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Plein soleil (1960)

Passion at ten. Envy at eleven. Murder at noon.

Original Title : Plein soleil
Director : René Clément
Writer : Patricia Highsmith
René Clément
Paul Gégauff
Genre : Crime
Thriller/Drama
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Raymond Hakim , Robert Hakim
Music : Nino Rota
Photography : Henri Decaë
Distributor : Titanus Distribuzione
MPAA Rating : Rated PG-13 for momentary violence and sexuality.
IMDB ID : 0054189
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poster for "Plein soleil" by René Clément (1960)
Plein soleil (1960) - René Clément
 

Starring

Alain Delon Tom Ripley/Philippe Greenleaf
Maurice Ronet Philippe Greenleaf
Marie Laforêt Marge Duval
Erno Crisa Riccordi
Frank Latimore O'Brien
Billy Kearns Freddy Miles (as Bill Kearns
Ave Ninchi Signora Gianna
Viviane Chantel The Belgian lady
Nerio Bernardi Agency Director
Barbel Fanger Housekeeper
Nicolas Petrov Boris
Elvire Popesco Mrs. Popova
Paul Muller Blind Man (uncredited
Romy Schneider Freddy's companion (uncredited
 

Plot

Tom Ripley is sent to Europe by Mr. Greenleaf to fetch his spoiled, playboy son, Philip, and bring him back home to the States. In return, Tom will recieve $5,000. Philip toys with Tom, pretending he will go back home, but has no intentions of leaving his bride to be, Marge, and honoring his father's wishes. After some time passes, Mr. Greenleaf considers the mission a failure and cuts Tom off. Tom, in desperation, kills Philip, assumes his identity, and lives the life of a rich playboy. However, people begin to miss Philip, and start searching for him, but the trail keeps leading to Tom. Soon, a family friend catches on, and Tom finds himself commiting another murder to cover his tracks, and slowly but surely, the police are closing in...
 

Comments

Adventures In Paradise, 18 May 2005 Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas Visually, this film could serve as a cinematic poster for a Mediterranean cruise. Cinematographer Henri Decae draws us into the film with its alluring Italian locales and gorgeous panoramic vistas. Bright, complementary hues and high color contrast translate into eye-popping reds and yellows. And, of course, there's the deep blue color of the sea, and a brilliant sunlit sky. Such is the setting for a story wherein three attractive, young adults (Tom, Philippe, and Marge) test a 3-way relationship that is far more complex than it first appears.Indeed, trouble lurks beneath the surface (so to speak), in this "Italiano paradiso" thriller. In the first forty minutes, the psychological motivations of our three beautiful people are unclear and subject to change. It's hard to tell who is doing what to whom. Subsequent to this narrative setup, we see exactly where the story is headed. Because "Plein Soleil" is a psychodrama, casting is important. The three leads (Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet, and Marie Laforet) are all convincing in their roles.I have not read the Highsmith novel on which the screenplay was based. So I cannot make an intertextual analysis. I do think this 1960 film is superior, for various reasons, to the more recent remake. Adroitly directed by Rene Clement, with a buoyant musical score by Nino Rota, "Plein Soleil" is a character study of an amoral pleasure seeker whose charming personality masks the evil within. The juxtaposition of inwardly criminal intent with outwardly idyllic scenes of Italy and the Mediterranean results is an art house film that is both picturesque and suspenseful. It's a film that appeals both to our eyes and to our brains.
 
poster for "Plein soleil"
296 x 400
Plein soleil (1960) - René Clément
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