree: Charon
  55. Dumbo says: • Website
    @Bardon Kaldian

    All or at any rate many directors like to criticize other directors, it’s just rivalry. The same criticism could be made of a lot of later Bergman movies (his best work was likely in the 1950s); some things he made in the 1970s were pretty bad or awkward (but I like Autumn Sonata).

    He’s right about Godard (mostly – I liked Bande à part), though.

  56. Alfred says:
    @Pheasant

    The man compliments his wealthy host’s furniture whereupon he is summarily ejected without comment.

    I once had a friend who was wealthy. His father started as a labourer in Sweden but left a fortune to his only child. My past was quite the reverse. Going out with this friend became onerous because wherever we went together, the waiters assumed that I was the one with the fortune. Eventually, my friend complained about it and we never met again.

  57. Thomasina says:
    @Paul43

    It depends on her motivation for lying. Motive and intention are key.

    If I were to place her somewhere, it would be Cluster B in the DSM – narcissistic personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder (psychopathy or sociopathy), possibly borderline.

    Very dangerous individuals who walk freely among us, causing utter chaos.

    We’re all on the continuum somewhere, including you and I, and even Ron Unz!

    We all have motive and intent. Without it, we’d be dead. It’s just that most of us have a conscience. They don’t.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  58. Alfred says:
    @Paul43

    Anyone know if there is a mental condition that explains this?

    10% of men are psychopaths and only 1% of women. I guess you were very unlucky.

    So if you can’t convince the psychopath in your life to change, what can you do? Unfortunately, it is often the case that the only way to beat a psychopath at their own game is to refuse to play. Don’t engage in their petty gossip. Don’t take the bait when they push your buttons. Stand your ground and don’t let them intimidate you. And if all else fails, do what victims in all those serial killer movies do. Run!

    How to Identify a Female Psychopath (psychology Today)

    Actually, the advice in that article is not entirely correct. You cannot persuade a psychopath to change. They are hardwired that way. Just stay away from them and don’t think that you can ever win any games with them.

  59. Thomasina says:

    Take a look at Joe Biden lying in this clip from I believe 1988, then listen to the follow-up where actual investigative reporters call him out.

    What a liar. This illustrates how easily some people can lie. Watch the first clip (one minute long):

    Biden tells a crowd that he went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in his class with a full academic scholarship, said he was named the outstanding political science student in the political science department, graduated in the top half of his class, and got three degrees.

    Nope. He got one degree, graduated 76th in a class of 85, finishing near the bottom of his class, went to law school on a half scholarship, and was not deemed the outstanding political science student in the political science department.

    Watch how easily the lies flow off his lips. Not much different than Ripley.

    • Thanks: Alfred
    • Replies: @Pericles
  60. @Dumbo

    All critiques are mostly- valid.

    Bergman was essentially something like Strindberg reincarnated- just he didn’t write dramas, he directed them. His basic metier was theater, and he didn’t care too much about technicalities, film language tricks & innovations etc.

    Personally, I prefer his later movies like Cries and Whispers & Fanny and Alexander.

    Welles, while a magnificent person & equally magnificent film innovator, in my view made a few vastly overrated good movies which French faggy critics exulted into something, something transcendent…..while they’re at best stylistic exercises; Hitchcock has aged badly and most of his films are barely watchable now; Godard is interesting, too, as a technical innovator, but from all his films, only fragments remain & entrancing beauty of Anna Karina.

    That said, I would add: film can be a great entertainment, but- let’s not pretend it’s much of an art. It wasn’t & will never be.

    • Replies: @Dumbo
    , @Peter D. Bredon
  61. Alfred says:
    @Thomasina

    We’re all on the continuum somewhere, including you and I, and even Ron Unz!

    I beg to disagree. There are the psychopaths and non psychopaths. Between these extremes there are a lot of people who are not psychopaths but who will behave as psychopaths if that is expected of them. They may work for the NKVD and shoot hundreds of people in the head – but they need to get drunk in the evening to forget the horror. Real psychopaths don’t need the alcohol.

    How Stalin’s chief henchman personally killed 15,000 people

    A lot of research has been done that shows that psychopaths have brains that work differently.

    Psychopaths’ Brains Show Differences in Structure and Function

    Lots of politicians are psychopaths – Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, Tony Blair and Barack Obama.

    • Replies: @Thomasina
  62. Charon says:
    @follyofwar

    Africans are not capable of “getting the message” and even if some were, there are billions on the way.

    It’s a plague which will sweep all before it, and the white countries are welcoming it. They are welcoming their own demise.

    If I had my way, every SJW who clamors for open borders would be locked in a cage with a hundred Africans. Then they could really test their convictions.

    • Replies: @Jake
  63. Alden says:
    @Stogumber

    The book and movie were Everyman’s revenge on the aristos. Ripely grew up in Princeton. His Dad was a piano tuner in the music department of Princeton U. He taught Tom to play the piano. Apparently Princeton didn’t offer the children of employees scholarships in those days. So Tom didn’t go to college but went to NYC and worked as a musician.

    As he played around town in various clubs and parties every once in a while a young Princeton grad would ask, “ Don’t I know you? Aren’t you from Princeton?” “ Yes I am, I’m Tom Ripley” “ I’m so and so, join us for a drink when you’re finished” they’d seen him around campus working with his Dad and in town. Ripley didn’t come up with a grand plan to get in with the Princeton crowd. It just happened naturally.

    Highsmith was the same age of the characters and grew up in NYC when the public schools were still good and the city was safe for Whites. I think that really showed in the portrayal of the characters. Loved all the books loved the movies.

    I like the second book best although there were some suspend belief parts. His house is in a rural area and backs up into a national forest. The forest is a convenient place to bury his murder victims. The wife spends weeks at a time visiting her family, no kids. So he has privacy for his murders.

  64. Anon[233] • Disclaimer says:

    I saw Purple Noon about 20 years ago. If any of you would like to show young whites how glorious Europe (Italy) was in 1960, it would be a good film to show them. Just as a travelogue/time capsule, its worth your time.

