Made in 1960, the first big-screen outing for Patricia Highsmith’s talented Tom Ripley introduced audiences to one of crime fiction’s great anti-heroes – and made a star out of Alain Delon.
The shape of the plot, in which Ripley schemes to usurp the identity of a wealthy acquaintance, will be familiar if you’ve seen the 1999 version.
Yet René Clément’s take offers its own pleasures, from the sun-bleached lensing to Delon’s charisma.
Tempering Hitchcockian intent with the experimentalism of the French New Wave, the result is as seductive as it is suspenseful: a bracing study of amorality.
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