Purple Noon(Plein soleil) is a film that caught my eye because it is based on the Noir novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.
You may know this work from the adaption made in 1999 with Matt Damon (as Ripley), Jude Law (as Greenleaf), and Gwyneth Paltrow (as Marge). This is a French Production and though in 1960 the classic Film-Noir style was still in favor, this is not one of them. This is in color with lots of scenes on beautiful blue seas and fashionable city centers rather then dark alleys and grimy bars. Of course this being based on the classic novel, the themes are very dark, with an early form of identity theft, a strange love triangle, a few murders and lots of con jobs. This must have been a refreshing look at the classic crime thriller in 1960 when most films of this nature where still in black and white and had a dark tone, this movie didn’t hide in the shadows. The crimes are committed under the noon sun to those of privilege and of means, but most of the characters are not like-able and you find yourself hoping Ripley gets out of this OK. I have yet to read the source novel(again on my to read list) but after looking at some of the history of this film both the author Patricia Highsmith and the film critic Roger Ebert did not like the ending. I will not go into details about the ending(no spoilers if possible on this site) but would love to hear from those that have read the book and seen this film on what they think.
This film has a current rating of 7.8 on IMDb and 100% on Rotten Tomatoes so it is well liked by those that have seen it. This is also the first appearance from the character Tom Ripley in the movies, I’m sure we will be looking at some of the other films he appears in on this site.