    I did not like the fact that Matt Damon’s character got away with it in Mr. Ripley. Ripley was a well done movie, but Im a right wing guy when it comes to a criminal defrauding people and especially killing people. Wanna see justice served and all. It has to be for the world to work.

  65. Thomasina says:
    @Alfred

    “I beg to disagree. There are psychopaths and non psychopaths.”

    Yeah, that’s why I ended with: “It’s just that most of us have a conscience. They don’t.”

    And I wasn’t implying (not even close) that Ron Unz or you or I are close to being psychopathic. What I was trying to get across was the fact that ALL OF US have intent. It’s just that most don’t see this; too busy pointing at everyone else.

    You probably just see “black and white” whereas I see “grey”.

  66. Pheasant says:
    @Really No Shit

    There is a scene where the spy’s (Willem defoe) Jewish girlfriend is afraid of a German takeover.

    • Replies: @Really No Shit
  67. Dumbo says: • Website
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Bergman was essentially something like Strindberg reincarnated- just he didn’t write dramas, he directed them. His basic metier was theater, and he didn’t care too much about technicalities, film language tricks & innovations etc.

    Kind of disagree. He was obviously influenced by Strindberg, and of course he worked equally or perhaps more for the theatre than for film, but, that said, in many ways there isn’t that much of a difference between film and theatre. I suppose you mean that he wasn’t so interested in things such as camera movement or unusual lenses or other types of technicalities. But he was very good with sound, for instance, and he had a great cinematographer. From his later movies, I like “Fanny and Alexander” and “Scenes from a Marriage”. Others, like “The Serpent’s Egg” and “The Touch”, can be pretty bad. For some reason his movies about or with Jewish characters are the worse, and seem a strange obsession in someone who was supposedly the son of a Lutheran pastor. Miles Mathis said he was a crypto-Jew, but it seems everyone is a crypt-Jew for him. I don’t think so.

    Welles, while a magnificent person & equally magnificent film innovator, in my view made a few vastly overrated good movies

    Yes, I think Citizen Kane is pretty interesting for the technical aspects (for the time), but a bit boring as a movie. The “Rosebud” explanation is a bit underwhelming… But no way that Welles is not talented.

    Hitchcock has aged badly and most of his films are barely watchable now

    Disagree, in part. He can be pretty silly, but films such as Psycho and Vertigo and Rear Window are still very watchable and interesting. But others such as Spellbound, seem a bit ridiculous and far-fetched today.

    I would add: film can be a great entertainment, but- let’s not pretend it’s much of an art. It wasn’t & will never be.

    Why not? If theatre and opera can be, why not cinema? (Now, I think the problem of cinema is exactly its being too much based on technical innovations that can get old pretty fast – think about that 80s CGI, or zoom lenses in the 70s, etc – and talking about the 70s, if you’re going to talk about a director that was vastly overrated, I would say it was Robert Altman; I wonder what Bergman thought of him. He seemed to like best Fellini and Tarkovsky and Kurosawa, so at least he had good taste).

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  68. @Dumbo

    He was obviously influenced by Strindberg, and of course he worked equally or perhaps more for the theatre than for film, but, that said, in many ways there isn’t that much of a difference between film and theatre. I suppose you mean that he wasn’t so interested in things such as camera movement or unusual lenses or other types of technicalities. But he was very good with sound, for instance, and he had a great cinematographer. From his later movies, I like “Fanny and Alexander” and “Scenes from a Marriage”. Others, like “The Serpent’s Egg” and “The Touch”, can be pretty bad. For some reason his movies about or with Jewish characters are the worse, and seem a strange obsession in someone who was supposedly the son of a Lutheran pastor. Miles Mathis said he was a crypto-Jew, but it seems everyone is a crypt-Jew for him. I don’t think so.

    He devoted most of his work to the theatre. What I meant is: he shares with Strindberg that strange Nordic obsession with female psyche & sensuality. Over 60-70% of his best work is gynocentric; I don’t think he’s so “spiritual” as most people insist. To me, he’s all in the psyche & virtually never in the realm of spirit, so to speak; his religious topics are adaptations of authentic Christian symbols to the frustrations of the 20th C man. As for Jewish stuff, I think that one of his trademark actors, Erland Josephson, was of Jewish extraction, but it eventually doesn’t matter. Scenes is a very good film/series, and the best thing is that both partners remain more or less the same & haven’t matured in any aspect of life; they’ve learned virtually- nothing. Serpent is an example of how a non-political man, clueless about anything beyond introversion, imagines birth of great movements like Nazism; Touch I haven’t seen.

    Welles was a great man who, I think, exemplifies Oscar Wilde’s celebrated dictum: I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.

    Hitchcock- I would agree about Rear Window; Vertigo & Psycho were great at first viewing, but they’ve dimmed. Or at least, to enjoy them, one must cut old Hitch some slack.

    Art: No. Because what is artistic & endurable in theatre & opera are their authors, writers (Ibsen, Chekhov, Pirandello,…. Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, …). They have this single man who created the enduring stuff. Actually, I prefered reading Chekhov’s (and Shaw’s) plays than seeing them.

    In film, there are too many people involved: producers, directors, screenplay, actors, cinematography, music, editing,…so there is not one singularly dominant artistic personality among them, the man who created it. Although with music things are different (musically illiterate people cannot enjoy Gluck or Bizet), you got here the man who wrote the piece & who is the source of all.

    With film- nothing similar.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Writer33
  69. @Bardon Kaldian

    In arts & sciences, there is no rational way of listing achievements. And in film- even less so.

    That’s why it’s not a rational argument. I said, based on ‘objective’ criteria, TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is the better work. It is a polished well-oiled machine that runs smooth start to finish. Also, it offers much food for thought. If we check every item on the list, it’s hard to beat TALENTED MR. RIPLEY.

    And yet, there is a quality to PURPLE NOON that works like a daydream, especially with its bronze glinted images, Delon’s quiet intensity, and the tone of fatalism in the otherwise sentimental melody.

    Clearly, TALENTED MR. RIPLEY was made a middlebrow art film — one of the best of its kind — , whereas PURPLE NOON was made as a star vehicle. The latter’s priority is to make Delon look devastating, and boy, does it succeed.

