Sparked by the news that there's another Patricia Highsmith book-to-movie in the works, a remake of Strangers on a Train, I decided to watch The Talented Mr. Ripley again. That's when I discovered that long before Matt Damon was the talented Tom Ripley in 1999, Alain Delon played Tom Ripley in the first adaptation of Highsmith's novel, the sexy French thriller Plein Soleil in 1960. It was Delon's breakout role, the part that made the impossibly gorgeous Frenchman a star. Plein Soleil (Full Sun or Blazing Sun) was released with English subtitles as Purple Noon.
I decided to watch both films back to back; a delicious treat! Rather than talk about how the two versions differ — which they do in ways both small and large — may I just say Vive la Différence! and suggest you watch René Clément's Plein Soleil/Purple Noon for yourself. It's available on Amazon, GooglePlay and HuluPlus. Be warned: you may never look at The Talented Mr. Ripley starring Damon, the sexy and charismatic Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Philip Seymour Hoffman in quite the same way again. Matt Damon will always be magnifique but Alain Delon is, how do you say? — Ooh la la! I've got both trailers below.
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