Plein soleil [1960]

16Feb12 – 6 – Plein soleil (René Clément: 1960)

PLEIN SOLEIL (1960) is a strangely skewed adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” that hinges on Alain Delon’s stunning physical attractiveness to the exclusion of almost everything else. There’s no real personality or intellect or psychology of any sort involved, and he’s not shown to be a skillful manipulator or even especially clever: this Tom Ripley is an amoral narcissist and that’s it. Highsmith’s character in the novel knows that he’s missing something and his actions stem from his attempts to fill the amorphous void where his personhood should be. That the Dickie (here Philippe) Greenleaf and Marge are also so thoroughly unpleasant made me not care one way or the other. Will he or won’t he get away with it? What will he do next? I couldn’t have cared less. Still, Alain Delon is stunning. (And what the hell does “Purple Noon” mean?) 6/10. [2/16/12]


One comment

  1. […] to stir up (erotic) trouble. But the screenplay is derivative (particularly of Les diaboliques and Plein soleil), schematic, formulaic; Jacques Deray’s directing is monotonous, slack, aimless, flabby; and […]


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