    Another thing. TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is pretty high on verisimilitude. As outlandish as the plot is, we can believe we’re watching real people in real places in a real time in history.

    In contrast, there is an added layer of fantasy to PURPLE NOON because Frenchmen are playing Americans. The effect is almost surreal, like a mirage.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  70. Skeptikal says:

    “Once out to sea, Ripley bumps into Meredith. ”

    I have forgotten many of the film’s details, but I do recall (I think this is correct) the horrifying moment that Meredith, on the stern of the boat, hails Ripley—the horror, that is, that Ripley must feel as he realizes that she is on board the same vessel. I recall that image of her with the sea behind her. Am I remembering that right?

    But, hmm, I thought he did toss her overboard . . .
    I guess I remember that part wrong.

  71. @Trevor Lynch

    Critical reputations change over time. Purple Noon has a 39-year head start.

    I think TALENTED MR. RIPLEY got pretty good marks when it came out, and it’s probably a much-respected movie. (In contrast, no one seems to care much about ENGLISH PATIENT anymore.)
    But it may be problematic for two reasons in the current year. Ripley is a homosexual psycho, a detail that may trigger certain well-placed people in arts and entertainment. While Ripley is presented with empathy and is far from being a flaming stereotype, in our day and age when globo-homo is like a substitute religion, the notion of a narcissistic pathological homo psycho may not go over well.

    The other reason is PURPLE NOON was released during a legendary time in film history. Oddly enough, Rene Clement, the director of the masterpiece FORBIDDEN GAMES, had long been viciously attacked the New Wave critics. He was pigeonholed as an old-fashioned stuffy ‘film of quality’ director. And yet, he made one of the fabulous films to start the decade and, if only for a brief moment, he made the young turks eat their words. I wonder if PURPLE NOON had any influence on KNIFE IN THE WATER that came 2 yrs later.
    At any rate, PURPLE NOON belongs to a class of films that came out when Cinema Mattered. In 1960, Cinema was appealing and exciting as the art form least touched by modernism(thus spared its worst excesses) and yet also most open to modernist experimentation. Virginal territory ready for exploration.

  72. @roo_ster

    Frankly, it sounds entirely too gay for me. I get enough queer this and queer that that I can not avoid, wading through the sewage that is contemporary culture.

    It has a homo character but the movie isn’t ‘gay’ in the tutti-fruity sense. It’s not BROKEBACK or some such. Also, it shows the problems of homosexuality as a personality and emotional quality. Even if Highsmith didn’t mean Ripley to be homo — maybe she did secretly but didn’t want to publicly associate a homo with psychopathy, being a homo herself — , RIPLEY is one of the most astute and penetrating movies about the homosexual personality. It hints as to why there are so many homos in Wall Street, DC, Hollywood, Las Vegas, etc. Homos tend to be naturally vain and narcissistic and are obsessed with surface allure and impressions. It’s no wonder that homos became the darlings of the rich elites. Homos crave the good life and cater to the rich. Instead of demanding higher wages and more benefits as a group like the prole class does, homos find ways to inch their way into the privileged world as individuals, fawning over and deferring to the ‘better’ kind of people. If Ripley had grown up in the 2000’s, he’d have gone much further. Homos will go to hell and back in service to the rich and powerful. 10% of DC is homo! All those self-centered politicians know that homos will work 24/7 to be part of the in-crowd. In that regard, Ripley is an interesting case study of homo personality like the Will Patton character in NO WAY OUT.

    Personally, I can’t stand ‘gayish’ movies either. But RIPLEY is not ‘gayish’. It’s a cold look at how a certain kind of personality will go to any length to live the dream. It’s sort of comparable to SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, which is pretty good but falters at the end when it gets a bit sappy.

    I still haven’t seen BROKEBACK and PHILADELPHIA. But when a movie is honest and truthful, it can be about anyone, from saints to the worst sinners. MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE and C.R.A.Z.Y are two works of art about homos.

  73. Jake says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    As Scandinavians tend to be very dull navel gazers, as well as the ultimate in bleeding heart liberals, I’d say that Bergman had no need to con any Swedes, government workers or not.

  74. @Priss Factor

    It’s like figure skating jury: technical part & artistic impression. Purple Noon wins for artistic impression; The Talented Mr. Ripley got better in the technical skills department.

  75. Jake says:
    @Charon

    It is Gotterdammerung – which Germanics welcome, because that utter destruction tells them they have been alive.

    Germanic peoples in charge of themselves and operating via Germanic language and culture will always raise Hell, raiding and raping and stealing and killing, then become bored, and then start to feel guilty, and then they crave Gotterdamerung.

    Anglo-Saxon is Germanic. Anglo-Saxon rules the globe. And the Jews who been the bakers of WASP Empire since archetypal WASP Olliver Cromwell intend that all whites pay big this time. That this time every non-WASP white ethnicity, nation, be subsumed.

    WASP culture born of a Judaizing heresy is a Vampire.

    • Replies: @Matra
    , @Dumbo
  76. @Trevor Lynch

    With all due respect, you should stop reviewing gay movies and start reviewing Westerns.

  77. Cassandra says:
    @Pheasant

    What a fun book. Upper classes wouldn’t actually eject someone. He simply wouldn’t be invited back.

    • Agree: Charon
  78. @Montefrío

    I always watch this clip from Lonesome Dove as an antidote for “twee” movies

    • Replies: @Montefrío
  79. Matra says:
    @Jake

    What’s it like to be a Papist pederast?

    The problem with TTMR is that once you’ve seen Plein soleil it’s impossible to look at a runt like Matt Damon and accept him as Ripley. Once Delon has played a character, that is it. There’s no way to accept anyone else, especially a Hollywooder like Damon. That said, Malkovich was pretty good in Ripley’s Game, though it all seemed tongue-in-cheek.

    • Replies: @Skeptikal
  80. Johnwho says:
    @Poco

    Way to go Poco. Wish you the very best of luck.

