Purple Noon

"Very Good"

Purple Noon Review


Thirty-six years after its release, Purple Noon is back as part of Martin Scorsese's revival of underseen foreign classics.

This time out it's Rene Clement's mystery-drama (based on the book The Talented Mr. Ripley) about wealthy jerk Phillippe, his adoring (but poor) best friend Tom (Alain Delon), and the redhead (Marge) they both adore (Marie Laforet). Caught up in the greed and envy that comes along with wealth like Phillippe's, Tom hatches a plot to rid the world of Phillippe and take over his life. Fine, well, the only suprising thing about this is how quickly he succeeds at the plan (after about 30 minutes) -- at which point, the movie becomes one of Tom hatching part 2 of the plan... and the movie starts to get interesting.

Tom soon finds his plan to be not quite as well-laid as previously thought, and it becomes trickier and trickier for him to evade discovery. Carrying on two lives (Phillippe's and his own), is not for the weak-willed.

While Purple Noon lacks the edge-of-your-seat suspense that modern thrillers have, it still packs a wallop into its spare story. But more importantly, the film is such an oddball example of the genre, we find ourselves wanting Tom to get away with the crime, despite its heinous nature. Very odd indeed.

My main problems with Purple Noon are its tedious narrative and lack of production values. Its 1960s sensibilities, crummy music, poor film stock, and aquatic settings make the film look more like a lost episode of Hawaii Five-O than a great thriller. Also, the sheer number of "false endings" (at least three), reek of amateurism. The subtitles could also use some work.

Overall, I enjoyed the film, although it tends to drag in places and lacks the force of something like Belle de Jour, which Scorsese re-released in 1995. Delon and Laforet are/were both fine actors, and Clement's direction is passable. Then again, considering the state of the medium 36 years ago, I'm sure he was doing an excellent job.

Why it's called Purple Noon is anyone's guess. (French title: Plein Soleil)

My my, Marie, what a big pole you have!



Purple Noon

Facts and Figures

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 10th March 1960

Distributed by: Criterion Collection

Production compaines: Robert et Raymond Hakim, Paris Film, Titanus

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 33

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Tom Ripley / Philippe Greenleaf, as Philippe Greenleaf, as Marge Duval, Erno Crisa as Riccordi, Frank Latimore as O'Brien, Ave Ninchi as Signora Gianna, Viviane Chantel as The Belgian lady, as Begleiterin von Freddy (unkreditiert), Billy Kearns as Freddy Miles (as Bill Kearns), as Blind Man

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.