(Au plein soleil)
Based on The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet, Marie Laforêt, Erno Crisa,
Clément’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel is a dazzling sea-blue film noir rehearsing an energetic sort of corruption based on pure cynicism. Alain Delon’s Tom Ripley is one of two young Americans on an extended European idle. A cash offer to persuade his companion to return home kindles a fire under Tom’s lust for the other’s money and mistress; hidden talents emerge as he impersonates his (now dead) friend. As in Strangers on a Train, another film about modern anonymity, Highsmith’s sense of decadence is merely the erasure, in plain day, of any pretense to morality, or identity.