  81. Johnwho says:

    On the Beach. A novel about Australia after nuclear armageddon, when they knew the end was coming, but enjoyed themselves and treated each other fairly til the last. Here armageddon is about being slowly and stealthily robbed one dollar at a time. Offer you a drink?
    Thank God this latest virus does not dicriminate between the rich and the poor, at least not more than anything else does.
    It would be wonderful irony if the over 70 crowd running for office to the exclusion of everyone else were all erased by this virus. I would celebrate in the street if that happened. Who would you be left with? Tulsi Gabbard, the very best person who could possibly be president at this point.
    Canadian politics are not worth mentioning, we are stuck in with the same kind of tainted money as Americans are.
    Your American president is as bad as our Canadian prime minister; neither has the balls to step in like China did to combat this virological tsunami coming right at us. They will get there eventually but way too late. Right now it is still about politics for them even though no virus has ever cared to vote in any election.
    Want a prediction from someone who has been watching this fairly closely from early January?
    148 million dead in the next three years. Minimum, will it be enough for people to want to vote on issues instead of politicians? Maybe.

  82. Alden says:
    @Pheasant

    Mentioning someone’s furniture, home, garden view just wasn’t done at the time the book was written. It’s still pretty tacky, especially if accompanied by how much did it cost, where did you get it, authentic or reproduction etc.

    Maybe it’s a middle class boomer thing, but a lot of people will walk into someone’s house and start advising and asking about the construction and going on about the decorating and furniture. It’s considered tacky.

  83. Anon[343] • Disclaimer says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Such directors should study all three versions, which some DVD sets include, and ordinary movie-goers (like me) would find it interesting as well. The different choices made by the film makers are fascinating. The first was made pre-code, and Spade is played as (and by) a Latin Lover type, which sense of his interactions with his partner’s wife and secretary, which seem unexplained in the Huston film. The second, with William What’shisname (a big star at the time, I hear) is played for comedy! The Gutman role is a big tweedy Lesbian, a la Gertrude Stein, and Wilmer is some kinda boy child/lover, so I guess that seemed more acceptable than as played in Huston’s film. Peter Lorre’s character is simply an effete Frenchman (as in, “He’s not gay, just English”). IIRC, Bette Davis hated her Bridget O’Shaunnasey role so much she became the first start to successfully break her studio contract. As a comment says above, Huston basically just tore the pages out of the book and filmed the dialog, finding some way to make it cinematic, not a filmed play (altho the last act does seem a bit theatrical, what with one set).

    I have an analysis of the Bogart film (and Bogart) here:
    https://www.counter-currents.com/2011/05/bogart/

  84. @Dumbo

    I admit I only got around to seeing Bande à part because of Tarantino’s connection (and hey, that’s only why it was re-released), and I must saw it really was a magnificent film experience. Who directed those other “Godard” films I can’t imagine.

  85. Alden says:

    Ripley’s on Netflix I watched it last week. Gets better every time

  86. @Bardon Kaldian

    Welles IS vastly over-rated, although he likely enjoyed the excuse of “Oh, but if only he had studio money and backing.” I tend to agree: Kane is still enjoyable as “the best train set a boy ever got” as Welles said of the Hollywood studio system; Ambersons, even butchered, is still magnificent (sorry); and his return to Hollyood, Touch of Evil, is even better. Welles wandering around Europe, sucking up to rich backers, makes ugly, boring, frankly shoddy films.

    It’s very illustrative to compare Mr. Arkadin with Coleman Francis’ The Skydivers. If the latter were dubbed in French (the whole thing is dubbed anyway) it would be hailed as greater than Goddard.

    “Hitchcock has aged badly and most of his films are barely watchable now,”

    Entirely false. In fact, I went through a period when every Saturday afternoon I’d screen either Dial M or Rope, week after week. Gimmicky, yes, but like watching your favorite magician over and over.

  87. Alden says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    He probably dumps Peter’s corpse overboard at 3/am and leaves the boat at the first stop. He survived to kill more people in 4 more books. I wish I could remember how he evaded being caught for Peter’s murder.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  88. Anon[343] • Disclaimer says:

    “And the Jews who been the bakers of WASP Empire since archetypal WASP Olliver Cromwell ”

    Damn them and their bagels!

  89. @Charon

    It’s the difference btw Manhunter and Silence of the Lambs.

  90. Neoconned says:

    I liked the movie….its 1 of the films that made me hate Gwyneth Paltrow….Perfect Murder being the other….

  91. Alden says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Hitchcock was happily married to his first girl friend all his life. They met at the studio where they both worked. She worked with him selecting and editing scripts casting etc all their lives.

    Supposedly he was weird with the actresses. I don’t know exactly what he did.

  92. Teshigahara masterpiece on youtube. Watch it while it lasts.

    For subtitles, use CC and Auto-Translate.

  93. Dumbo says:
    @Jake

    This is a school in Dagenham, greater London. It looks as if half the children are black.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-51786087/international-womens-day-duchess-of-sussex-surprises-schoolchildren

  94. @Pheasant

    Is that scene in the Cairo office before Dafoe’s (btw, I have spoken to him a few times in SoHo) thumbs have been chopped off by the Arab nurse? I don’t remember any reference to her being a Jewess…

    • Replies: @Pheasant
  95. @Alden

    He probably dumps Peter’s corpse overboard at 3/am and leaves the boat at the first stop. He survived to kill more people in 4 more books. I wish I could remember how he evaded being caught for Peter’s murder

    You don’t remember it, because the character and the murder were invented for Minghella’s film.

    • Replies: @Alden
  96. Gast says:

    Watched it once and have no intention to return. Honestly, most fiction bores me to death these days and the only “fun” is to detect the “marks of the beast” on a psychological weapon directed against you. The beasts are of course the people who produced this flick. In this case this would be none other than Mr. Harvey Weinstein, the classy friend of the White middle class.

    I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the fact so far (not the reviewer and no commenter) that Weinstein was the producer of this film. Are you still living happily in wonderland where produces just foot the bill without evil intentions? My mind boggles.

