Thursday, January 31, 2008

Purple Noon (René Clément, 1960)

****
France/Italy



An inimitably sleazy take on Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley, with tanned, toned Alain Delon playing the famed psychopath. To a cheeky Nino Rota tune, he goes about his pathological crimes in expensive suits and lush resorts. The direction is wobbly and the psychology cursory, but you get a shirtless Delon in his prime, sun-drenched Mediterranean scenery, and on a couple of magical occasions, both at the same time. Also, there is something morbidly seductive about the tension between the ghastly subject matter and the relaxed, chic presentation.

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