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  • The Talented Mr. Ripley [VHS] [1999]
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The Talented Mr. Ripley [VHS] [1999]


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Product details

  • Actors: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Directors: Anthony Minghella
  • Producers: William Horberg, Tom Sternberg
  • Format: PAL, Colour
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Buena Vista
  • VHS Release Date: 4 Dec. 2000
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004VVR2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,335 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

In 1958, the charming but penniless Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) is hired by a wealthy magnate to travel to Italy and rescue his son, Dickie (Jude Law), from a life of indolence. Upon arrival, Tom discovers that Dickie has it all - including a beautiful girlfriend, Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) - and begins to covet his luxurious lifestyle. Although Tom is sexually attracted to Dickie, the latter soon tires of him, and when Tom begins to find himself excluded from Dickie's coterie, his envy takes a murderous turn. Based on Patricia Highsmith's novel which also provided the inspiration for the pre-New Wave French classic 'Plein Soleil' and Wim Wenders' 'The American Friend'.

From Amazon.co.uk

"I feel like I've been handed a new life", says Tom Ripley at a crucial turning point of this well-cast, stylishly crafted psychological thriller. And indeed he has, because the devious, impoverished Ripley (played with subtle depth by Matt Damon) has just traded his own identity for that of Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), the playboy heir to a shipping fortune who has become Ripley's model for a life worth living. Having been sent by Dickie's father to retrieve the errant son from Italy, Ripley has smoothly ingratiated himself with Dickie and his lovely, unsuspecting fiancée, Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow). In due course, the sheer evil of Ripley's amoral scheme will be revealed.

Superbly adapted from the acclaimed novel by Patricia Highsmith (also the basis of the acclaimed French version, Purple Noon), The Talented Mr Ripley is writer-director Anthony Minghella's impressive follow-up to his Oscar-winning triumph The English Patient. Recreating late-1950s Italy in exacting detail, the film captures the sensuousness of la dolce vita while developing the fracturing of Ripley's mind as his crimes grow increasingly desperate. And where Hitchcock was necessarily discreet with the homosexual subtext of Highsmith's Strangers on a Train, Minghella brings it out of the closet, increasing the dramatic tension and complexity of Ripley's psychological breakdown. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Cate Blanchett are excellent in pivotal supporting roles, and the film's final image is utterly effective: Ripley's talents have gone too far, and this study of class distinction, obsession and deadly desire reaches a disturbing yet richly appropriate conclusion. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Stevens on 2 Dec. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I think most people would agree that MOST movies-made-from-books don't even come close to the books themselves. Orders of events are changed, minor characters are deleted, even entire sections of the plots are left out for "artistic reasons" (or simply because it costs too much to include them in the film). If you're lucky, you see the movie and THEN read the book; otherwise, you're left utterly disappointed.
Well, I read "The Talented Mr. Ripley" before seeing it on video. And I was hesitant about seeing the movie, as the book was incredibly rich and very deep, especially in character development. I had huge doubts that the movie could do the book justice. But to my very pleasant surprise, they seemed to have pulled it off somehow.
This movie is actually almost as good as the book -- amazing!!
Matt Damon is absolutely superb as Tom Ripley. He looks like Tom, has his mannerisms, has his voice. Damon is SO successful at portraying Tom Ripley as Highsmith had written of his character in her book: A conniving, pathetic psychopath, who disgusts you but also somehow manages to make you feel sorry for him in the process. A very tough role for any actor, but Damon was excellent.
Likewise, Jude Law is wonderful at portraying the likeable extrovert Dickie Greenleaf -- a rich kid who's lazing away in Italy on Daddy's money, but who still doesn't come across as a selfish snob. Gwyneth Paltrow does a good job as hesitant Marge, who lacks self-confidence and only wants Dickie to reciprocate the devotion she has for him. My only complaint about having Paltrow in this role is that I feel she is too pretty to play Marge, as in the book Marge is a bit more homely. But still, Paltrow gets Marge's personality down pat, which is most important.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Aug. 2000
Format: DVD
This is an absolutely must see film. It is haunting, and very tense. I wasn't sure that Matt Damon was the best actor for this role, but the more I've watched his performance the more I am captivated by his sociopathic portrayal of Ripley. I thought the end sequence with Peter was absolutely blood tingling - and Jack Davenport (from the BBC's This Life) adds marvellous support to a top notch cast. The extras on this DVD are incredible. Minghella's academic commentary is excellent. For example, I wasn't aware that Cate Blanchett's character wasn't in the book, so now I've got to read Patricia Highsmith's novel! And the way Minghella informs how he condensed the first 40 pages of the novel into 4 pages of script, to produce a wonderful prologue to his film, demonstrates his excellence as a screenwriter and director. The cast interviews are worth buying the DVD for alone. Overall, this is an excellent format that truly offers value for money - and Mr Ripley is one of the most haunting films I have seen for years, and can now see time and time again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Bracey on 16 Sept. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Nothing more really needs to be said about the film itself - it's just a beautiful piece of work. Technically, the Blu-Ray is certainly an improvement over the DVD but don't expect visual revelations. It's not a vintage film - although tries to capture that feeling - and I find the picture quality slightly disappointing. There are ways to get that old feel without compromising the definition (one good example is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which perfectly captures that old film stock look with its characteristic muted colour palette). But Ripley is just downright grainy. But don't let that detract from the main point, which shines through - it is just a wonderful movie; beautifully shot with compelling performances and it successfully (for me at least) evokes the time and places in which it is set.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bruno VINE VOICE on 10 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
There are some differences between this film and the Patricia Highsmith novel it is based on. Some major changes to plot have been made, yet intricacy of the original is not lost...in fact the screenplay and direction succeeds in inducing a sense of almost visual dizziness at the complex double life that Tom leads and which constantly comes within a hairs breadth of unravelling. While the strengths of the film medium are exploited, its unsuprising that the shocking sense of identification with a cold blooded killer which an intimite novel can provide is somewhat missing here. In fact Mat Damon's Ripley here is less of a psychopath and more of a sad loser that somehow blunders his way into an orgy of murder. Still, the superb playing of the leads together with a truly outstanding film score might well succeed in leaving you with an unhealthily Highsmithian sense of sympathy for a killer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jay on 22 May 2007
Format: DVD
The Talented Mr Ripley is an unusual film, an eerie tale of jealousy, violence, loneliness, and desperation. Tom Ripley is a man who has, in his own mind, no self worth, no identity, and no substance. His ideas of life and existence depend on how he is perceived by others, and when that is no longer good enough..... Matt Damon is superb as the shy, self effacing Tom Ripley, an outwardly timid, unassuming man who shows little sign of what lurks beneath his pleasant front. Jude Law is also great as the vain, fickle Dickie Greenleaf, the rich boy who befriends Tom, and Gwyneth Paltrow also shines through as the loveable Marge, Dickie's girlfriend. Fans of the Patricia Highsmith novels will not be disappointed, as Anthony Minghella has superbly crafted her excellent literary prose onto the screen. This must also be one of the most skillfully shot movies of recent times, the scenery is fantastic and seldom has Italy been portrayed as such a beautiful country. This movie is definitely worth watching. It is becoming increasingly rare for movies to evoke serious emotions within the viewer, and with The Talented Mr Ripley, there are many occasions where these such emotions are aroused. A very good film.
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