    I found the film extravagant in the production values and not without taste (I would never describe Weinstein as completely tasteless). But the story was quite boring and even a bit disgusting. A homosexual psychopath without any kind of empathy messes around with the lives of the wealthy. And he kills another degenerate, in this case a whigger (yes, jazz is negro music!). There was nobody I really liked in the whole movie. And the whole crime genre has not much appeal for me either. I know thousands of novels, movies, documentaries are churned out every year in this genre, but I can only see this phenomenon as a sign of our sad times (I really hold a grudge against Dostojevsky that he opened up the box of Pandora with “Crime and punishment”).

    Yes, Italy is a beautiful country, and the 50s were a paradise compared to the ugly times we are living through. But this can only take you so far, and there are better movies to take you back to this time and this country. I have my share of nostalgia of course, but as an adult with some reason one should know that nostalgia is dangerous feeling and one should handle it with the same care that Ulysses observed with the sirens. Weinstein knows that nostalgia is very strong with the White audience. So it is sensible for Weinstein to package his degenerate personal in a setting with high nostalgia values.

    And the next move for Weinstein was to hire the director of “The English patient”, a flick which mixed nostalgia and evil messages (the English are the classy ones in WW2!). I found “The English patient” superior to “The talented Mr. Ripley” but I have no intention to revisit it. At this point every major actor is disgusting for me. When I think of Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jude Law or Ralph Fiennes (the star of “The English patient), I think of disgusting people who spent their lives to sell the degenerate jewish messages with their optics to the stupid White audience without a sign remorse (OK, Hoffman killed himself, but I would be surprised if this suicide was not motivated by stupid personal reasons).

    Trevor Lynch is the pen name of Greg Johnson who is a homosexual who likes to mess around with the minds of his readers on his website “Counter Currents” (I have written elsewhere about my disgust with him as an individual and his website). I find it very curious that a film about a homosexual psychopath with some taste (as with Weinstein I would never describe Johnson as completely tasteless!) is one of his favorite films.

    • Replies: @Pheasant
  97. Skeptikal says:
    @Matra

    Have to agree with this.

    TTMR is a wonderful movie.
    But Matt Damon is just not that attractive.
    IMO he is not a romantic lead.
    And that is what we are somehow looking for in TTMR.
    I think subconsciously we are always looking for a romantic lead of some kind.

    So I guess he was OK for the character he played, a wannabe.
    But the logic of attraction might have been clearer if Jude Law had played Ripley and Damon had played Dickie.
    Then Ripley’s ability to be sexually attractive to both Dickie and a couple of girls would have been more believable.
    Kind of like a more screwed up and potentially dangerous Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief. I am sure Law could have pulled this off. Maybe Minghella considered this a cliche and would have thought it unoriginal to cast someone with a similar sexual charisma to Delon’s.
    Still, the beautiful badass is more interesting than a common-looking badass . . .

  98. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    One of the best-maybe THE best-mini-series ever made. “Streets of Laredo” wasn’t bad either, although without Tommy Lee Jones… Then again, it had Sonia Braga.

  99. As for Ripley, what sticks in my mind is “This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off”.

  100. @Kim

    Yeah. Sissy gay stuff sissy gay white people like you like.

  101. @Skeptikal

    TTMR is a wonderful movie.
    But Matt Damon is just not that attractive.
    IMO he is not a romantic lead.
    And that is what we are somehow looking for in TTMR.
    I think subconsciously we are always looking for a romantic lead of some kind.

    So I guess he was OK for the character he played, a wannabe.
    But the logic of attraction might have been clearer if Jude Law had played Ripley and Damon had played Dickie.

    Damon is perfect BECAUSE he is not a romantic leading man. He’s perfect casting for a wannabe. And Law is perfect as Dickie because he is more of a romantic leading man. Reversing the casting would make Ripley’s attraction to Dickie unintelligible to the audience.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @Skeptikal
  102. Alden says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Thanks. I read the books years before I saw TTMR. My favorite was the second one. By great good luck, his wife was off visiting her family much of the time, they had no children and their house backed up on a National Forest where he buried his numerous victims.

  103. Alden says:
    @Skeptikal

    The whole point was that Tom was average looks, average in every way till he went to Italy and became a serial killer. Remember, he never claimed to have gone to Princeton in New York. He just let people assume it.

    Killing Dickie was the first pro active thing he did.

  104. utu says:

    Delon vs. Damon

    Silverstein said Delon “has publicly admitted to slapping women. He has aligned himself with the racist and anti-Semitic National Front. He has claimed that being gay is ‘against nature.’
    https://variety.com/2019/film/news/cannes-film-festival-criticized-honoring-alain-delon-1203197576/

    Matt Damon Calls Trump’s Immigration Speech ‘Xenophobic’ and ‘Dehumanizing’
    http://www.laht.com/article.asp?CategoryId=13003&ArticleId=2395254

    • Thanks: Liza
  105. Pancho says:

    There is an earlier French version of the film, starring Alain Delon. I think it is much better.

  106. Pheasant says:
    @Really No Shit

    It is heavily implied by the look of the actress and the fact that she has been rounded up and is forced to single out Dafoes character.

  107. Pheasant says:
    @Gast

    ‘who likes to mess around with the minds of his readers on his website “Counter Currents” (I have written elsewhere about my disgust with him as an individual and his website’

    I am interested if you can show me where you wrote please.

    • Replies: @Gast
  108. Anonymous[300] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I thought I was the only person who preferred to read plays than watch them. Read almost all Ibsen and Checkhov plays, some Strindberg, some Shaw. Hardly saw any on the stage. But partly it’s modern productions. The last version of Three Sisters I saw was with three transvestites in the roles. Never again. Even Shakespeare can be better on the page. Of course it all depends on the production.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  109. Gast says:
    @Pheasant

    I wrote under the same cloak quite extensively about Johnson and his website (scroll down to the comment section):

    http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2019/08/08/amnats-are-kind-of-cringe-at-this-point/

    Note: Although Johnson did take part in the comment section he chose not to reply.

    • Thanks: Pheasant
  110. @Skeptikal

    TTMR is a wonderful movie.
    But Matt Damon is just not that attractive.
    IMO he is not a romantic lead.

