Top critical review
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Excellent film, passable DVD
on 2 September 2004
The film is a very interesting (if not entirely faithful) adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'. As for the DVD, however, it is a bit of a mixed bag. Although watchable, the print exhibits a large number of faults, including scratches and occasionally heavy grain. However, these faults are also apparent on the previously-released R1 disc (under the English title 'Purple Noon'), suggesting that the film will not look any better without a proper remastering. Both the R1 and R2 discs are presented in their original 1.66:1 ratio, but unlike the R1 disc, this R2 DVD is anamorphic. The disc also includes the theatrical trailer, missing on the R1.
However, this disc also lacks some features. The R2 disc only contains the original French soundtrack (the best way to watch the film, in my opinion), while the R1 disc contains this track as well as an English dub, for those who do not like reading the subtitled translation. On that topic, the R1 has removable subtitles (reportedly in a nasty yellow font, though!), while the English subtitles on the R2 are fixed. The subtitles appear to have been digitally created for this DVD, and are very clear and defined (if a little big) but some viewers may be disappointed that they cannot be removed from the image.
In conclusion, this is the best release of the film yet on DVD in terms of picture and sound quality, despite still being a bit disappointing. Unless you cannot stand to watch the film in its original language, or do not like fixed subtitles, this is the version to get.