    Here’s the thing. Matt Damon is pretty attractive in an All-American way. Indeed, if the movie didn’t star Jude Law, Damon would look more handsome. But there is Law, and he is to Damon what gold is to bronze. Next to Law, Damon looks downright plain and homely. But that was the desire effect, the sense that there is always something better, brighter, shinier. Ripley can never be happy because he’s never satisfied with good-enough. He always has his eye on what is better, and there is better than better than better. No matter what he has, he will always strive for more. He’s greedy for beauty.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  111. @Anonymous

    The last version of Three Sisters I saw was with three transvestites in the roles.

    I can only offer my sincerest condolences….

    Even Shakespeare can be better on the page.

    Shake is always better on page. IMO.

    • Replies: @Skeptikal
  112. @Priss Factor

    Aren’t we all reading into it too much?

    I mean, this is a crime fiction. A good crime fiction, but still a genre fiction. And crime fiction characters are always schematic, they’re paper-thin.

    We are not talking here about Balzac, Stendhal, Eliot, Tolstoy, Verga, Lawrence or Hamsun.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  113. Highsmith apparently had some interesting views:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Highsmith

    • Replies: @Anon
  114. Anon[398] • Disclaimer says:
    @Beefcake the Mighty

    Highsmith was an anti-Semite. Shut her down…

  115. Skeptikal says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    I am sure you are right.

    Still, I could not understand Dickie’s being attracted to Ripley.
    Dickie could have anyone he wanted. Why would he bother with Ripley?

    I saw the film a long time ago, so I probably have forgotten details that explain Dickie’s attraction to Ripley.

    As for Damon being good-looking in an American style, an American romantic lead, not for me!

    I have never understood his appeal.

    I find his face chunky, adolescent, and kind of swollen looking.

    Compare him to Tommy Lee Jones. Also ugly. But sexy-ugly. Compelling.
    Damon IMO = baby face.

  116. Skeptikal says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Great, truly great, performances bring out the meaning(s) of what’s on the page.

    Shakespeare had an extraordinarily acute sense of human psychology.

    This is made most evident, in my experience, through good performances.

    That is, the nuances of relationships, the ways characters express their inner states, and the combo of language and action or expression that illuminates these interactions and inner states.

  117. @Bardon Kaldian

    Aren’t we all reading into it too much? I mean, this is a crime fiction. A good crime fiction, but still a genre fiction. And crime fiction characters are always schematic, they’re paper-thin.

    As T. Lynch said, a lot of packed into the movie. It wasn’t merely an adaptation but an expansion of Highsmith’s characters and universe. Highsmith was somewhere between genre and serious literature. Her writings could be enjoyed on both levels. There’s obviously lots of intelligence there.
    Most crime fiction characters are schematic but this could be said of most of anything. Even most characters and plots in a serious literature fall into broad categories. After awhile, they seem pretty familiar. Consider all those serious personal literature about some city person who returns to his/her small town and blah blah.

    A hack cannot rise about formula. A professional can take formula and take it to the next level as superior entertainment. An artist can take formula and use it as material for his own ideas and visions. When Welles got through with the pulp material of LADY FROM SHANGHAI and TOUCH OF EVIL and when Polanski added his touch to CHINATOWN, they made art out of what otherwise might have been junk. Same with Kurosawa and HIGH AND LOW. It’s based on a second-rate crime novel but works at the uppermost reaches of middlebrow art.

    Also, most people are predictable. Most lives are schematic. Most souls are bland and boring. Most people are little more than thinking animals. It’s simply wrong that most people have complex psychology.

    We are not talking here about Balzac, Stendhal, Eliot, Tolstoy, Verga, Lawrence or Hamsun.

    What makes works like VERTIGO and TALENTED MR. RIPLEY interesting is they operate within the realm of myth and reality. Traditionally speaking, serious literature has tended to be about real people in the real world. There’s a lot of truth to them, but most people don’t care for too much truth. Too dense, depressing, or heavy. And so, the popularity of genre and myths. And yet, losing ourselves in fantasy would be too unreal, childlike, or irresponsible. We don’t want to replace reality and truth with idiotic TV shows or ludicrous movies.
    But then, there are movies like STRANGERS ON A TRAIN and TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA that are outlandish enough to be larger-than-life and sensationalist and yet also mindful of reality’s gravitational pull. It’s that tension that makes movies like VERTIGO the favorite of discussion. They open up the psychological space between the longing for fantasy and reminder of reality. Also, it is so true about how psychology works. Even as we live in reality, we don’t always think in terms of the real but often of the ideal, even the fantastic. Too much of this, and it leads to neurosis and then schizophrenia. But too little of mythic life would make life drab, dull, depressing, and boring. It’d be like food with spices and sauces. Life must be based on reality but strive toward ‘ideailty’. A puritanical rejection of all things fantastic leads to the kind of severity shown in BABETTE’S FEAST. But excessive indulge in fantasy to the point of losing one’s sense of reality leads to decadence.

    Serious literature speaks to us less and less, especially due to the rise of electronic media. Prior to electricity, lives were centered around other people, conversation, and community. It was about person-to-person contact. It was about person confronted with reality all around. If you in a cold dark room, the reality of the cold dark room could not be denied. Also, having few diversions, people sought one another to stave off boredom and loneliness. It was a world of too much reality, and it was such mindset that defined what came to be appreciated as the serious novel.

    But with the rise of radio, movies, TV, and internet, people easily tune off reality all around them and fixate on images and sounds. Now with smart phones, they can carry this virtual reality around them everywhere. So, people are more connected to insta-myth than ever before. This is a dangerous development for mankind, but it is the defining facet of our culture and where it’s headed.
    Indeed, one wonders if globo-homo could have gained so much ground but for the fact that so many people’s main sense of ‘reality’ comes from electronic TV shows, movies, and music videos than from actual reality. When celebrities, the objects of mass idol-worship, say ‘trannies are next to godliness’, it has great appeal to people more immersed in pop culture realm than in the real world.

    And so, the power of myth counts for more than ever before. Most people today simply can’t sit still and absorb too much reality. This is why, even when people go on nature trips, they carry their TV’s and smart phones. They need diversions of fantasy and escapism from the burden of dealing with reality all around them that stubbornly remain as it is oblivious to the wishes of visitors.

    In that sense, TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is a very timely movie. It’s like a proto-vision of the globo-homo world. The world Ripley lives in is less fantastical than ours. There are movies and record players to be sure, but it’s still a world where maturity, sobriety, fidelity, and responsibility are prized. TV culture has yet to completely take over the global mind.

    And yet, Ripley is psychologically ahead of his time. Being homo, he has a penchant for fantasy and artifice, the preference for the ideal over the real. He loves art and wants the world to conform to his own aesthetic vision. He wants Dickey’s view of their ‘friendship’ to conform to his own. Also, Ripley is passive/aggressive like so many homos and Jews. On the one hand, he’s so ingratiating and eager-to-please, almost like a dog or servant. And yet, beneath the smile is the guile, the ruthless determination to have everything go his way… or else.
    In that sense, we are living in Ripley’s World. Jews and Homos used passive/aggressive means to gain power and then take over the power, and they are now using mass media, deep state, and entertainment to hoodwink all of us that black is white, male is female, illegals are dreamers, censorship is ‘free speech’, and Russia is behind Trump. Reality be damned. Reality and all of us in it better to conform to their preferred ‘ideals’.
    Like Ripley, Jews and homos will come to you with a smile and plead with you to agree with their ‘modest’ and ‘humble’ views, but if you refuse their offer, they turn into spiteful assassins who will stop at nothing to bring you down. So, Christian bakers who refuse to bake ‘gay wedding’ cakes must be sued and destroyed, and all those craven and cowardly ‘conservatives’ do NOTHING because in our Riplean world, Jews and their proxies the homos hold all the cards and can bring down anyone.

    In that sense, TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is more telling of where we are than Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s BRAVE NEW WORLD. Ripley didn’t merely best those around him. Ripleys of the world took over world culture by sucking up to Jews, most cunning and ruthless group in the world.

    • Replies: @Zumbuddi
    , @A. Hipster
  118. Pericles says:
    @Thomasina

    If anyone ought to suffer from imposter syndrome, it’s Biden.

  119. Pericles says:
    @Paul43

    Yours seems a somewhat extreme example, but as we all know, lying is ubiquitous and unremarkable among women, and if you’re a man you simply have to accept it. The funny part is they know it and still prefer to believe each other above men. Go Team Woman!

  120. I guess this is the place ——

    A God Speed and fare thee well

    Max Von Sydow

  121. I have bot read a single book by Miss Highsmith. I have seen these films:

    Talented Mr. Ripely. Strangers On A Train and Ripley’s Games. Oddly enough, I was considering rewatching Ripley’s Game, which is a very interesting film in contrast to the other .

    Ran across this interesting article:
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/oct/26/patricia-highsmith-diaries-published-controversial-views

  122. hhsiii says:

    Hoffman is great as Freddy. Especially when he catches Ripley watching Dickie and Marge/Jude and Gwyneth having sex below deck. “How’s the peeping, Tom?”

  123. Writer33 says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I find Welles’s direction obtrusive. ‘Citizen Kane’ and: ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ bored me senseless. “The Lady From Shanghai’ might have been better, had it not been for the self-indulgent cutting.

    As to Hitchcock, the man was clearly more interested in the devices of suspense, rather than the psychology of his characters. Jimmy Stewart ruins: ‘Rope’, ‘Rear Window’, and: ‘Vertigo’. The housemaster in the first of these, is supposed to be a sophisticated gay man. In the second, it is inconceivable that the character Grace Kelly plays, could have been in any way attracted to him (Stewart Granger would have been a better choice). He is absurdly miscast in the last, as is Barbara Bel Geddes (I should have cast Robert Taylor and Diana Lynn). The character Kim Novak plays could have never fallen in love with Stewart.

    Had: ‘Psycho’ been made earlier, the studio would have released it as a: ‘B’ picture, for it is certainly nothing more – and not a very good one at that.

  124. Liza says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Most of Bergman’s films put me to sleep. But I do agree with his assessment of those 3 directors. Especially about Citizen Kane. God, what a piece of junk. Not to mention the Ambersons movie.

    And why would anyone want to understand any film made by Godard. Just silly communist swill. Of course, I saw some of his movies 30 yr ago, so maybe I’d change my mind, but maybe not.

    And while I’m here, much of Hitchcock’s effort is overrated.

  125. In this Viral Age, Trev Lynch should re-review DIARY OF THE DEAD or maybe ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE.

  126. Another movie T. Lynch might consider.

    JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT. One of the colorful and insightful portrayal of a Jewish kingpin. Ultimately, it’s affectionate, even loving, but lots and lots of warts are on display.

    MeToo before MeToo

  127. Seek says:
    @Biff

    Maybe Breitbart, with all its splenetic cultural illiteracy, is more your style.

  128. Surprised to be saying this, as I normally enjoy your stuff (though praising a film for just not having mud people in it is strikes me as a distinctly low standard), but I’ve never disagreed with a review more totally. Maybe it was my fault for watching it right after I read the book for the first time, but this had to be one of the worst adaptations I’ve ever seen. To start with, it was horribly, horribly miscast from the inexplicably buff Tom (no, large-framed glasses do not cancel out a six-pack), to the inexplicably–whatever the fuck they were going for with Freddie Miles. I mean, I know camp straight is apparently a thing, but is Philip Seymour Hoffman really the man to pull it off? And of course Matt Damon and Jude Law look nothing alike, which ruins the whole conceit of the story. No one in the film could actually act all that convincingly (especially not the man who plays Greenleaf Senior. My God. My jaw actually dropped every time every his creaked open. How on earth did he ever become an actor?)

    There were a couple clever, if completely unnecessary moments, but in general everything that was excised was good and almost everything added was bad–and worse, pointless, from the extraneous characters, and plot points, and the wholly unnecessary runtime (whereas one of the best things about the book that it is tight as hell–there is not a single ounce of fat on Highsmith’s writing).

    I was really baffled by most of the changes, since their only discernable purpose was to make the story more generic and less interesting.

    Whereas the book was, at the time it was published, quite original, and unlike any other thriller I’ve read, the film is hackneyed and stereotyped to the extreme–from the characterisation to the dialogue, to the setting (for instance, I know this is Italy in the Fifties, but do we really need some form of clergy/religious in the background of almost every street scene to hammer it home?).

    Whereas Highsmith’s Ripley offers an unusual and fascinating insight into the mind of a genuine amoral narcissistic sociopath, Minghella’s is just a vaguely pathetic criminal of opportunity–and worse, of passion, which is exactly what he shouldn’t be. What makes Ripley scary is that he doesn’t feel any emotional at all as he kills you–and he certainly doesn’t sob and apologise while he’s bludgeoning/strangling you to death! The fascinating and multi-layered psychology of Highsmith’s Ripley is drained of complexity and squeezed into a few hamfisted monologues.

    In the book Ripley’s latent and unconscious homosexuality (and implicit social commentary) is conveyed subtly, through inference and understatement, and never made explicit, whereas in the film Minghella beats you over the head with it (literally, in the boat-murder scene). One of the prime rules of storytelling is that subtext is more interesting than text, and implication is more interesting than explication. It’s just one of the many ways Minghella strips out all the artfulness and ambiguity from the story in favour of uninspired melodrama.

    It was so bad I actually struggled to get through the film. There were multiple times when I had to pause it, look away from the screen, or even play music to drown out the cringe-inducing conversations. God, I just hated everything about it! I was even triggered by the fact that they put in Stabat Mater but not the Pergolesi version!

  129. Also, apparently Highsmith used to write ‘antisemitic and racist’ letters to newspapers under aliases. Maybe Trevor could do a piece on how she was /ourdyke/?

  130. @Priss Factor

    “Highsmith was somewhere between genre and serious literature. Her writings could be enjoyed on both levels. There’s obviously lots of intelligence there.”

    Like Jim Thompson.

    To me greatest true pulp genre writer was James Hadley Chase … the French made made a lot of movie adaptations but I’m not sure have I seen even one …

    Palmetto, starring Woody Harrelson, was pretty good adaptation … James Hadley Chase often went over the top, like Jim Thompson, in the movie it was almost ridiculously over the top.

    There is one amazing movie that in a way is a kind of James Hadley Chase movie, the pre code production The Story of Temple Drake …

    1933 American pre-Code rape and revenge film directed by Stephen Roberts and starring Miriam Hopkins and Jack La Rue. It tells the story of Temple Drake, a reckless woman in the American South who falls into the hands of a brutal gangster and rapist. It was adapted from the highly controversial novel Sanctuary by William Faulkner. Though some of the more salacious elements of the source novel were not included, the film was still considered so indecent that it helped give rise to the introduction of the Hays Code.

    because the movie was based on the Faulkner’s novel Sanctuary (which was based on true story, but some salacious elements left out …) … and Chase’s first book No Orchids For Miss Blandish was heavily inspired by Sanctuary ..

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I watched it and it took a while to realize that it was actually a chick movie, made from female perspective/for female audiences … and like horror movies much later it was showing how depraved, crazy and dangerous place American countryside can be …

  131. @Trevor Lynch

    Anthony Minghella and critic Frank Rich, both sounding like ventriloquist’s dummies for Miramax’s publicity department, touted this as an uncommercial movie that says something profound about the 90s. Yet their adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel is commercial to the core. Rene Clement filmed Highsmith’s novel in 1960 as Purple Noon; that version was more conventional and derivative of Hitchcock, but at least it didn’t inflate the story, as Minghella does, to the proportions of Ben-Hur. As in Clement’s film, the Mediterranean settings are sumptuous, and Minghella has updated the novel’s action from the early to late 50s and made the errant son (unconvincingly played by Jude Law) a jazz musician, which allows for a pleasant if unadventurous score by Gabriel Yared and many familiar tracks. Familiarity is the watchword of this overblown opus, which neglects holes in the plot to play up its postmodern theme of identity as pastiche — a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Dennis Hopper was a much more successful Ripley in Wim Wenders’s The American Friend.
    Rather than focusing on Ripley’s expatriate alienation, Wenders shows the devastating effect of American entrepreneurship on the European middle class. Ripley cons a terminally ill family man (Bruno Ganz) into becoming a hired gun so that he can leave his wife and child some money when he dies. The double-faced nature of guilt is Highsmith’s great subject. It would seem that Ripley lacks guilt but in fact the reverse is the case. His guilt is so heavy that it compels him to take leave of his own skin lest he end up killing himself. Wenders mirrors Ripley’s guilt with German postwar guilt.

    Minghella, a would-be art film director who never takes his eye off the box office, doesn’t allow himself to become embroiled in such complexity. He turns The Talented Mr. Ripley into a splashy tourist trap of a movie. The effect is rather like reading The National Enquirer in a café overlooking the Adriatic. Minghella seems to be aware of the Hitchcockian aspects of Highsmith, but rather than going for the claustrophobia of Strangers on a Train (the most successful Highsmith adaptation), he employs the panoramic mise-en-scène of North by Northwest. Transposing the setting of the film from Highsmith’s early ’50s to the more affluent late ’50s, Minghella references Hollywood’s initial infatuation with widescreen cinematography but gives it a decided ’90s gloss. Were it not for the occasional reference to the value of a dollar ($1000 buys six months of footloose living in Europe), you might forget this is a period film.

  132. Snaporaz says:

    Patricia Highsmith became infuriated at the imposed finale of Plein Soleil. The cultural and economic powers that be imposed a bland, moralistic, prudish finale and terrific, amoral Delon/Ripley had to be punished. I hated that finale and the cops in it.
    Minghella’s is probably a “better” film than Plein Soleil (argent oblige). At least in the Hollywoodesque sense of the word, but its craftiness lacks that the acidity and the caustic view of the world present in Highsmith’s original and in most “noir” authors (from Hammett and Marlowe on.)
    In those days -1960s- this kind of censorial excesses happened, even in liberal France. For complete different reasons, it was the time when Paths of glory was banished from French screens. La grandeur couldn’t cope with this this vitriolic rendition of the state of its army in WWI (and later).

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